Elton John World News: Around The Block

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Celebrity Auctioneer Recalls Some of His Experiences

Thursday 6 January 2011 @ 16:36 - GMT

Charlie Ross has conducted auctions at events for Elton and Cliff Richard.

He has also been on TV programmes, including Antiques Roadshow and Put Your Money Where You Mouth Is. 

Originally, though, the Bucknell resident thought he would become a dentist.

I had an uncle with a practice in Cavendish Square, London, whose clients included Winston Churchill. It was one of those practices where you were offered a glass of sherry at the start and a grandfather clock stood in the corner,  he told the Bicester Advertiser.

But his school exam results were not up to becoming a dentist and he ended up working for a chartered surveyor.

Charlie has been involved in a wide variety of auctions ranging from antiques, commercial and residential properties, through to vintage cars and Intellectual Property. He is also resident auctioneer for MacDougalls, Londons leading Russian Art specialists.

As for his work at EJAF functions, he told EJW that he does three or four auctions for them annually, including the White Tie and Tiara Ball.

In 2008, Ross helped boost bids at Monaco's F1 Grand Prix event for Elton's foundation. 

Items on offer included a week on Force India co-owner Dr Vijay Mallyas 95-metre yacht, the Indian Empress; a piano used by Elton to write and record the Grammy-nominated Songs from the West Coast, signed by 17 international musicians; an invitation donated by Elton to his 2009 Oscar night bash (which was won for 46.000 Euro); and a Chopard unisex watch from the singer's collection.

Mallya won the latter for 100.000 Euro, but didn't stop there. He ended up with the aforementioned piano, paying 226.000 Euro for the prize. Charlie Ross remarked that the instrument would turn any owner into a natural player.

But his job can be a challenge.

At charity auctions you do need a bit of showmanship. If you have a large room full of people, you know that there are only a few who are going to buy. So you have to keep everyone entertained, he stated.

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