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Distancing Laws Gather in Bidders from Around the World...

27th July 2020

Lawrences held their first week of Fine Art sales since the easing of lockdown and the auctioneers were delighted to report great successes despite rigorous social distancing regulations. 

“We have always loved to draw good crowds to our sales,” says the firm’s Managing Director, Helen Carless. “A throng of bidders in a saleroom creates a brisk atmosphere and sales go well as a result. Last week, we were careful to enforce the strict distancing procedures and we imposed close monitoring of numbers coming into the building. During the auctions, chairs were placed at least two metres apart,  and we did not permit more than forty people in the room at any one time. Thankfully, our clients were very compliant and they understood fully the gravity of the situation.”

With over 2000 lots on offer across three long days of auctioneering, some vendors might have been anxious that such limitations would suppress bidding but this was not the case. “On the contrary,” says Helen. “We welcomed absentee bids, telephone bidding and live online bidding through two specialist platforms that allowed people from all over the world to join in. In a great many cases, this resulted in an eager flurry of bids. So, despite the saleroom being less full than normal, we had some terrific results across all three days. The unsold rate was remarkably low: well over 85% of the lots on offer found buyers and, as so often happens, we had the pleasing outcome of delighted vendors as well as delighted buyers. Buyers spent over £1.1 million, so it was a very pleasing outcome all round.”

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5 stars

“Congratulations on what looked like a very successful sale ! You never mentioned that you did the auctioneering as well ... talk about doing the whole job ... see it into the building, find out what it is, decide if it’s for the Fine Art sale or the General Sale, lot it and describe it accordingly, and then sell it ... that really does count as seeing the job through from start to finish! Whilst the job isn’t over yet, it really is a case of so far, so good ... some items have sold for sums that exceeded our expectations, with one item in particular fetching a truly remarkable sum, so we’re very happy indeed... we’ve noted how accurate the guide prices are ... and how gratifying it is when the bidding goes sailing past the guide ! I found the whole week to be both gripping entertainment and pleasingly rewarding financially. Please accept my sincerest congratulations for a job well done, and we’ll look forward to the October and November Sales with bated breath ...”

Andrew P

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