"One of the UK's principal Fine Art Auctioneers, with General Sales,
Fine Art Sales, Collectors Sales and Sporting Sales"
With over 200 years of combined experience, our 12 Specialist Valuers are able to offer professional valuations for Sales, Probate, Insurance and Family Division.
Free Valuations are available Monday mornings in Crewkerne and Friday mornings in Taunton.
Alternatively, home visits can be arranged.
We have team of specialists constantly on hand to value items and they can be contacted below:
Helen started her career at Saatchi and Saatchi in London, rising to become a Director in charge of the Renault account at Publicis. After her marriage in 1987, she moved with her husband back to his native Dorset where they set up a successful wholesale wine business. In 1988 she began working with Lawrences as a consultant eventually being appointed Managing Director and in 1992 she led a Management Buyout. The wine business continues to thrive under new ownership, her husband is now a partner with Symonds and Sampson and her two children Henry and Izi can be seen helping out at the auction rooms.
Anthony has been a director of Lawrences for twenty five years and enjoys living and working in the West Country.
He catalogues the objects of Vertu but has a wide general knowledge which keeps his interest in many fields and he enjoys the research that can make all the difference to a successful sale.
Anthony has had the enjoyment of finding some exciting things in the course of his work. A recent valuation for a long standing client in Scotland unearthed a 17th century Map of North America and Canada. The map was both rare and valuable in showing early Colonial settlements and was bought for £203,150. The fact that it was lying forgotten beside some water tanks in an Aberdeenshire attic makes it one of those charmed discoveries that he will not forget!
Chris joined Phillips Auctioneers in London in 1977 and within a few years progressed to the valuations team. He had regular valuation responsibilities for the North & West London region. During the 1980's he helped initiate & set up quarterly Piano Sales which became very successful. By the early 1990's Chris had moved to the Bayswater auction rooms in West London as Manager.
The two large sale rooms here sold secondary antiques & works of art not suitable for sale in the Bond Street showrooms and the turnover increased to £60,000 - £80,000 per week.
In 1993 Chris joined Lawrences where his extensive and varied experience was ideally suited to a lively large & busy provincial saleroom. He has developed the weekly sale and undertakes & co-ordinates the majority of the valuation work. He has expanded links with solicitors & other professionals. He is now in his 34th year in the auction world.
Richard joined Lawrences in 1999, having previously been an Associate Director at Phillips Auctioneers where he oversaw picture sales and valuations for the firm in Central Southern England. Following a degree in the History of Art at the University of St. Andrews, he began his career at Sothebys in 1987. Richard worked in their salerooms in Chester, Sussex and London for nearly nine years, focusing on British and European pictures and prints.
Since joining Lawrences, Richard has achieved great successes with works by artists as varied as John Atkinson Grimshaw, Winifred Nicholson (for whom Lawrences held the world record auction price for almost a decade) and William Heath Robinson. A recent highlight was the £154,000 obtained for a group of just six Grosvenor School linocuts from the early 1930's, achieving some world record prices that have yet to be beaten.
Richard is a regular lecturer, devising talks for study days at Lawrences on themes as varied as Mona Lisa and Minimalism and also speaking to NADFAS and Sothebys Institute of Art amongst many others. He has been a regular contributor to Antique Collecting magazine for 20 years.
Alexis Butcher, Antique Silver Specialist began his career in Warwick in 1984. He joined Phillips Auctioneers Silver Department in 1987 and became an Associate Director of the firm. He then went on to run the Silver Department at Christies in South Kensington before moving to the West Country and joined Lawrences in 2009.
Alexis is a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths and a Member of The Antique Plate Committee.
One of Alexis' recent highlights was cataloguing a Pair of Elizabeth I Silver Armada Dishes which sold recently at Lawrences for £140,000 hammer price. Alexis particularly enjoys cataloguing early silver spoons and has handled several collections here at Lawrences with a most recent highlight being a rare James I West Country spoon made in Barnstable circa 1610 selling for £13,000 hammer price.
Miranda’s first job was with an art gallery in Bond Street, she then moved to Christie’s where she worked for eight years. She joined the jewellery department at Lawrences in 1999 and has been the jewellery specialist for the past seven years.
A stunning collection of jewellery which had lain forgotten in a bank vault for thirty years came to light. The highlight of the thirty lots offered for sale was an emerald and diamond necklace by the Bond Street Jewellers S. J. Phillips. This sold for £100,000 and is a record for a piece of jewellery sold at Lawrences.
Simon has been with Lawrences for fourteen years, starting in the General Saleroom as a Porter before becoming an Auctioneer and Valuer. His particular interests include Collectors and Sporting items and 19th and 20th Century Design, a combination which makes his work both varied and interesting. His interests in 19th and 20th Century Design include Moorcroft Pottery, Lalique, Clarice Cliff, Whitefriars Glass, and Doulton Pottery. Last year he sold a rare Lalique Scent Bottle for £6,050, which attracted world wide interest.
He particularly enjoys meeting clients on the large number of home calls he does every year, always with the possibility of finding something exciting. A visit last year unearthed a fascinating collection of Brooklands Motor Racing Memorabilia, including silver trophies, original artwork and photographs from the 1920’s.
Simon also conducts a large number of valuation days throughout the South West and recently discovered a rare Jumeau doll which the owner had won in a raffle some 50 years before which sold for a remarkable £7,880.
Trains are another interest of Simon’s with recent sales including the largest section of trains Lawrences has ever sold, amongst them being an Arnold Cole Collection of early models and scratch built engines which realised over £12,000.
Robert joined Sotheby‘s Sussex in 1984, working initially as a gallery porter. The following year was he transferred to the Book Department, serving an apprenticeship under Simon Heneage. Robert spent the next seven years developing his knowledge of antiquarian and modern books, sourcing material for quarterly sales from across Sotheby‘s regional network. In 1991 he began working as an independent consultant, providing expertise for Hamptons Fine Art, Sotheby‘s and John Bellman Auctioneers, where he established a series of regular and successful book sales. He joined Sotheby‘s London full-time in 1994 as Head of the General Book Department, becoming a Deputy Director in 1998. Since 2001 Robert has lived and worked in Somerset, where he is Managing Director of a specialist publishing company.
Jeffrey Day has been a consultant for Lawrences since 1989, responsible for the Collectables Department (with Simon Jones) encompassing medals, coins, arms & armour, stamps, sporting guns etc. He is an after dinner speaker, historian, charity fundraiser and retired cricketer.
His unique local knowledge of the West Country, combined with its military past is extensive, from well known local families to their memorials or their gallant military deeds. He has contributed to modern military publications of the Great War or the early days of flying.
His extensive library and unceasing research culminates in factual and informative catalogue descriptions. Jeffrey started his collecting in his early years whilst at boarding school, and now has at least 50 years of knowledge at his fingertips.
Harriet Cunningham has followed a passion for fabrics and textiles for many years and has a qualification in Fine Art & Printing. In 2005, she opened a small vintage clothing shop in the front of her house in Lyme Regis. ‘Sublyme Vintage’ was a treasure trove of antique clothing and offered beautiful 1930’s and 1940’s dresses.
In 2012 Harriet moved on to set up a Vintage Clothing department for a Dorset auction house, selling labelled couture clothing for high prices in the collectables market. Harriet is currently accepting entries of clothing, lace, embroideries and tapestries. It is surprising what may be found in wardrobes, trunks and attics!
Having trained as a General Practice Surveyor, Neil fine tuned his training by studying the Fine Art Valuation Degree at Southampton Institute, during which time he worked as a Porter at Bonhams, Chelsea. Upon completing his degree, he joined Bonhams’ Ceramics and Glass Department, where he became joint Head of Department before moving to their Midlands Valuation Office. Two years in the East Midlands were followed by seven years developing and running an Auction Room in Bakewell, Derbyshire, as well as qualifying as a Chartered Antiques and Fine Arts Surveyor. The last five years have seen Neil working as an Independent Antiques and Fine Art Valuer and Auctioneer, carrying out Professional Valuations for Insurance, Probate and Sale at Auction as well as working on a consultancy basis for a number of Midlands Auction Houses. Neil is in the process of relocating to Sherborne with his wife and two children and enjoys swimming and sailing and hopes to take up tennis again, having been in the youth training squad for Kent as a teenager. Neil has owned several classic Triumph cars and would love to own a Jaguar XK140 or XK150.
Andy joins us having recently migrated south (escaped) from the West Midlands. He obtained his degree in French Studies at the University of Birmingham in 2011 and then spent the next three years heading up the General Saleroom of a Birmingham-based auctioneers. He can now be found either on the road visiting clients or in the saleroom working alongside Neil in the furniture and ceramics department. Having spent some time living in Paris, Andy has a keen interest in French culture and history and will visit France as often as possible with his fiancée Nell – he says for research purposes, we believe it’s actually just for the food and wine. A motorsports enthusiast, Andy travels the country with friends following any racing series they can find. If, by chance, they find themselves in the pub afterwards...well, then, so be it.