04/04/2024     General News

Nigel Whitfield

With deep sorrow and profound regret, we announce the passing of our beloved photographer, Nigel Whitfield.

Nigel and I met in 2012 when he was hired to photograph the quarterly catalogue sales at Thomas Watson’s auction house in Darlington. I remember our first meeting clearly – and undoubtedly so did he – because I trapped his finger in the door of a hefty Victorian wardrobe. Back then, he was too polite to utter a word in protest, but as our relationship flourished, I suspect he may have had a few things to say had such a situation repeated itself!

When I left Thomas Watson in 2018 to set up my own auction house, Nigel came with me and was fabulous in supporting the new venture. It is largely down to him that the quality of our images has always been so high, but he was also a mainstay for the growing business – ever willing to help with day-to-day tasks, even moving furniture.

When COVID came along, he helped keep the business going through those long lockdown months. COVID changed the landscape for auction houses; browsing and bidding went almost entirely online, and the expectation moved from single to multiple images per lot. I confess to not being the easiest person for a photographer to work with, but Nigel just got it; he understood the objects and what I would want from them. He was a fine, technical photographer with an undisputable artistic flair.

Above all, Nigel was a true gentleman. He was a gentle, courteous man who was always free for a friendly chat and keen to offer a helping hand. He made a lasting impression on all of us at Elstob auctioneers and was a hugely respected and valued team member. It was a privilege and honour to have worked with him; he will be deeply missed.

Our thoughts are with Nigel’s wife Alison, daughter Jennifer and his extended family at this sad time.


David Elstob