The Dynamics of Auction
Each year art and antiques worth many billions of pounds are sold at auction. These auctions consist of numerous, intense episodes of social interaction through which the price of goods rapidly escalates until sold on the strike of a hammer. In this book, Christian Heath examines the fine details of interaction that arises at auctions, the talk and visible conduct of the participants and their use of various tools and technologies. He explores how auctioneers, buyers and their representatives are able to transact the sale of diversely priced goods in just seconds. Heath addresses how order, trust and competition are established at auctions and demonstrates how an economic institution of some global importance is founded upon embodied action and interaction. The analysis is based on video recordings of sales of art and antiques gathered within a range of national and international auction houses in Europe and the United States.