The first of the seasonal mistletoe auctions at Tenbury Wells was held on Tuesday this week (second one is next Tuesday, 28th Nov). It featured fewer mistletoe lots than I’ve ever seen at these auctions. I’ve been attending these annually for over 30 years, so it was a surprise, actually quite a shock. Many many holly lots, but very little mistletoe.
It’s not completely clear why so little was there. One partial explanation may be that it is the first auction, and traditionally the second (and until a few years back the third, now discontinued) has more stock, so fewer lots, at this one, are expected. But not this few.
Another factor, difficult to gauge, is that the auctioneer system now won’t pay out in cash – and that does, according to many I spoke to, deters some sellers who don’t want the sales to go through their bank accounts! This issue first arose last year and there was a hint of subdued selling back then but, again, not this much. So whether that is to blame isn’t clear – it doesn’t seem to affected the holly sales, but mistletoe harvesting is, er, sometimes somewhat ‘unofficial’ and some would-be vendors may want their payment to be similarly unofficial.
The crowd seem to be smaller than usual too – but it was unclear whether that was due to fewer buyers or fewer onlooking sellers! Demand seemed reasonably good, and indeed may have been boosted by the fewer lots, with more competitive bidding. Prices were, relatively, good for the mistletoe, especially for the first auction – it will be interesting to see many lots are available at next week’s auction – and how prices compare! Some pictures below – loads of holly, very much eclipsing the mistletoe.
More about mistletoe… lots of mistletoe info on the main website here
And, if you want to grow your own, take a look at the mistletoe grow-kits available (and on offer for the rest of this month) to order from the English Mistletoe Shop here.