Wednesday 23rd May, 2018
One of the UK's principal Fine Art Auctioneers, with General Sales, 
Fine Art Sales, Collectors Sales and Sporting Sales


The new year has started on a strong note with the first series of Antiques and Fine Arts sales netting over £1 million. The sales were helped, in no small part, by the inclusion of items from large country houses.
Cefntilla Court, the family home of Lord Raglan in Monmouthshire since the 1850’s; and the 17th Century Limington House, near Yeovil  home to the Anderson Family since 1936.
“Buyers at auction are becoming more and more interested in good provenance,” says Lawrences’ Managing Director, Helen Carless. “We notice a considerable uplift of interest when we can specify that lots have come to us from a distinguished private home. Collectors like the trail of family history, the freshness of the antiques to the market place and the honest, original condition of many of the works on offer. The celebrated dispersals of famous house contents are far less frequent than  they used to be but we are delighted to have attracted such appealing collections to Lawrences. The strength of our in house expertise, our careful and efficient administration of complex clearances of old properties and the remarkable outreach that a good internet presence can attract has yielded terrific results for our vendors. We have had bids from five continents in sales this year.”
Lawrences’ spring series of auctions are already looking very promising with consignments from Trent Manor, near Sherborne, from the collection of Sir Thomas Hohler, KCMG, CB, the contents of a large property in East Sussex; the contents of two apartments in Central London; and a property in East Sheen. Items from these properties and others include the best collection of English furniture that Lawrences have offered for sale for a decade (estimates from £500-10000), two Chinese Rhinoceros horn Libation Cups (estimate £2000-3000 each), a selection of French furniture from the 18th and 19th century (estimates from £500-£4000), a broad range of Oriental Ceramics and Works of art (estimates from £100-£1500) and a 16th Century Continental silver mounted coconut tankard (estimate £2000-3000).
Entries are invited for our Spring and Summer Fine Art auctions.  If you have anything you wish to be entered alongside, you still have until Friday 26th February 2016 for our April Fine Art Sale.


Lawrences’ bi-annual auction of books, maps, manuscripts and photographs in Crewkerne always comprises a vast assortment of lots and their recent sale had the added benefit of containing the principal contents of two fascinating libraries that boosted the auction total to one of the highest of recent years: Limington House, near Yeovil yielded 61 lots that made £29,180 and Cefntilla Court in Monmouthshire yielded 95 lots that made just under £50,000.

Early surprises included the 1830’s game of `The Tour of Dr Syntax in Search of the Picturesque`, an unusually complete parlour game inspired by the illustrations of Thomas Rowlandson. Especially rare for being so complete after nearly 200 years, the game made £2,920. Two superb lots of photography re-established  the firm’s successes in this field (Lawrences achieved £173,000 for a group of photographs by Felice Beato in January 2014). This time, an album of 79 photos of mainly amateur photographs of China and Peking dated to about 1887 and took £4,020 whilst an important series of 24 late 19th Century large panoramic views of Kashmir by Vishi Nath attracted considerable interest from international collectors. The lot had been found in a cupboard at Limington House and its potential was recognised immediately by Book Specialist, Robert Ansell. It was bought on the telephone by a Continental bidder for £10,980.

From the library of the Lords Raglan at Cefntilla Court, Monmouthshire came a lot containing a diary by Lt Col. R. E. A. Hamilton relating his travels from Kuwait in late 1917. With eight other volumes in the lot, the price soared to £17080. An album of important autograph letters  contained letters from Charles Darwin, Rev. Charles Dodgson (`Lewis Carroll`), Charles Dickens, Florence Nightingale and Sir John Everett Millais. The album had passed by descent in the family of Sir Richard Bagallay and Violet, Lady Bourdillon, wife of the Governor of Nigeria. After determined bidding, the album was bought for £14,640. A further highlight towards the end of the 520 lot sale was a collection of letters and documents from the archive of the publishers and booksellers Cadell and Davies. This just exceeded its high estimate to make £5,360.