Lawrences of Crewkerne

Lawrences of Crewkerne is a Somerset auction house which can trace its beginnings back to the early nineteenth century. The business has 12 specialist valuers who provide valuations for sales, probate, family division and insurance.

Lawrences of Crewkerne hosts a number of sales every month. The sales are dedicated to different fields such as books, maps, manuscripts, decorative antiques and fine arts, clocks, furniture and rugs.


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Amazonian ambitions

22 September 2004

RIGHT: translated by William Hamilton, the 1661 first English edition of Blaise François de Pagan, the Comte de Merveilles’ Historical & Geographical Description of the Great Country and River of the Amazones in America..., contains this important folding engraved map showing French ambitions in the area.

Lucy Clifford’s correspondents

22 September 2004

OFFERED as part of a Lawrences of Crewkerne sale of July 6 was ‘The Valehouse Collection of Letters to Mrs W.K. Clifford’. Though little read nowadays, ‘Lucy’ Clifford was immensely popular in late Victorian and early Edwardian times and was even classed with Edith Wharton, Joseph Conrad and H.G. Wells as one of those whose books “will never die”.

Psalmanazar the Formosan fraud

22 September 2004

BOUND in contemporary panelled calf, a 1704 first of An Historical & Geographical Description of Formosa..., the two folding engraved plates (of 16 in all) torn but skilfully repaired, realised £600 in a Lawrences of Crewkerne sale of July 6.

1657AB02G.jpg

Amazonian ambitions

22 September 2004

RIGHT: translated by William Hamilton, the 1661 first English edition of Blaise François de Pagan, the Comte de Merveilles’ Historical & Geographical Description of the Great Country and River of the Amazones in America..., contains this important folding engraved map showing French ambitions in the area.

Poor Laws

09 September 2004

IN a Lawrences of Crewkerne sale of July 6, a 1678 first (in full panelled calf) of Some Proposals for the imploying of the Poor. Especially in and about the City of London. And for the Prevention of Begging, the only known publication of the philanthropist Thomas Firmin, was sold at £1100.

Continental touch helps bureaux sell

09 March 2004

ALONG with most examples of standard furniture, 18th and 19th century bureaux are not bringing the prices they were a couple of years back and vendors are having to adjust expectations in order to find buyers. Nevertheless, more unusual examples, or those with an extra degree of quality, still meet enthusiastic reactions and it was interesting to see two 18th century Continental walnut bureaux among the higher sellers at Lawrences' (12.5% buyer's premium) February 3-5 sale.

Surry Triumphant ...but a Kentish riposte brings the greater score

02 February 2004

EXCEPTING the Norwich Union (one-day) cup that the team picked up a couple of seasons back, trophies for Kent County Cricket Club have been a bit thin on the ground in recent years. By today’s county standards, a St Lawrence (Canterbury) gate of 4000 is considered a good one and – though Sussex picked up the county title last year – today it is Surrey that remain the side to beat.

Adam Revival occasional tables sell for £22,000 each

22 October 2002

The firm of Wright & Mansfield (1860-86) are often cited as the instigators of the Georgian Revival and, unlike many of their contemporaries who produced Victorian pastiches of earlier styles, are renowned for their craftsmanship, using high quality materials for accurate recreations of the Adam and Sheraton style – often difficult to distinguish from the 18th century originals.

American collector catches his £9800 Wave after 30-year wait

14 August 2002

CONDITION is a prime concern in the 20th century print market but occasionally images come on the market that are so rare and so striking that condition concerns take a lower priority – particularly if the buyer has been searching for such a piece for 30 years.

Tinworth’s Prodigal Son turns up to a welcome in Crewkerne

24 July 2002

“Full of fire and and zealous faculty breaking its way through all conventionalism to such truth as it can conceive” – thus was the forthright opinion of John Ruskin on seeing George Tinworth’s collection of eight terracotta panels of biblical scenes at the 1875 Royal Academy Exhibition.

Winners at Lake Lugano and Brooklands

14 June 2002

The German painter Hans Purrmann (1880-1966) is described by Bénézit as an artist who was heavily influenced by Matisse (with whom he had contact in Paris from 1906-1914), but who lacked the greater artist’s “sense de lumière et de la couleur”.

Chelsea fable painted part-tea service

22 March 2002

A series of strong bids brought a total of £51,900 for a Chelsea fable painted part-tea service at Lawrence’s of Crewkerne on March 14.

Winifred’s winner

15 February 2002

Rise of Winifred Nicholson goes on apace with amazing bid of £100,000 for portrait of Ben: Over the last two or three years Winifred Nicholson (1893-1981), the first wife of Ben Nicholson, has become an increasingly significant figure in the Modern British market, culminating in the record £52,000 paid last July at Phillips for one of her trademark window still lives.

Lawrence’s to close Taunton rooms and consolidate at Crewkerne

28 November 2001

Somerset auctioneers Lawrence Fine Art will close their Taunton salerooms on December 21 and stop holding monthly sales at Crewkerne.

When tea sets are to silver trade’s taste

31 October 2001

As every silver dealer knows, the value of standard Victorian three-piece tea sets has gone down, not up, over the past decade. But introduce a fashionable style to the casting, and the price will inevitably soar.

A glimpse of stocking excites novelty market

12 October 2001

While classic silver chugs along at prices scarcely unchanged since the ’70s boom, novelty pieces provide the market with a buoyant area. The 90-lot silver section offered at Crewkerne on September 13 by Lawrences (15% buyer’s premium) saw only nine fail to get away and no casualties among the novelty pieces from abroad.

Is ebony the new black?

20 August 2001

Ebony furniture is not to everyone’s taste, but a fished-out brown furniture market and a couple of colonial sleepers in the regional salerooms recently has prompted speculation that the black stuff could be due for a revival.

Heaven from manor – ‘also rans’ help earn a crust

14 August 2001

“Good but second-rate Old Master paintings bought for their images rather than their names” was an accurate enough assessment by auctioneer Richard Kay of the pictures on offer in Lawrence’s (15% buyer’s premium) July 16 sale of the contents of Horsington Manor, Templecombe, Somerset on July 16.

Smit and Wolf switch roles when dealing with big cats

26 February 2001

UK: ILLUSTRATED on the front page of last week’s Antiques Trade Gazette was one of of 79 coloured litho plates by Smit and Keulemans after the original charcoal drawings by Joseph Wolf, the brilliant ornithological artist to whose “unrivalled talent” Daniel Giraud Eliot dedicated his two volume Monograph of the Phasianidae, or Family of the Pheasants of 1870-72.

View of Venice at the Entrance to the Grand Canal

21 February 2000

UK: While the art market has been quieter in the provincial salerooms since the New Year, an exception was provided by this oil on canvas View of Venice at the Entrance to the Grand Canal, which appeared at Lawrence's of Crewkerne on February 17.

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