Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood

Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood was established in 2009 when two companies, Bearne’s and Hampton & Littlewood, combined to create an auction house with expertise in fine art auctions and valuations. Bearne’s had been set up in 1945 and Hampton & Littlewood in 2001.

The company covers the south-west of England – Cornwall, Somerset, Dorset and Devon and holds regular auctions from its saleroom in Exeter.


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Going, going, gone over the edge

20 May 2024

Cristian Beadman, chairman of Exeter auction house Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood and valuer on 'Antiques Roadshow', abseiled down the north tower of the city’s cathedral on May 4 as part of a fundraiser for a new cloister gallery.

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Steele shows his mettle in the North West Mounted Police

01 April 2024

This North West Mounted Police hat badge caught the attention when Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood (25% buyer’s premium) of Exeter sold the remaining personal effects of Canadian soldier and policeman Major General Sir Samuel Benfield Steele KCMG CB MVO (1848-1919) on March 19.

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Stand-out works on paper underline appeal of rarities from notable names

18 March 2024

If you wanted to sum up the current state of the watercolours and works on paper sector in a single sentence, you might say something like ‘flatter than ever for general works but exceptional lots routinely generating strong interest’.

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An Evelyn De Morgan drawing is among five lots to watch

15 January 2024

With estimates from £100, here are five previews of items coming up at auction this week.

Victorian travel album

Indian and Egyptian travel photo album takes sensational £135,000

11 December 2023

An impressive result emerged at Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood on December 5 when a travel album titled The Ramblings and Adventures of an Indian Officer was knocked down at £135,000.

Waverley typewriter,

Pick of the week: Short production window is key to typewriter’s rarity

27 November 2023

The writing was on the wall for the Waverley not long after it entered the market in 1895.

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Antiquities lots turn heads in salerooms

25 September 2023

This carved marble portrait head of a youth shown here is Roman and comes from a tightly dated period of the 2nd century.

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Carry off a smaller clock by maker of Big Ben fame

04 September 2023

Dent and Co is one of the bestknown names in English horology with a long history of precision clock and watch making.

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Homemade receiver ‘picked up news of the Titanic disaster’

10 July 2023

Interest in wireless telegraphy, that was piqued when Guglielmo Marconi successfully sent a message from Poldhu, Cornwall to St John’s, Newfoundland in 1910, prompted many amateurs to build and develop their own sets based on the ‘Coherer’ principle for sending and receiving Morse code.

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From Bombay to Crackpot Farm

26 June 2023

Widely varying plans outlining a faraway harbour and a slice of rural Yorkshire bring saleroom surprises

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How pictures ‘attributed to’ or ‘after’ an artist can still attract plenty of interest

06 February 2023

The market for ‘after’ or ‘attributed to’ works is often rather unpredictable. While some works will inevitably fall flat at auction, others sometimes take off.

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Later Tate director also made a good impression as an artist early on

06 February 2023

If this painting of a farmhouse in Brittany seems reminiscent of a piece of French Impressionism, that’s probably no coincidence.

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Mystery lot goes from £40-60 guide to £24,000

16 January 2023

A December 6 auction in Exeter was dominated by a lot estimated at just £40-60 but sold instead at £24,000.

New hires and promotions

Hindman’s CEO hire and a new owner for Bainbridges: promotions and moves across the world of art and antiques

10 January 2023

The latest Movers & Shakers including a new CEO at Hindman and Adam Partridge acquiring Bainbridges in Ruislip.

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Bidders desperate for daguerreotypes

12 December 2022

Found in a cigar box during an attic clearance and taken to Exeter auction house Bearnes, Hampton & Littlewood (25% buyer’s premium), seven framed daguerreotypes in poor condition provided one of the better sleepers of the year on November 22-23.

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Picture specialist hails ‘very encouraging’ multi-estimate prices for old-school landscapes

21 November 2022

A clutch of good-quality traditional landscapes exceeded hopes at Exeter saleroom Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood (25% buyer’s premium).

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How to figure out the two-tier market for Doulton HN series

31 October 2022

A selection of Doulton HN series rarities sold at three regional salerooms this month.

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Young sitters stand out despite lack of identification

29 August 2022

Among the lots catching bidders’ eyes in the last few months were a number of intriguing portraits that came up at sales in south-west England.

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Diamond pendant was gift from a rear admiral

04 July 2022

The Summer Sale at Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood in Exeter on July 13-15 includes this mid-Victorian colour change sapphire and rose-cut diamond pendant.

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With this marriage chest I thee wed

23 May 2022

Translating simply as ‘a box with drawers’ but so much more exotic than that, a rare Spanish Renaissance caja con cajones was the outstanding lot at Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood’s (25% buyer’s premium) quarterly fine art sale in Exeter.

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