Freeman’s concept for the auction house came about via a friend who complained about how hard it was to sell stuff through auction in Hong Kong. Surprised to hear this, Freeman tried to put some items up for sale himself, just to see what would happen, and as it turns out “although there are things that are easy to sell in Hong Kong there wasn’t a venue for what I’d say ‘normal stuff’ to be sold. I said to myself, ‘Well, heck I can do this. It’s not that hard.'”
Most of the items at Gresham’s falls in the range of HK$1,000 to HK$100,000, or what’s called the middle market. Any higher than that and it gets the interest of Christie’s and Sotheby’s. Any lower than that and it would appear on GeoExpat.
“There are two levels of auctions. There are the three major international houses – Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Bonhams. Then a number of very specialised auction houses do only wine or stamps or coins or Chinese works of art,” says Freeman. “Nobody is a generalist. If you want to sell a 1950s mid-century design desk, you’re going to be very hard-pressed to find somewhere that can sell it.”
Hong Kong’s Middle Market Goes Under the Hammer (South China Morning Post)