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  • Writer's pictureMike Brandly, Auctioneer

Auctioneer’s favorite gavel?

Artnet News Senior Market Editor Eileen Kinsella published an article on December 3, 2020, titled “Going Once! 11 World-Class Auctioneers Tell Us the Stories and Strange Rituals Behind Their Luckiest Gavels” noting that “Auctioneers are a superstitious bunch.”

That article is here: It’s great reading quoting some very successful auctioneers all over the world. Indeed they have their favorite gavel and have stories relating to its use.

I’m here to tell you auctioneers indeed have their favorite gavel, hat, shoes, coat, shirt, truck, stand, podium, microphone, block of wood, hose … and they are indeed a superstitious group of people. I can even speak for myself as I prefer a certain handheld microphone, a particular sound system, a specific white shirt …

It seems to me many people are superstitious. Ever see a baseball player’s routine entering the batter’s box? Football player when he scores a touchdown? Basketball player as he leaves the huddle? I know an attorney who walks from his office to the courthouse endeavoring to not step on any cracks in the concrete.

For those interested, here is a definition (explanation) of this concept of “superstition:”

A superstition is ‘a belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of causation’ or ‘an irrational abject attitude of mind toward the supernatural, nature, or God resulting from superstition.’ Often, it arises from ignorance, a misunderstanding of science or causality, a belief in fate or magic, or fear of that which is unknown. It is commonly applied to beliefs and practices surrounding luck, prophecy, and certain spiritual beings, particularly the belief that future events can be foretold by specific (apparently) unrelated prior events. The word superstition is often used to refer to a religion not practiced by the majority of a given society regardless of whether the prevailing religion contains alleged superstitions.

My favorite gavel you ask? I typically don’t use a gavel as an auctioneer, but my favorite has to be the one pictured above in downtown Columbus, Ohio at 145 South Front Street, not far from The Supreme Court of Ohio.

Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, CAI, CAS, AARE has been an auctioneer and certified appraiser for over 30 years. His company’s auctions are located at: Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, RES Auction Services, and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. He serves as Distinguished Faculty at Hondros College, Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School, and an Instructor at the National Auctioneers Association’s Designation Academy and Western College of Auctioneering. He is faculty at the Certified Auctioneers Institute held at Indiana University and is approved by The Supreme Court of Ohio for attorney education.

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