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Mastro Auctions adds live sales to event lineup

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Mastro Auctions, currently known for its phone and Internet sales, will begin live auctions in 2007. Doug Allen, president of Mastro Auctions, has recently hired Nicholas Dawes, a seasoned industry veteran and well-known Antiques Roadshow appraiser to direct the new Live Auctions division and expand Mastro's presence in the Americana and arts markets.

"We have always known that live sales would be a valuable ingredient in the Mastro Auctions mix," said Allen. "It was a matter of finding the right time and the right people to launch a Live Auctions division that would consistently deliver the high standards for which Mastro Auctions is universally recognized."

Mastro Auctions currently conducts six auction events annually - three larger, higher profile Premier Auctions and three Classic Collector sales. Bidding in the Premier Auctions is conducted over the phone or internet. The Classic Collector events are strictly an internet affair.

According to Allen, the Live Auctions division is intended to increase Mastro Auctions' capabilities and not replace any of its current auctions or bidding processes.

"Our established bidding methods, primarily internet, prove to be tremendously popular and successful in our market," said Allen. "The ability to conduct live auctions will simply add diversity to our services, and accommodate situations where the immediate impact of a live auction makes more sense than our current system." Allen cites charity and promotional events, as well as collections suitable for selling on location, and artworks as instances when a live auction may be employed.

Allen acknowledges that the company's continued expansion into Americana markets, specifically the Decorative and Fine Arts, has been instrumental in the decision to develop a Live Auctions division.

"If you want to be a serious player in these areas you have to deliver a first-class live auction experience," said Allen. "We were at a point where we had gone as far as we could in these markets without a live auction," said Allen. "The time was right to commit."

Timing may be everything, but not the only thing. Allen says the ability to attract a respected individual like Dawes to Mastro Auctions was also critical.

"Nicholas brings a vast wealth of experience and knowledge that will be key to our success as we unveil our Live Auctions division and look to grow our Americana and Arts market share," said Allen. "I can not imagine a better fit with our team."

Dawes was born into the antiques market. He grew up in England and never remembers a time when antiques weren't a part of his life.
"My mom had an antique shop and I was buying and selling stuff by the time I was twelve," said Dawes.

Dawes immigrated to the United States in 1979 and began a career dedicated to the antiques and auction business. He has conducted hundreds of live auctions and served as auctioneer at both Phillips and Sotheby's in New York, where he was a vice president of Special Projects in the 1990's.

Dawes is a frequent contributor to arts and lifestyle publications, and the author of three standard works on decorative arts, which have collectively sold over 100,000 copies. He has taught European and American history and luxury marketing at Parsons School of Design, and Columbia University Business School, and has appeared as an appraiser for Antiques Roadshow on PBS since the opening season.

Dawes' decision to join Mastro Auctions was inspired by the company's commitment to build the division the "right way" and bring increased options to the collector.

"I am proud and excited to be given this opportunity," said Dawes. "Mastro Auctions is widely admired for presenting superior material in a unique manner. We now intend to offer superior live auctions, designed to benefit and entertain sellers and bidders alike."

While Dawes' primary responsibility at Mastro Auctions will be organizing and conducting live auctions, his contributory role in Americana will also be important.

"Nicholas has so many contacts, such great insight, and so much information, he's exactly the kind of resource our customers need and trust," said Allen. "We would have to be crazy not to let him loose and support him while he does what he has been so successful at for so many years."
The first Mastro Auctions live auction event is planned for the summer of 2007 at the National Sports Convention. Allen suggests that in typical Mastro Auctions fashion, the event will be a "monster."

For more information contact Dawes at 212-473- 5111 or