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Called Hambleton Auctions, the firm will deal in general goods and antiques including silver, porcelain, furniture and paintings from across the North of England.

“Vectis has been very successful and has grown to be the largest auction house in the world dealing with collectable toys,” said Vicky Weall, general manager of the Vectis Auction Group. “We were constantly asked by local people if we could auction a wide variety of items, so that is exactly what we have decided to do.”

She added: “The sales will be held once a month at a special auction room that we have built on our premises at the Teesside Industrial Estate at Thornaby, and we hope to attract items from a wide geographical area from North Yorkshire, Teesside, Durham, Sunderland and Newcastle.”

The auctioneer for the new house will be Keith Calvert who has been in the auction business for the last 30 years and used to run the well-known and successful Stockton Sale Rooms.

“The success of Vectis has been the ability to get the best prices at auction for our clients,” said Keith who has worked for Vectis for the past five years. “We are going to follow the same formulae here and we have appointed a number of antique experts to look after different areas of collecting.”

Two years ago Vectis took over all toy sales from Sotheby’s and has since expanded in the last eight years to a business which will this year turn over £5m.