Country Auction on the Pittsboro – Goldston Road in Chatham County North Carolina: Auctioneer’s Call and Response








Top: The ringman holds a yellow pole next to a red-painted disc harrow, and looks behind for a bid.  His hand is held shoulder high at the ready.  If the man behind him who has bid before nods again, the ringman will raise his hand higher, as if grabbing for something, and call “yeah!” in a loud, almost incoherent shout. 

The younger gentleman calling as the auctioneer wears a microphone headset.  He stares down the other current bidder, fishing for another bid with the call, “Hundred here, hundred here.  Can I get one ten?  One ten? Hundred ten?”  His hand is also raised just below shoulder level, his fingers curled inward.  When the bidder in his view raises his card, the auctioneer will extend his fingers and arm, point towards the bidder, and yell “One ten!  I have one ten.”

People crowd in tight, not all bidding, to see the tool up for bid.  Keen interest abounds as to what each tool sells for.


Middle:  Bidding now complete on the disc harrow, the auctioneer moves to the next item, a double row shear bolt plow, painted green.  A clerk, standing in the background to the left, records the bidder number and each final bid as the sale price.  While smaller items such as box lots are sold under the tent, she records purchases on a computer.  Now, out in the field, she reverts to a pen and clipboard.

While the auctioneer coaxes a higher price out of a bidder just out of view, the ringman points and calls the higher bid from a man standing in the back of the throng of bidders.  A rusty cultivator in the foreground awaits its turn.


Bottom: The auctioneer tries to keep the bidder, a young farmer in green shorts, in the bid for the shear bolt plow.  The last bid has come from the man standing in back.  The auctioneer focuses on the young farmer.  His left palm up, he flutters his fingers, as if to coax the bidder towards him, and calls, “Eighty!  I have eighty.  Now.  Eighty-five.  Eighty-five? Eighty-five?  Anyone at eighty-five?  Eighty-five?  Eighty.  I have eighty going once! Going twice?  Eighty-five? Sold!  To number….one thirty-six, the shear bolt plow.  Eighty dollars.”


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