'Lightbulb moment' prompts jeweller to launch new auction house

Olly Webb and Tracey Rust-Andrews, who runs the consignment office of The Rostrum in Holt's High Street. 

Olly Webb and Tracey Rust-Andrews, who runs the consignment office of The Rostrum in Holt's High Street. - Credit: Stuart Anderson

The man behind a new auction house is hoping to offer something different for north Norfolk. 

Olly Webb, 41, has just opened a consignment office for The Rostrum Auctioneers and Valuers next door to Webbs Jewellers in Holt's High Street.

Mr Webb said he was excited about the new venture, which would run monthly auctions at a sales room at Groveland Farm, off Thorpe Market Road in Roughton. 

He said: "I've always been interested in auctions but it was never something I thought about actually doing until Mark Nelson-Griffiths, who's now our silver expert and auctioneer, mentioned it to me.

"Before lockdown we used to have silver jewellery this shop, and we had been thinking about what we could do with this premises. Then I had that lightbulb moment." 

Mr Webb is director at Webbs Jewellers, which has been in his family for 33 years. 

He said now seemed like a perfect time to open an auction house - and people would be able to bid on items for sale online as well as in person.

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Mr Webb said: "The higher-end auction world is really booming and I think it's an opportunity across the north Norfolk coast.

"People have been sat at home and have more time to scroll through actions that are going on.

"During much of lockdown people have still been earning money, wanting to spend, but no shops have been open.

"It has been an opportunity for people to pick up bargains through shopping platforms, which they can do at auctions." 

Mr Webb said the first auction would feature items including jewellery, silver, furniture and art, but they also planned to sell everything from ceramics and wine to collectables and toys. 

"The whole shebang," he said. "We've got experts in all those fields that we can draw on.  

"Our goal at the moment is to make ourselves known to get the consigning, and get people to bring their things to us."

Mr Webb said the consignment office would be used as place for people to drop off items to go under the hammer.

He said: "We will be having upcoming lots to view in here as well as in the sale rooms. Not many auction houses have that opportunity - it gives us a great frontage and something different for the town."