Published: April 29, 2008
New Hampshire auctioneer Richard W. Withington died peacefully in his sleep on April 29.
A born showman with a genius for names and numbers, Withington became one of the best known auctioneers in the country after he was profiled in Time Magazine , The Washington Post and elsewhere. For many years his popular tent sales were staples of summertime in New England.
Withington was born in Boston in 1918 and at 15 went to work for Cambridge, Mass., auctioneer James A. Hall. Withington launched his own business when the older man retired.
“My business has been successful because of three things,” Withington told Antiques and The Arts Weekly . “One is honesty, always being on time and doing what I promised. The second is having a good temperament. I never get mad. I have a sense of humor and can work around anything. The third is knowing what I’m doing and understanding values.”
Withington resisted innovations such as absentee and telephone bidding and prided himself on paying consignors immediately. In 1989, he was one of the last New England auctioneers to introduce the buyer’s premium.
Additional information will appear in a future issue.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm