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Bamfords founder and auctioneer James Lewis, who is aiming to enter the Guinness World Records for staging the longest-ever continuous auction.

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Two Guinness World Record officials will attend and validate the auction to be held at two Derbyshire venues, starting on Friday, June 21 – the longest day of the year.

The auction begins at 6.30pm on June 21 and ends at 8pm on Saturday, June 22, with Lewis continuously on the rostrum, aside from comfort breaks.

Proceeds from the sale of some 1000 donated lots will go to wildlife charities the Born Free Foundation and International Gorilla Foundation, of which Lewis is a patron, and to elephant charity Tusk. 

“We’ve had a lot of bad press over ivory recently, but hopefully this event will show that the auction world cares about endangered species,” Lewis told ATG.

He added: “The world of antiques is the most environmentally-friendly in terms of recycling and we need to shout about that.”

Lewis is planning a global version for next year, hoping to recruit auctioneers in different countries to host an auction for their chosen environmental charities on a single day in 2020.

Second run

It is the second time James Lewis has mounted a marathon charity auction.

In 2013, he raised nearly £60,000 by selling 2000 donated lots over 26 hours in aid of ten local and national charities. It was acknowledged as a world record for continuous auctioneering.

That auction was hosted on the-saleroom.com which also provided its bidding services without charge. The forthcoming sale in June is again supported by the-saleroom.com and parent company Auction Technology Group, owner of ATG.

In four parts

The auction on June 21 will have four main sections, starting with Bamfords’ own jewellery sale from which the commission will be donated, followed at 10.30pm by a general sale of donated items estimated at less than £100.

The event moves to Holme Hall in Bakewell for the final section, an African-themed evening at which 60-80 key lots, including holidays and experiences donated by celebrities such as Martin Clunes, will be auctioned.

Pupils at the S Anselm’s prep school in Bakewell will help raise money by acting as porters and taking bids.

Antique ivory campaign

Lewis has courted controversy in the antiques world by supporting tighter UK restrictions on selling antique ivory. The restrictions are now enshrined in the Ivory Act, due to come into force later this year.

During the parliamentary process of the ban becoming law however, Lewis campaigned to increase the act’s ivory de minimis exemption to 20% – it remains at 10% – and successfully for ivory miniatures to be exempted from the ban.

Unique Auctions

Unique Auctions believes its auctioneer Terry Woodcock should be recognised for his marathon efforts on the rostrum. During its 9th New Year’s Day sale earlier this year he offered 1501 lots over 14 hours and 20 minutes of continuous ‘live’ auctioneering. Its 10th New Year’s Day Auction is already scheduled for January 1,  2020.