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.


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’.

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.

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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.

Ye regall power and Ecclesiastical power

29 September 2004

IN a 19th century binding of blue straight grained morocco, a 1548, first English language edition of Bishop Edward Fox’s The True Dyfferes between ye regall power and the Ecclesiastical power, translated from Fox’s 1534 Latin original by his friend and admirer, Henry, Lord Stafford, was sold at £1400 in a July 6 sale held by Lawrences of Crewkerne.

Welsh history continued

29 September 2004

IN rebacked old panelled calf, a 1584 first edition of Welsh historian David Powell’s “corrected, augmented and continued” version of the Historie of Cambria, now called Wales left in manuscript form by Hugh Lhuyd, was sold for £1350 in a Lawrences of Crewkerne sale of July 6.

Justices of the Peace

29 September 2004

BOUND in full calf, a 1579-80 edition of John Kitchin’s The Authoritie of al Justices of Peace... was sold for £700 in a Lawrences of Crewkerne sale of July 6.

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.

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.