Cheffins has rebranded with a new logo and website. Image: Cheffins.

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The company dates from 1825, with its fine art department launching in 1982.

“The new logo, corporate colours and website gives us a sharp new identity and makes us more instantly recognisable,” Cheffins said in a statement.  

The italicised Cheffins green-on-white logo has been replaced with a sans-serif, upper case font, white-on-navy and orange.

Cheffins said the rebrand and new website followed a client survey and re-evaluation of the company’s future direction and objectives, a process that took two years.

"We're a very diverse business with different requirements and the challenge was to establish a brand to appeal to all those audiences, including fine art," Cheffins chairman Bill King told ATG at the launch this morning (Friday, February 15).

Bill King

Cheffins chairman Bill King at the launch of the rebrand.

"We decided if we were going to change we wouldn't do the 'Harrods tweak' but rather something that people could see was different." 

King said that Cheffins, which claims to be Europe's largest auctioneer of agricultural machinery, was committed to its fine art department, which had sales of £9.83m in 2018, up from £9.4m in 2017. 

"Fine art boosts profile"

"Fine art complements what we do across our auctioneering divisions and gives us a high profile around the country and the world. Unlike our estate agency business, for instance, our fine art sales are global," King told ATG.

He added that fine art had delivered the firm's single highest auction price in 2018 – a canine portrait by Giovanni Francesco Barbieri known as il Guercino, which sold for £570,000 in March – trumping a steam engine sold by its machinery division. 

Il Guercino painting

‘Study of an Italian Cane Corso’, a 22in x 2ft 6in (56 x 76cm) oil on canvas by Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, known as Il Guercino, which sold at Cheffins of Cambridge for £570,000.

"We obviously compete with Sworders and other local auctioneers but for a provincial auctioneer, we're punching above our weight," King said.

The Barbieri portrait was the year’s top-priced Old Master in the regions.

“Easier online access”

Market research had revealed that fine art clients in particular found the firm's former website and its multiple entry points "confusing," Cheffins' marketing director Sharon Hamilton told ATG. "Each division, including fine art, is now easier to access and we've improved the quality of pictures too."

The new website emphasises Cheffins’ asset management services across commercial and residential real estate, agriculture and fine art. 

The firm will auction a £300,000 collection of Mod Brit art from Hertfordshire council in March.