Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood

Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood was established in 2009 when two companies, Bearne’s and Hampton & Littlewood, combined to create an auction house with expertise in fine art auctions and valuations. Bearne’s had been set up in 1945 and Hampton & Littlewood in 2001.

The company covers the south-west of England – Cornwall, Somerset, Dorset and Devon and holds regular auctions from its saleroom in Exeter.


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Bonnie Prince Charlie candle snuffers come to light at auction in the West Country

06 November 2008

A PAIR of silver 18th century Dutch candle snuffers thought to have been a gift from Bonnie Prince Charlie sold for £9800 at Hampton & Littlewood of Exeter on October 30. Measuring 8in (20cm) high, the snuffers and holder were passed down through the MacDonald family to the descendant who entered them for auction.

Bearne’s forced to withdraw Byron lots

05 November 2007

BEARNE’S have been forced to withdraw a large number of lots relating to Lord Byron from their November 7 sale.

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Napoleon wins a late victory at £60,000

10 July 2006

An early 19th century boxwood and bone Napoleonic prisoner-of-war model of the Third Rate 74-gun HMS Mars fired a shot across the bows at Hampton & Littlewood's (15% buyer's premium) Maritime Sale in Exeter on June 21 when it set a new house record of £60,000.

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Partridge acquire sleeping Regency table at £96,000

13 March 2006

This exceptional Regency centre table shot to £96,000 (plus premium) at Bearnes of Exeter on March 1.

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Dealer discounts condition for the right names and places

15 March 2005

by Alex CaponMARKET-FRESH pictures in good condition by major names...meet all three of these criteria and success is virtually assured. And, as was evident at the March 1 sale held in Exeter by Bearne’s (15/10% buyer’s premium), two out of three ain’t bad.

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Uniform success for bedspreads

16 September 2004

Two very different 19th century bedspreads at Hampton & Littlewood's (15% buyer's premium) July 28 sale underlined Christopher Hampton’s belief that the importance of collectables today cannot be over-emphasised.

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Gueridon sets a £12,000 riddle after ‘scramble’ for summer sale

08 September 2004

DEVON, with its old wealth and influx of well-heeled retired couples, can provide a rich hinterland, but summer can still mean a bit of a scramble to find enough quality material to offer at Bearne’s (15/10% buyer's preimum) fine quarterly sales at Exeter.

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Bidders alerted to Bazzani

09 June 2004

THE catalogue at Hampton and Littlewood’s (15% buyer's premium) April 28-29 sale may have been a model of its kind but even Homer nods… and Mr Hampton did so while “late-night cataloguing” this sentimental little group, right.

Fashion and other optical illusions

22 April 2004

Though the catalogue did contain a selection of antiquarian and collectable books of a general nature, the March 31 sale held by Hampton & Littlewood of Exeter was notable for two specialised collections – the Ron Morris collection of magic lanterns, optical toys and related books and ephemera, and the collection of costume and fashion books formed by the late Janet Hill.

Trade now show greater confidence

06 April 2004

THE strength of this Bearne’s (15/10% buyer's premium) March 2 & 3 Devon outing lay in the 72-lot furniture section, although the fairly routine ceramic selection was also notable for a high take-up by lot and some healthy prices. What turned out to be the two star furniture lots were given cautious catalogue entries and estimates which reflected a knowledge of the current wariness among specialists about the numbers of altered, or overly restored, pieces of furniture peppering the market.

Golden pheasants weigh their worth

19 August 2003

Furniture can usually be relied upon to be the biggest money spinner at provincial auctions but some good quality consignments of reasonably estimated and fresh-to-the-market ceramics furnished this tri-annual fine sale at Bearne's on 1-2 July with some of its most interesting and most commercial entries.

Lund's Bristol pail makes £18,500

11 March 2003

The little underglaze blue decorated cream pails or piggins made by Lund’s Bristol around 1750 are very rare specimens of English porcelain. Only six examples are known to exist, three of them now in museums, so West Country auctioneers Bearne’s were very pleased to offer this 23/4in (7cm) wide example, which they discovered in a local, private Devon house during a routine insurance valuation.

Oh what a beautiful mourning

30 October 2002

The fastest growing area of the jewellery market, mourning apparel has become “hot property in the past 12 months”, says Jethro Marles of Bearne’s. Pointedly excepting the sort of heavy black jewellery produced in large quantities during the post-Albert period, he says that the material that has doubled in value over the past year is the earlier, more delicate mourning jewellery of the sort shown right.

£12,500 Nelson outranks artist

17 July 2002

In the portrait miniature market the sitter is considered less important than the painter – but sometimes even a famous artist like Henry Bone, enamellist to the Prince Regent and the author of this miniature, right, can be superseded by their subject.

18th century blue ground imperial vase

12 July 2002

This vase may have come from relatively humble surroundings but the London trade had no doubt that it was fit for a king. The 18th century blue ground imperial vase, 133/4in (35cm) high, was offered at Bearne’s, Exeter on July 2.

25 lenses put Exeter in the world picture

23 May 2002

Major photograph sales are usually confined to London and New York salerooms, but since selling the Earl Craven family archive of daguerreotypes last year Bearne’s of Exeter (buyer’s premium 15 per cent) are now on the international circuit.

A spin-off from the PoW industry

21 February 2002

NOT the priciest offering at Exeter auctioneers Hampton & Littlewood (15% buyer’s premium) on January 30, but undoubtedly the most interesting was this early 19th century automaton right, made from bone.

Architectural Adornment

26 September 2001

ISAAC WARE’S Complete Body of Architecture, a calf bound 1768 edition illustrated, or rather “adorned” with engraved plates of “...plans and elevations from original designs... in which are interspersed some designs of Inigo Jones”, was one of a small group of architectural books that brought most of the higher bids in this Bearne's sale on 21 August.

It's pot black for Fenton

23 May 2001

UK: This month has been a vintage one for photographic images in the UK, with over £4.5m netted between the four sales held in London and Exeter at Sotheby’s, CSK and Bearnes between May 10 and 12.

First we had Craven A, now comes Craven B…

26 March 2001

UK: West Country auctioneers Bearne’s of Exeter made headline news last May when they sold a collection of vintage 1850s photographs from William, 2nd Earl of Craven for £1.4m.

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