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.


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.

The Craven collection of photographs

23 May 2000

UK: OVER half the images in the Craven collection of photographs offered by Bearne’s in Exeter on May 6 were by William, 2nd Earl of Craven.

A seascape by Gustave Le Gray sells for £250,000

22 May 2000

UK: THE first week of May saw a rash of specialist photograph, auctions break out in England but the cream of the crop was a single-owner sale of vintage photographs collected by William, 2nd Earl of Craven (1809-1866), at Bearne’s in Exeter on May 6.

From a Ligurian Spring springs to £330,000

13 March 2000

From a Ligurian Spring by Henry Herbert Lathangue (1859-1929) sold for £330,000 plus 15 per cent premium at Bearne’s Spring Seasonal Sale, Exeter on March 1.

Short’s Stygian Poison

19 April 1999

Bearnes, Exeter, March 23 Buyer’s premium: 15 per cent UK: HIGHLIGHTS of this sale included Thomas Short’s Comparative History of the Increase and Decrease of Mankind in England... and also a Meteorological Discourse, 1767, which, in the process of assembling historical and medical information, advocates early marriage and denounces alcohol as ‘a Stygian poison’. It sold at £100.

Jewel-studded stockbroker belt with an armorial silver star

12 April 1999

UK: WHEREAS auctioneers in less densely populated areas of the UK such as Scotland, Wales and the West Country, consistently lament the dearth of good quality consignments, this is not a common complaint at Hamptons’ Surrey saleroom.

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