New recruits for Lyon & Turnbull South. From top to bottom: Lee Young, Mary Axon, Mark Stacey, Carolyn Warrender, Matthew Barton.

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As we await the official announcement of Bonhams' new saleroom in Edinburgh, rival auctioneer Lyon & Turnbull have announced further plans South of the Border. Five new members of staff have been appointed who will help source material for two art and antiques sales a year in England.

The creation of Lyon & Turnbull South represents the evolution of an idea that began with the appointment of the first L&T representatives for the English regions in 2003 - including Robin Barlow and James James-Crook - and the opening of a London office at 11-12 Pall Mall in 2006.

The five new appointments, effectively doubling L&T's presence in the south, include four familiar names from the south east auction scene.

Working primarily in Sussex and Kent is Mark Stacey, formerly a senior valuer and director at Dreweatt Neate Hampton's, while covering Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire will be Matthew Barton, former deputy director for Sotheby's in Olympia and Sussex.

Lee Young, who spent five years heading up the furniture department of sister company Freeman's (and continues to work closely with the Philadelphia firm) will be based in the Pall Mall office.

In Norfolk and Suffolk, is Mary Axon. She arrives from Bonhams where she was regional director and picture specialist for East Anglia.

An appointment that underlines L&T's commitment to brand building is Carolyn Warrender who, as a key figure in the creation of Laura Ashley's Home Furnishing division, brings over 30 years experience in business development, design and marketing.

The relationship between the new employees and L&T is described as a venture partnership (a business method used by sister company Freeman's of Philadelphia in states on the Eastern seaboard), with each individual encouraged to work independently whilst upholding the values of the brand that L&T are keen to create.

The team will be led by Christopher Elwes, ex-chairman of Bonhams and Christie's South Kensington, who is working as a consultant.

Two £1m art and antiques sales are planned for 2008, the first at the Assembly House, Norwich on July 9-10. The location of the inaugural sale - a resurrection of the 'fine sales in fine places' idea employed by Phillips - reflects the early consignment of a collection of East Anglian pictures.

Similar venues tailored to vendor's needs will be used in the future.

L&T are becoming known for their high-profile marketing when selling collections - including Drambuie in Edinburgh (£3.2m in January 2006) and Keith Skeel at Loudham Hall, Suffolk (£2.1m in June 2007).

January 10, 2008 saw them conduct their first sale in London: the £850,000 sale of the Deloitte collection from the Royal Academy. Contemporary art specialist Ben Hanley told ATG that, after their March auction in Edinburgh, future biannual contemporary art sales will staged in the capital.

By Roland Arkell