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Meet the auctioneer: John Rolfe


John Rolfe opened his auction house near Tetbury last year and has spent his life in and around the antiques trade.

His earliest memory of the antique business was helping his dad, Bath dealer Dave ‘Rolfey’ Rolfe remove a piano from a top floor flat in Bath. He was eight years-old and it ‘haunts him still’. Dave was a regular on TV, starring alongside Fred Wedlock in HTV West’s The Bargain Hunters in the early 2000s.

Bargain Hunters 1 | Meet the auctioneer: John Rolfe
The late Fred Wedlock (left) with Dave ‘Rolfey’ Rolfe filming for HTV West’s The Bargain Hunters at Castle Combe Circuit’s car boot sale in 2002. Picture: Matt Bigwood.

As a treat every Sunday John was dragged along to car boot sales where the only saving grace was the opportunity to buy old Star Wars figures with his pocket money and from then on he became hooked on collecting. In later life these Star Wars figures paid the deposit on John’s first house!

John Rolfe Auctions 4 | Meet the auctioneer: John Rolfe
That’s the way to do it! John Rolfe and Saleroom Manager Ali Lidbetter with an antique Punch and Judy set that will feature in the next sale sale. Picture: Matt Bigwood.

In early adult life John endured five ‘depressing’ years working as a civil servant before gratefully being made redundant. In need of a proper job, he took a part-time role as a porter at Gardiner Houlgate auctioneers in Corsham, and the rest is history.

John decided to go it alone last year and John Rolfe Auctions was born. The new state of the art saleroom at Babdown Airfield near Tetbury has become an instant hit for its original interior design pieces, good Swiss watches and a decent cup of coffee all delivered with a smile and John’s terrible jokes.

John Rolfe Auctions | Meet the auctioneer: John Rolfe
John Rolfe in his show room at Babdown.

The next auction, The Fine and Fancy February Sale, will be held on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th February and includes vintage watches, silver and jewellery, Modern Art and Design and a fantastic antique Punch and Judy set.  

John Rolfe Auctions

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