The concept of auctions has been around for centuries. The method has spanned over every industry and nationality. Records of the first auction have not been found and might not even exist The National Auctioneers Association published their findings on the history of auctions that some of the earliest records we have of auctions were documents handed down from the Greeks that date as far back as 500 B.C.  At this time, women were auctioned off as wives. A different method was implemented during these times called a reverse auction. These auctions started with a high price and worked their way down as sellers competed for the business of buyers. In this descending method, the highest bidder would be the first one to bid. Rome was the first nation to license auctioneers. The “Magister Auctionarium” or auctioneer would drive a spear into the ground to begin the auction. In modern times, we have replaced the spear with a gavel.

Auctions arrived in America with the pilgrims in the 1600’s. They were used through colonial times for the distribution of crops, imports, livestock, tools, tobacco, slaves, and even entire farms. Auctions were the most convenient and fast way for people to turn their assets into cash. America’s first president, George Washington, was a known enthusiastic auction buyer. During the American civil war, only Colonels were allowed to auction the war plunder. Because of this, to this day, many auctioneers are still referred to as “Colonel”. Auction schools began opening in the 1900’s around America. The business really began booming in the 1950’s as there was a need to move real estate and private property at a rate that the private market would not allow. It was during this time that auctioneers raised the reputation of the trade. They dressed in suits and ties and began having connections to banks, attorneys, accountants, court systems and government agencies.

The digital revolution the world has transformed auctions into how we experience them today. At first, cameras were used to display images of the property to be sold. Not too long after the Internet’s birth, online auctions burst into cyberspace. The versatility of online auctions allows the buyer to purchase without having to be present. Auctions have been present for a long time, and it is clear that they are here to stay. These fast-paced and exhilarating events are not only fun but are a great way to obtain products at great prices.

Whether you are new to the auction scene or are an experienced bidder, there is no time like the present to take part in a piece of history. Attend our own Baterbys Art Gallery Event on May 14th starting at 4pm to get a taste of an art auction at its finest. Hosted by Central Florida’s biggest and best art gallery, you are sure to have a great time. For more information on the event and to RSVP visit or call Kirsten at 888-682-9995 x301.


See you there!

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