Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

Now owned by locally-based recycling businessman Geoff Thompson, Cottees' commissions for buyers have been slashed from 16.5 per cent to 10 per cent, while their standard rate for vendors has been cut from 17.5 per cent to 10 per cent.

Senior auctioneer John Condie told ATG: "We hope this will generate new business. We already saw some new faces coming in for the sale last week."

Mr Thompson, who runs W&S Recycling and has a long-standing connection with the Wareham auctioneers, takes over from former directors Jeni Bullock and William Grounds.

With other auction houses in the area having closed down, they are also looking into new ways to attract business.

"We're keen to take advantage of all the visitors who come down to Dorset," said Mr Condie. "People don't always have time to attend sales when they're working, but when on holiday they might be more willing to attend viewings and put in bids."

Cottees have also looked into the increasingly common practice of staging Saturday sales.

"We already hold our toy sales on Saturdays, and we're now doing the same with a special Poole Pottery sale," said Mr Cottee. This sale is scheduled to take place on Saturday October 14 and they are currently taking consignments.

By Alex Capon