Lawrences of Crewkerne

Lawrences of Crewkerne is a Somerset auction house which can trace its beginnings back to the early 19th century. The business underwent a management buyout in 1992 led by Helen Carless who became managing director. The firm was then acquired in 2022 by Swedish online auction platform Auctionet.

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


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Great Exhibition game unites nations on wooden blocks

24 July 2017

Purchased at the Great Exhibition of 1851, the ‘Industrial Exhibition of All Nations’ jigsaw type game shown here sold for £1350 at Lawrences (22% buyer’s premium) on June 16.

Happy birthday to Dickens 12 years late

17 July 2017

The Charles Dickens Birthday Book, edited by his eldest daughter, Mary, and illustrated by his youngest, Kate, was published in 1882, 12 years after the writer’s death.

Fifteen years a slave: a pirate prisoner

10 July 2017

A June 16 sale at Lawrences (22% buyer’s premium) of Crewkerne included theological works from the library of Edward Tottenham (1810-53), a cleric whose parishes were in Bath and Wells.

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Asian art textiles: the uncut market for court dress

05 June 2017

For the most important ceremonies and rituals, high-ranking Chinese officials along with the royal family would don the chao fu or full court dress. At the Qing court a whole range of garments and paraphernalia were associated with the chao fu – a hat, collar, necklace, girdle and boots – but the most important were the chao pao and jifu, the court robes. Their use was restricted to high-ranking officials and persons.

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Travels into the art ‘twilight zone’ amid Brexit and election market turbulence

08 May 2017

Brexit, rising inflation and now the distraction of a snap general election has left a feeling in the picture trade that the good start to the year may begin to fade.

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Pick of the Week: Bovey pottery figure of Joseph Stalin in British bidding battle

24 April 2017

The Bovey Pottery Company, closed in 1957, would have passed into collecting history without incident had it not been for the ‘Our Gang’ collection of figures.

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The early bicycles taking design beyond the Boneshaker and Penny Farthing

19 April 2017

Boneshakers and Penny Farthings were the forerunners of the bicycle we know now but were hardly practical as everyday transport for the masses. Step (or pedal) forward the ‘safety bike’.

Rich seams for dealers and auctioneers from Portuguese ‘golden period’

18 April 2017

From noble jewels to semi-precious gems, a show in May will celebrate a ‘golden period’ of Portuguese jewellery in the 18th century. Here we preview the exhibition and then present other recent and forthcoming sale highlights.

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Lawrences backs Camden Town Group display

18 April 2017

Lawrences of Crewkerne is co-sponsoring a major new exhibition of works by the Camden Town Group which runs at the Museum of Somerset in Taunton until July 8.

Chinese vases

Chinese sleepers awake at Crewkerne and Cambridge auctions

11 April 2017

Auction house Lawrences of Crewkerne is no stranger to stand-out objects from China after a remarkable vase sold at 150-times its estimate in January.

Police phone box

Police phone box calls for bidders at Somerset auction

06 April 2017

Police memorabilia collectors and phone fans could be tempted to dial in to a Somerset auction offering a rare Metropolitan Police phone box.

Silver-gilt candelabrum centrepiece

Silver linings: previews from the upcoming season

18 March 2017

From small-scale miniatures to intricate, elaborate pieces, we preview silver highlights from upcoming auctions and fairs both in London and the regions

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Meccano sets build up interest in Somerset auction

16 March 2017

'The youth of today are stuck inside playing computer games getting square eyes' is a familiar refrain from the old and often grumpy, such as, er, me. However, in the not-so-distant past it was Lego keeping kids fixated indoors and before that, the marvels of Meccano.

Helen Carless and Lady Carnarvon

Auctioneers negotiate private sale of ‘Downton Abbey’ photographs

27 February 2017

A photo album giving a glimpse of late 19th century life in one of Britain’s most distinguished country seats is heading back home.

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Rare slides sold at auction reveal scenes from 1922 British Everest Expedition

13 February 2017

THESE days climbing Everest is a bit old hat. Don’t get me wrong – people still die in the attempt and it is a massive achievement – but more than 4000 people have climbed the world’s highest mountain since it was first conquered in 1953 by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay.

Lawrences' Chinese vase

Imperial sleeper – Chinese vase makes 150-times estimate at Somerset auction

26 January 2017

Drawing spectacular bidding at Lawrences of Crewkerne, this rare Chinese altar vase was knocked down at over 150-times estimate at the Somerset saleroom’s latest fine art auction. It was thought to have been specially commissioned by the Qing court for ceremonial use in palaces and temples.

Highclere Castle in Hampshire

19th century photographs of the ‘real Downton Abbey’ to be auctioned

12 January 2017

A photograph album of the ‘real Downton Abbey’ has been revealed after 120 years and will be up for auction next month.

Australian gold rush era bracelet

Review of the Year 2016 - Picks of the Year

29 December 2016

Here are five of ATG's ‘best of the best’ picks of the week from 2016 – all remarkable both for their price and the stories they tell.

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Vesta match cases fire up auction interest at Lawrences in Somerset

14 December 2016

Most collectors have a burning passion. For John and Patricia McKenzie, the items that fired their interest were vesta cases, the small portable boxes made to contain matches and keep them dry.

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Provincial silver packs a £17,000 punch

22 July 2015

This rare Irish provincial silver punch strainer took £14,000 at Lawrences’ latest sale in Crewkerne. Dated to c.1740-60, it is struck twice for Joseph Johns, one of only a handful of silversmiths working in Limerick in the middle of the 18th century.

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