Memorial party for David Elswood to be held in Lewes

A memorial party is to be held in Lewes on Friday 8 November for David Elswood, the charismatic director of wine at Christie’s auction house.

David pictured alongside a line-up of top Bordeaux in the Christie’s dining room

Organised by his son Daniel, who has followed in his father’s footsteps and works as an auctioneer at Catawiki, the memorial will celebrate David’s life.

Taking place at The All Saints Centre in Lewes, the memorial will be a drop-in event between 4-9pm, allowing attendees to stay for as long or little as they can.

“We will be serving food and drinks and welcome all those who wish to attend who knew David,” Daniel Elswood told db.

A hugely popular member of the wine trade, David Elswood died last month aged 61 from throat cancer.

He joined Christie’s in 1985 and quickly rose up through the ranks to become the international head of Christie’s wine department, where he played a pivotal role in developing the house’s position as a key global player in the fine wine auction sphere.

He led the team as international head of wine sales and principal auctioneer until 2017, when he became senior international consultant for the department.

A larger-than-life character, David was at the rostrum for some of the house’s greatest wine sales and helped to grow Christie’s connection with the Hospices de Beaune auction.

Charlie Folie, a wine auctioneer at Christie’s who was mentored by David, said: “To me he was an inspiration and a mentor who was able to light up a room upon entering it, make a firm friend when meeting a stranger, and spot a glass of Rioja at 100 yards.

“The wine trade has lost one of its leading lights, Christie’s has lost it’s most energetic gavel master and I have lost the most decent, upstanding and supportive boss I could ever have wished for.”

Paul Bowker of Wilkinson Vintners, a close friend of David’s, added: “David was an exceptionally talented specialist – an excellent taster and an outstanding auctioneer. One of that extremely rare breed who are able to combine technical excellence with enormous flair and, above all, humour.

“His very funny asides during the most serious of wine auctions were legendary and it was this flair and humour that saw him carve out a long-standing niche as a much sought-after charity auctioneer

“I witnessed him many times at UK charity auctions coaxing that one extra bid out of an unsuspecting audience. His modesty, kindness, charm and above all his sense of humour brightened up any tasting, lunch or dinner that he was at.”

Members of the trade who would like to attend the memorial should email Daniel Elswood: deelswood@gmail.com or call him on: 07720 709 044.

The All Saints Centre, Friars Walk, Lewes BN7 2LE, is a short walk from Lewes train station.

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