BRAIN FOOD: Unlikely managers - Auctioneer

BRAIN FOOD: Unlikely managers - Auctioneer - INTERNATIONAL HEAD OF BRITISH AND IRISH ART, CHRISTIE'S KING STREET, LONDON

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

INTERNATIONAL HEAD OF BRITISH AND IRISH ART, CHRISTIE'S KING STREET, LONDON

Name Jonathan Horwich

When did you become a manager?

In 1982, when I began being involved in the business, and I also began auctioneering.

What does management mean to you?

Bringing order to wonderful moments of human spirit and getting the best possible price. You choose the lots - although sometimes they choose you as you develop a reputation. Then you decide on the order, so as to maintain people's interest. Like the acts of a show, you have to avoid flat periods.

You read the minds of your bidders, slowing and increasing the pace, focusing on each for a fraction of a second. You must manage everyone's expectations - if you're buying, the hammer doesn't fall quick enough; if you're selling, you want that last bid. Each auction is different - it's about experience, instinct and knowing the market.

What do you love/hate about it?

I love the variety - I've a low boredom threshold. I hate making a great discovery, being sure it is by a certain artist but not being able to prove it.

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