Raise a fine glass to Jason Woody, third-generation auctioneer

Jason Woody (along with his wife, Melinda) runs Woody Auction LLC, a third-generation auction house that has gained a reputation for achieving strong prices with cut glass. The house often features museum-worthy examples from Galle and Moser as well as Hawkes panel pattern glass. Image courtesy of Woody Auction LLC.

Jason Woody (together with his wife, Melinda) runs Woody Auction LLC, a third-generation auction house that has gained a reputation for achieving strong prices with cut glass. The house often features museum-worthy examples from Galle and Moser as well as Hawkes panel pattern glass. Image courtesy of Woody Auction LLC.

DOUGLASS, Kan. – Jason Woody, co-owner and auctioneer at Woody Auction LLC in Douglass, Kansas, thrives on the ever-changing nature of the auction business, but some things are constant: great items will always perform well, and the key to keeping a third-generation auction house alive and thriving is treating people well and sticking to your word. Specializing in Victorian and and pre-1920s antiques, Woody Auction LLC has earned a strong worldwide reputation as a leader in cut glass. In addition, its attention to customer service has helped it rank among LiveAuctioneers’ top-rated auction houses.

You got started in the family business early on. What was one of the most important lessons you learned from your parents and grandfather?

Since I was seven years old, I have been involved with doing auctions and just watching how my family treated people. They made sure if we said something, we stuck to it, and that’s how we’ve always done it.

Woody Auction sells across the board, but is perhaps best known for cut glass. What is selling well today?

It’s kind of like the entire antiques market — the best quality throughout the category of cut glass is doing very well. The Hawkes panel pattern has always been one of the premier patterns out there that people recognize, and it has sold very well.

A signed round cut glass tray in the Hawkes panel pattern more than tripled its high estimate at Woody Auction in November 2022, earning $105,000 plus the buyer’s premium. Jason Woody said it was the finest panel tray the house has sold. Image courtesy of Woody Auction LLC and LiveAuctioneers.

A signed round cut glass tray in the Hawkes panel pattern more than tripled its high estimate at Woody Auction in November 2022, earning $105,000 plus the buyer’s premium. Jason Woody said it was the finest panel tray the house has sold. Image courtesy of Woody Auction LLC and LiveAuctioneers.

Is part of the fun never knowing what will next show up for sale?

As an auctioneer, every day brings something new, with unexpected events. Just yesterday, I had a man show up with items he purchased at a “junk” sale. He pulled out Steuben Dragon cameo pieces, a rare Daum Nancy Art Deco vase, and a miniature Galle lamp.

This circa-1920 signed Galle French cameo art glass lamp, having a yellow ground decorated with chrysanthemum overlay and butterflies, brought $85,000 plus the buyer’s premium at Woody Auction in October 2022. Image courtesy of Woody Auction LLC and LiveAuctioneers.

This circa-1920 signed Galle French cameo art glass lamp, having a yellow ground decorated with chrysanthemum overlay and butterflies, brought $85,000 plus the buyer’s premium at Woody Auction in October 2022. Image courtesy of Woody Auction LLC and LiveAuctioneers.

You had a very nice collection of Galle glass in October 2022 from the Ron Blessing estate. Tell us about this collection and how it came to you.

Ron would always tell everybody that he was a private collector, but boy, he bought big. He had been a long-time buyer of ours, and he also reached out to experts in the field and bought just the finest examples he could get. He managed to build a quality collection and that was only one half. We are selling the second half of his collection in March 2023, and it’s almost a mirror image of the first half we sold.

What is the best piece of glass you have auctioned?

That would have been a piece of English cameo glass we sold in May 2014. The vase was titled The Origin of Painting and it was cut by George Woodall. We sold that for the Rieger estate and it brought $260,000 (plus the buyer’s premium). English cameo glass is very sought after. The quality of engraving that it takes to do any piece of English cameo is amazing, but the George Woodall pieces, especially, are the best of the best.

The finest example of English cameo glass sold at Woody Auction was offered in May 2014 – this Thomas Webb & Sons vase realized $260,000 plus the buyer’s premium. The vase was pictured in the book ‘English Cameo Glass’ by Lee and Ray Grover. Image courtesy of Woody Auction and LiveAuctioneers.

The finest example of English cameo glass ever sold at Woody Auction was offered in May 2014. This Thomas Webb & Sons vase realized $260,000 plus the buyer’s premium. It was pictured in the book ‘English Cameo Glass’ by Lee and Ray Grover. Image courtesy of Woody Auction LLC and LiveAuctioneers.

What’s a typical day on the job like?

Today, I am unpacking more items to get listed. We are doing an online-only auction in January 2023, so I’m trying to get that done. I am also scheduling a pickup tomorrow so we can quickly get back because I have a deadline to meet for advertising a February 2023 auction, and then I have to get on the road Friday for a 3,800-mile trip to be done in eight days.

That is a long trip, but is it typical?

It is. There are some times that can be a lot slower. This particular week, you caught me on a very busy week.

While glass often headlines at Woody Auction, works of art perform well, too, such as Birger Sandzen’s Colorado landscape titled ‘Cedars and Rocks.’ It attained $160,000 plus the buyer’s premium in February 2018. Image courtesy of Woody Auction LLC and LiveAuctioneers.

While glass often headlines at Woody Auction, works of art perform well, too, such as Birger Sandzen’s Colorado landscape titled ‘Cedars and Rocks.’ It rose to $160,000 plus the buyer’s premium in February 2018. Image courtesy of Woody Auction LLC and LiveAuctioneers.

Do you personally collect in any categories handled by your auction house?

No, we have always made it a policy at Woody Auction that we don’t buy anything at our own auctions, so I am kind of limited on what I do buy. My father started calling me “turtle” back when I was a child. He called me that because he felt I was too slow, and so, as a joke, they started collecting turtles [for me], so I have a pretty large turtle collection at home.

What is the most rewarding or satisfying part of the job?

Being able to go to a seller and see a smile on their face because the auction was completed and it met their expectations. That’s always enjoyable. We like to be able to return good results to the people we are selling for.

To contact Jason Woody or to discuss a future consignment to Woody Auction LLC, call 316-747-2694. Click to visit Woody Auction LLC online.