In January 2006, Alison Ross bought Kilshaw’s Auctioneers. Alison started at Kilshaw’s about eight years prior to buying the auction and at that time she had attained a master’s degree in History in Art and had many years of teaching and business experience. As an auctioneer, appraiser and owner, Alison continues the tradition of honesty and integrity established by the Kilshaw family while infusing the business with fresh ideas and enthusiasm. Alison was very pleased that long time staff members remained under her ownership including auctioneers Jeffrey Dean and office manager Melanie Weston. Alison insists on continuing education for her staff as well as herself through auction related courses and seminars. Don Kilshaw continues to be involved in the business but is enjoying semi-retirement. Through generations of personal attention, honesty, and knowledge, Kilshaw’s Auctioneers has delighted innumerable patrons with their purchases and sales. The origins of Kilshaw’s Auctioneers can be traced back 6 generations to Kendal, England where William Kilshaw started it all in 1790. During the reign of George III, a Kilshaw was pairing buyers with sellers of home furnishings, real estate, farm implements, and cattle. Today, it appears the Kilshaw family holds the North American record for continuous gavel pounding.
The Kilshaw’s have been selling in Canada since 1908 (starting in Winnipeg). When Gradwell Kilshaw first came west to Victoria,Gradwell Kilshaw with son Frankauctions were held right at the estate with house, property and contents sold to buyers gathered on the front lawn. In 1949, Gradwell Kilshaw opened the doors at the current location, 1115 Fort Street, Victoria, BC. Gradwell’s son Frank and then his grandson Don have continued in the family’s long, fine tradition.
Auction-wise veterans, who have attended sales across Canada, say the most unusual part of Kilshaw’s auction policy, is the wide open display of items at the moment of being sold. Kilshaw’s unique custom of having all goods possible pass directly in front of the auctioneer enable them to do this. dining tables and bureau drawers are opened wide for the crowd’s inspection; chairs and decorative objects are shown every which way, and any known chips or cracks are pointed out as a courtesy to the buyer. This, together with the popular Kilshaw’s guarantee on working appliances gives the buyer great confidence.