Austin Auction Gallery (AAG) is a family owned and operated business. In 1983, Ross Featherston quit his job as a top banker to open and run an auction gallery. Eventually the Featherstons’ moved to a strictly auction business and became the largest importers of European antiques and fine art in the Austin area.
To do so AAG obtains goods from consigners, liquidations, and through direct import purchases. The goods are then inspected for damage or restorations, researched, appraised, photographed, cataloged, and auctioned off to the highest bidder. If items do not sell, they will either but put back up for auction at a later date, placed in the wholesale warehouse for retail style purchasing, or returned to the consigner. Consignors, executors, and trustees may be liquidating an entire business or estate, or may be consigning a single item. Consigners will be charged a selling commission to cover the work done by AAG to sell their item.
Buying at an auction is a great way to find rare and specialized items, many times at a price that cannot be found in a retail setting. Most bidders at the auctions are purchasing for themselves. However, some bidders are buying for resale purposes such as interior design and antique stores.
Interns at AAG work directly under Victoria Nickell in the Decorative Arts department. The intern’s main duty is to inspect, research, photograph, and catalog each item assigned to them. While this may sound simple, it is tedious. One must have an eye for detail, a thirst for knowledge, and a love of all things old and weird. The process of inspecting, researching, photographing and cataloging will be repeated for all items. As an intern or employee of AAG, one will work on 6-15 lots daily, following this exact process for every item.