SAVANNAH, Ga. – Amanda Everard, president and co-owner of Everard Auctions and Appraisals, says her favorite parts of the auction business are constantly learning about objects and helping clients. An 11-year-veteran of Sotheby’s before she and her family started their own auction house, the Antiques Roadshow appraiser has a deep knowledge of antiques and art. As a smallish city that attracts people from across the country, Savannah is known for its gentility. Collectors and homeowners there tend to take more to traditional furnishings than most areas and fine items can be found in many of the city’s gracious old homes.
How did you get started in the auction business?
I was an art history major in school and interned at Sotheby’s. I was hired in their estates department and that was a great area to be, because I saw a little bit of all the different departments in the company. There, I decided I really wanted to do furniture and I moved to Arcade furniture. I call that my graduate school because we had auctions every two weeks and it was very high volume, a great training ground. I learned a ton there. I was at Sotheby’s for 11 years altogether and then my family sort of decided to jump ship and move South. My parents live down in Savannah and so we [she and her husband, Chris] moved down here and started the auction house in 2003.
Does Everard Auctions and Appraisals only host online sales?
We were actually really early into online auctions because in 2003, not a lot was happening back then. Going from being in New York, where everything was at your fingertips, to being in Savannah, which is a much smaller city, it has the love of antiques, but it didn’t have the broad reach that we needed. We could reach that audience through online sales and we have always just been online, we have never had a live portion.
Clearly, the format has worked and you are tapping into a global audience …
That was the amazing thing — being able to sell and market so many different types of things. For a while, we had niche marketing in classic cameras because we had a major collection we sold during four years and that was really, really international … and of course Asian art has always been international.
Speaking of niche areas, tell us about the October 2021 sale of the John Bucci collection and his futuristic concept cars.
That’s the beauty of this business; you just never know from day-to-day what you are going to run into. Bucci had been from Chicago and retired down this direction. He was an engineer by training and just had this mind that never stopped so he was constantly creating art. Obviously he loved cars and he was a master at working in fiberglass so came up with these incredible shapes for them — just very futuristic and cool. The Bucci collection was just a really neat thing; a World’s Fair car is just something that you would never expect.
Where does your greatest joy come from in this business?
I would say the best part is constantly learning. I have a good general overall knowledge and my specialty is furniture, but I have an art history background, too. Then there’s just on-the-job learning. When you go into collectors’ homes, oftentimes they will know more about the subject than you do because maybe they are in a field that you are not familiar with. It’s always like a team process here, and we both want things to do well.
Tell us about a standout sale.
The highest price sale was a Korean ancestor portrait [in an October 2017 auction]. We had estimated it at $10,000-$15,000. I was purposely conservative with it and I thought it might do $30,000-$40,000, based on some other ones that have sold. When the sale was up, we got a call from someone in Korea, who asked if he could fly over to see it in person. He actually brought this woman with him who is considered a National Treasure in Korea. She was a Korean art expert in her eighties, and she flew over with him. They came and they inspected it, we took it out of the frame. As I said, I am constantly learning, and apparently with Korean ancestor portraits they paint it white on the back. This one had that, and they said that was very good. It was just crazy on auction day. I think it started at the reserve at $6,000 and then it just kept going and going and going. [It hammered $387,500.]
What was special about this portrait?
It turned out that the portrait was from a family line of officials in Korea. They had portraits of three generations, but they didn’t have this fourth generation. This was the one that was missing and didn’t exist in any of the museums. They bought it to repatriate it and go into a museum in Korea. That was pretty fabulous.
What do you collect?
It’s basically objects that speak to me for some reason. I don’t purposely collect because I don’t have very much room left in my house. I had said I enjoy meeting people along the way, so what I tend to do is get a little memento from that estate or that time in my life that I work with those people. It’s some silly little thing that I will buy from the auction that reminds me of that family or that time in my life.
To contact Amanda Everard, including to discuss a future consignment to Everard Auctions and Appraisals’s sales, call 912-231-1376. Click to visit Everard Auctions and Appraisals online.