Lindsay Burns & Co. Auctioneers has reflected on the changes of the past four decades as it reached its 40th anniversary.
The prominent Perth city centre auction house was founded in February 1982 by Lindsay and Elspeth Burns.
Still based at its King Street location, the second generation family business is now run by Lindsay and Elspeth’s son Nick and his wife Claire.
The auctioneer has seen a huge range of fascinating and unusual items over the years, and has even found some surprises along the way.
And it has also adapted during that time to significant technological changes and even a global pandemic.
‘I remember growing up around antiques’
For Nick, the business has been a big part of his life since he was a young child.
He remembers growing up around antiques, which formed the basis of his professional interest in the area.
And he is delighted to have seen the business continue to flourish.
“We are very proud to say we have been in business for 40 years,” he said.
“It’s a great achievement, especially in the latter two years.
“We have been very lucky over the years – we have sold many wonderful things. We will be having an antiques sale in April and we are doing that as our anniversary sale.
“It’s been a huge part of my life. From a young age, I remember growing up around antiques.
“It’s been a fascinating journey.”
Over the years, many a memorable item has passed through the auction house doors.
Some tell the story of local people and their role in shaping history.
Other items even went undiscovered for years before they were found by Nick and his staff.
In October last year, an emerald bead hidden in the drawer of a dressing table mirror sold for £4,800.
The seller put the dressing table up for auction but did not realise he even had the green jewel.
But for Nick, one of the most memorable lots takes him back to when he was just eight years old.
He said: “In 1984, when I would have been eight, my father sold a desk for £58,000 and it was a Gillows of Lancaster.
“I remember that desk coming to auction as a young boy and I think it stands out as a landmark item for the auction house in the early days.
“We have to consider things very carefully. We have to exercise caution and do our homework before putting things up for auction.”
What have been the biggest changes?
The four decades have seen a huge shift in how the auctioneer operates.
Technological advances mean they now have a global reach, and have even sold to bidders as far away as Hong Kong.
And Covid restrictions meant a greater emphasis was placed on online sales.
Nick said: “I have been professionally involved in the business for 20 years and I have seen a huge change.
“We really embrace digital technology, with online catalogues and videos for clients.
“We have tools we didn’t have 20 years ago and certainly not 40 years ago.
“The changes in the last two years have really accelerated how we do things.
“But being online meant we could keep our staff and our clients safe.”
What’s next for Lindsay Burns Auctioneers?
Now, Nick hopes he and his team can continue to grow and find unique items.
He has thanked all of their clients and staff members over the four decades.
He added: “I would like to see us continue as we are – growing the brand and growing the online presence.
“Many items mean a lot to the sellers and they trust us with them. And that’s not something we take lightly.
“Forty years is a long time and here’s to the next 40 I say.”