Thomas Rutherford Clayton Hands ( Nov. 2, 1915 – Sept. 7, 1980) pursued a career in auctioneering. He established a livelihood in 1938. For 40 years Clayton called square dances and conducted auctions as well. During that time frame he married wife Reta and they had seven children (2 boys & 5 girls). Reta was very busy looking after their children, phones and farm chores. When it came to auctioneering, Clayton had a strong voice that carried well outdoors as well as in buildings. He also possessed wit, charm and a personality that controlled large crowds. He acquired strengths in salesmanship and in the knowledge of articles and their values. He sold everything and anything – household effects, farm machinery, livestock, real estate, tools of the trades and so on……. On June 28, 1954, a documentary film ‘The Country Auctioneer” produced by the National Film Board, depicted Clayton Hands, a Canadian, in this interesting and important job. The film was released for screening in the original Perth Theatre and was televised in Canada and the United States. On June 13, 1973, as a veteran auctioneer, Clayton Hands standing on the platform fired off the terms and conditions of the auction. He then introduced his 21 year old son Jim, a new graduate of Reisch Auction School, Mason City, Iowa. Jim sought out raised hands, nods, winks and raises of the eye brow from an ever growing crowd. People came from Perth, Ottawa, Kingston, Belleville, Quebec, New York State, to mention only a few places. The crowds were a mixture of housewives, children, dealers/collectors, farmers, students and the curious onlookers.
There always will be a mystical hypnosis that springs from the auctioneer’s chant; a kind that any supermarket chain would love to imitate. This magic, can drive a normally meek individual into a fit over a box of antique nails! Using this magical chant can be most effective, but it must also be ‘fair & square’. And this is something these two men command. These auctioneers also know when to say sold. Clayton and Jim similarily project their chant. They use their stomach muscles rather than their vocal cords (an advantageous feature since their voices do not tire or crack after a long days auction). Not only is the chant similar for father and son, but so is the straw hat and cane. The cane is used for pointing out merchandise and bids and is especially useful to the auctioneer after standing for long periods of time. The straw hat is used to keep the sun, rain or even the snow off their brow.
We miss Clayton, with his enthusiastic love for the profession, and will always remember his first and utmost belief of ‘the importance of honesty in the auctioneering trade.’ Jim took over his father’s business with the same belief. Even though the last bid is over for Clayton Hands, his legend lives on, not only in his son but in Jim’s son, Trevor.
Trevor, a chip off the old block graduated as a Qualified Auctioneer from the Southwestern School of Auctioneering in Woodstock, Ontario in August 1996 when he was 17. Trevor also has a Business Diploma from St. Lawrence College (Kingston, On). Like his father he draws air in from his stomach to project his chant. Proudly and traditionally he leans on a hand-carved cane, inscribed with his grandfather and father’s name ( a graduation gift from Mom, Dad and twin brother Tyler). At an auction one notices the quick-catch of a bid and an occasional quick-witted joke from this young man. There is no doubt that he has the auctioneer’s gift and that it is in his blood. Parents Jim and Judy are very proud of Trevor carrying on the family auctioneering tradition.
Not to be outdone by the men in her life, Judy Hands became a Certified Auctioneer in 2000 from the Southwestern Ontario School of Auctioneering. Judy has been seriously involved in the auction industry for 30 years, when she married Jim. She is enthusiastic and committed to the auction process adding value to each stage of your auction from creative marketing, to managing and bid-calling. She conducts auctions with her husband Jim & their son Trevor, The Voices of Experience. For the Hands family, auctions are a living, breathing, third generation legacy. They have a very flexible approach, enabling them to conduct household, estate, real estate, farm, livestock, bankruptcy, consignment & charitable auctions. The Hands name is synonymous with trust, integrity and experience.
Today, we turn our “Hands” to the Auction & Appraisal career full time. We welcome you to visit our Upcoming Auctions, read the details & view the pictures of each auction sale as they are listed. We are in our prime, with both experienced & young auctioneers, full of business knowledge and modern techniques. We will always prefer the solid reputation that we have acquired over three generations to that of quick profit. The Hands’ also flourish on competition as it gives us an incentive that goes along with our love & desire, to do auctions. We hope that in sharing a bit ABOUT US that you will feel free to call upon our services if the need arise.