Eldred's - Auctioneers, Appraisers

In Memory of Robert C. Eldred, Jr.

Dear Friends and Clients: 

It is with a heavy heart that I share the news of my father’s passing at the age of 72. 

Bob Eldred spent his life and career at the same pace: full speed ahead. He had an intense work ethic, an insatiable appetite for discovery, and an unparalleled passion for the antiques auction business.  I don’t think he ever woke up in the morning not wanting to go to work. He absolutely loved what he did each day. 

Bob joined the firm in 1969 and became its president in 1978, after the retirement of the company’s founder and namesake, Robert C. Eldred, Sr., Bob’s father and my grandfather. Over the course of his career, Bob helped Eldred’s navigate from its humble beginnings as an estate auction firm to its place now as one of the preeminent houses in the country.

While he would obviously get excited about the big “hits” and the opportunity to sell high-profile collections, he was just as happy hunting through the rural attics and damp basements of New England for that elusive relic of the whaling age or an overlooked lost masterpiece. He was most excited to find things he had never seen before – things that required him to retreat to his vast personal library of research books to unravel their mystery. 

It was all about the journey for him, and more important than the objects he unearthed were the countless friendships he discovered along the way. He particularly loved to see his friends during auction exhibits, where he would whisk them around, proudly showing off his favorite items while regaling them with his latest batch of jokes. 

For Bob, antiques were not only a tangible connection to history but also an infinite bridge to the future. Every deal and every find created new stories and new friends. It is in these stories where Bob can best be remembered. I hope you will share a memory or two with us, either by writing them below or emailing me directly at josh@eldreds.com. My mother, my sister and I would love to hear from you. Over the coming months we will post some of these anecdotes and photos here on our website. 

My father was one of a kind. I will miss his friendship, mentorship and love, but I know his spirit will live on through his countless friends and clients. I hope to see you all at the auctions. I will not be wearing “whale pants” or a bow tie, like he always did, but I will be doing my best to honor his legacy and keep the stories alive.


Josh Eldred

January 19, 2016

Below a young Bob, Jr. holds up an item his father is auctioning, and an image of Josh Eldred spotting bids for Bob.


Submit your memories of Bob

Please send us your thoughts and memories of Bob Eldred. Feel free to submit a photo too. If your photos are too large, or you wish to submit more than one, please email us directly at info@eldreds.com

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