Moving with the times and family ties key to 40 years of success for local auction house

Moving with the times and family ties key to 40 years of success for local auction house

Adapting to changing tastes and embracing technological innovation are cited as key factors in 40 years of enduring success in one of the Midlands’ leading auctioneers and valuers, according to the company’s founder.

Set up and still running as a traditional family business, John Gilding of Gildings Auctioneers in Market Harborough attributes the company’s growth and success over the past four decades to a willingness to move with the times in terms of relocating premises, identifying key market trends, taking part in TV shows such as Bargain Hunt and embracing the online bidding technology that has revolutionised the way the auctioneering industry works.

“Over the past 40 years, we have seen the auction business undergo a phenomenal change; from an industry where all you need is pen and paper, to one where each auction has a global audience thanks to the internet,”

says John Gilding.

“However, the fact that we can have up to 400 people registered to bid on one website alone in each sale, hasn’t taken away from the great atmosphere our attendees create in the room on our sales days.”

Gildings’ inaugural auction was held in March 1980. Auction sales were held on a ‘nomadic’ village hall basis in the villages of Newtown Linford, Foxton, Lubenham and Market Harborough until permanent premises were found at 64 Roman Way, Market Harborough.

In 2012 the search for a new base due to expansion resulted in the company moving to its current home at ‘The Mill’ in Great Bowden Road in Market Harborough.

Another significant change that John Gilding has seen over the past four decades is a shift in the items that people want to buy at auction.

“In a climate of older people downsizing and younger people struggling to get on the property ladder, it’s no longer the case that antique furniture makes good money,” he explains. “The art market can be hard work too, with Victorian art and landscapes in particular falling out of popularity. These days, people are interested in smaller items such as jewellery and watches or niche areas of collecting such as toys, memorabilia and even whisky.”

John Gilding took a step back from Gildings in 2015 and the current specialist team of valuers, which includes staff members who have been with the company for over 25 years is led by sons Mark and Will Gilding.

“Gildings remains very much a family business,”

says John.

“My wife and I have just celebrated 52 years of marriage and over the years, all the big decisions for the business, including selling the family home to buy the Roman Way premises back in 1988, have been made by us as a team. We didn’t have any idea what our children would want to do for their careers, so we were lucky that two of our sons decided to pursue the family business as a career.”

Regular auctions at Gildings include Antiques & Collectors, Fine Arts & Antiques, 20th Century Art & Design and Toys, Model Railways & Memorabilia sales. To find out more, including details of regular valuation days or how to view or bid on items, visit or call 01858 410 414.

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