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The move represents a return to Taunton for the Crewkerne auctioneers, who operated a saleroom in the town for six years before it closed in 2000.

The deal, formally announced by both companies on May 10, effectively sees Lawrences acquire the Taunton auction operation from Greenslade Taylor Hunt, one of the South West’s leading estate agents.

Lawrences will now hope to expand their consignment sourcing area, while making use of their larger set up and greater specialist expertise.

Within the next couple of months, a new series of better quality weekly sales will be launched at Magdalene House in Taunton under banner of Lawrences at GTH.

There will also be sporting sales and (yet to be announced) specialist sales, held in Taunton, but items sourced in the area that are deemed suitable for Lawrences’ fine art sales will be sold in Crewkerne.

The fine art sale at Greenslade Taylor Hunt scheduled for May 31 has now been cancelled.

Chris Flower, who currently oversees the Taunton area for Lawrences, will be appointed as director of the rebranded saleroom. Simon Jones, currently saleroom manager in Crewkerne, will also move to Taunton.

Keith Amor, a long-time Greenslade Taylor Hunt employee, will remain at Taunton for the foreseeable future.

He was left in charge of the saleroom following the departure late last year of Luke Macdonald, who has since joined Cambridgeshire auctioneers Cheffins as West Country representative.

By Alex Capon