Auctioneer Spotlight: Ian and Lydie Hamlin

 In Cruise Art Auctions at Sea, Peter Max, Uncategorized

Many of our Park West collectors develop friendships with the art teams over the course of their land or sea vacations. Here’s a chance to get to know them more as they share their favorite adventures in the art world.

Ian Hamlin, principal auctioneer, is originally from Johannesburg, South Africa. Currently, he resides in Kloof, just outside of Durban, with his wife and Auctioneer Assistant, Lydie. During their vacations in the summer, they visit Lydie’s hometown of Koberice, Czech Republic. Ian and Lydie have been working at sea since 2007. Not only are they swashbuckling art auctioneers, but Ian has climbed some of the highest mountains in the world.

Ian and Lydie looking sharp after a day in the gallery. Photo credit: Ian Hamlin

Ian and Lydie looking sharp after a day in the gallery. Photo credit: Ian Hamlin

Previous ships as Auctioneer: Carnival Cruise Lines (CCL) Triumph, CCL Victory, CCL Freedom, CCL Dream, CCL Legend, CCL Miracle, CCL Magic, Celebrity Reflection, Celebrity Equinox, Celebrity Silhouette, and Celebrity Eclipse, and Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas
Current ship: Celebrity Solstice

What do you like most about being an auctioneer?
Ian: I enjoy being surrounded by some of the worlds’ greatest artists, being right on the edge of the newest and greatest artist discoveries and, most importantly, being able to make the art world accessible to everyone to enjoy and collect.

Who is your favorite Park West artist and why?
Ian: Peter Max has to be my number one, for many, many reasons. Besides the fact I love his work, I love it specifically for what he and the artwork stand for: making the world a better place for everyone. I admire his philanthropy and his creativity. Most of all, I love his use of color. It’s so simple, so unique and so Max!

What is your favorite guest memory?
Ian: What does spring to mind is a young boy by the name of Joel. He and his family cruised with us on the Celebrity Reflection. At the age of 11 he immediately hit it off with both Lydie and me, and subsequently attended every event we held that cruise. Eventually, he dragged his dad and mom into meet us and they fell in love with a couple of very special works. At the end of the cruise we “high fived” and he left with his family.

One year later, I was sitting in the gallery on the Celebrity Equinox and in comes a slightly older Joel. Needless to say, first auction, there was Joel in the front row, beaming with excitement and anticipation. This time he had even managed to drag his dad along, who I got to know better. We both have a passion for watches. By the end, his parents expanded their collection with two incredible works of art. Even if they had decided not to collect art that cruise, Joel would still be a highlight of our career.

I am still in contact with both Dad and Joel. His dad let me know that Joel actually chose an art history course in school due to the art world being opened up and made accessible to him via Park West Gallery.

Ian and Lydie enjoying Hout Bay Beach in Cape Town. Photo credit: Ian Hamlin

Ian and Lydie enjoying Hout Bay Beach in Cape Town. Photo credit: Ian Hamlin

What has been your favorite port?
Ian: With a 104 countries the choices are almost endless. The highlights are rushing to see as much of New York as we can every time we are there, the Choo Choo bar in Warnemunde in Germany for the greatest bratwurst, San Juan for the best martini ever, and Aruba for ceviche.

Can you tell us about your climb up Mt. Everest?
Ian: We climbed to Everest base camp, via the Sumit of Kala Patthar, one of the peaks in the Himilayas. I got the bug after climbing the highest mountain in Africa: Kilimanjaro. Next, I decided I would climb to Everest Base Camp. To reach the summit costs a fortune and you run a 10 percent chance of dying even with preparing for a year. Coenrad Willemse, another art auctioneer, was my only friend who was brave enough to join me.

In September 2013, we started our epic adventure by flying into Lukla. We landed on the side of a mountain in one piece and started our trek up to base camp. We spent 15 days on the mountain in breathtaking beauty with minimal oxygen at over 4800 meters (15,700 feet). We summited a peak near base camp, Kala Patthar at 5545 meters (18,200 feet). Afterwards, I got the second flight out of Lukla to Kathmandu and was home for mine and Lydie’s wedding. Then it was a whirlwind honeymoon in the United Kingdom and back to the ships!

Auctioneer Spotlight

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Showing 12 comments
  • Hugh and Alison Meikle

    Ian and Lydie opened our eyes to the possibilities of artwork, and made our cruise so memorable. Thank you.

  • Judy Tomko

    Ian was the auctioneer at my first auction on the Magic a few years ago. He was fantastic and I enjoyed his presentations so much I would do again just to see him (I did buy a few pieces as well)It was informative and entertaining, he was perfect.

  • Sandy Len EDELSTEIN

    The best of the best that’s what I have to say about Ian and Lydia!!!!!!!!!! Very knowledgeable very enthusiastic and very exciting they made our trip extraordinary. A big thank you to them wishing them many years of love and success you were lucky to have them as part of your team!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Charley Tallman

    I really enjoy these pieces. It would be nice if you had this bio type piece for all of your teams for customers to view.

  • Alan Morgenstern

    Hi Ian and Lydie,

    Nice article. Elaine and I wanted to let you both and your staff, that we really enjoyed getting you know you all. Elaine has just an electrician to create just the perfect setting for those next 2 pieces. With Elaine buy stuff is easy, it’s all the things we does to show off things that really cost me the most money.

    Hope your adventures are full of fun and nice folks. We will be traveling around the world ourselves again this year. Maybe well run into in some strong and exotic settings,

    Best to you and Lydie,

    Alan and Elaine

  • Bill Shepard

    I have sailed with you twice. You are a great host and advisor. Loved meeting your bride. Looking forward to seeing you again. Love the Russian…..4 pieces on the wall.

    Celebrity Silhouette last cruise in November… You and the Mrs were great. Hope to see you again.

    Bill Shepard

  • Chris garber

    My husband and myself met Ian and Lydie on Celebrity’s Reflection. We both were impressed with Ian’s sincere and very energetic qualities as well as the playful comradarie between he and Lydie. My husband became very involved with the auctions and we bought not only a Mouley but also a Max. We have been to other ships auctions but Ian and Lydie stand out for great education and interactive auctions. We hope to sail with Ian and Lydie again. Side note: Ian looks identical to our cousin…maybe next cruise they’ll meet?

  • Elaine & Alan Morgenstern

    Alan and I just wanted to say hi to you both. Actually, since I got sick the day before we retuned to port on Celebrity’s Shilloute on Jan 4th, I never got a chance to tell you both how nice it was to meet you and how much we enjoyed the auctions and your friendliness. We’re looking forward to the arrival2 of the Rembrant and Max that we purchased on the cruise. Remember, we’ll be contacting you later on down the road for some info on an Africian Safari that we’d like to take, maybe next summer, 2016. if you don’t remember us, we’re the couple who bought the Titanic Watch while visiting St Maarten. Regards from Alan and take care. Elaine

  • Leonard Zajd

    Excellent story. I hope you are on our cruise in January 2016 aboard the Carnival Valor. We look forward to your future auctions.

  • Leonard Zajd

    super story. Always a treat to read about the auctioneers on our cruises. Thanks

  • Rob and Susan Buchheit

    We loved traveling on Celebrity Silhouette across the Atlantic in November and meeting Ian and Lydie. They were a delight and so passionate about their artwork! We already love art, but we learned a great deal through the auctions from Ian’s teaching. We LOVE the Tarkay that is currently hanging over our fireplace! Special thanks to Ian and Lydie and team for the added serendipities and laughter.

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