David Lay

David Lay are a firm of fine art auctioneers and valuers based in Cornwall. Founded in 1979 by David Lay, they hold regular auctions at the grade II listed Penzance Auction House.

The business often deals with private collections such as the contents of the Pendarves Library which they sold in 2013. Other areas of expertise include Oriental works of art, prints, collectables and books.


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Cryséde shawl in demand

27 September 2021

Alec Walker (1889-1964) created Cryséde fabrics as a small experimental silk-printing firm in Newlyn in 1920.

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Mathematician’s descendant adds up to a new highest sum in the saleroom

27 September 2021

A small flurry of recent good prices for Australian artist Herbert Ivan Babbage (1875-1916) continued at David Lay (18% buyer’s premium) in Penzance, Cornwall.

William Black

St Ives artist re-appears at auction in Cornwall

21 June 2021

William Black is a little-known member of the St Ives artist group who, having been an architect after the Second World War, worked as an artist in the town following an inheritance in the early 1950s.

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Princess Di on ‘the Boss’ – the queen

19 April 2021

A group of some 40 letters and greetings cards sent in 1990-97 by Diana, Princess of Wales, to her good friend Roger Bramble sold for almost £70,000.

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Rare Swansea porcelain all white to buy

05 April 2021

Experiments with porcelain at the Swansea factory began in 1814 with the arrival of William Billingsley and Samuel Walker from the Nantgarw China Works.

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Knight might and awesome foursome

15 February 2021

Quartet of West Country works featured in the same sale as our £105,000 cover star

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Beryl Cook market boost: highest auction price for 12 years

15 February 2021

The highest auction price for 12 years for Beryl Cook (1926-2008) was posted at David Lay’s recent fine art sale.

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Pick of the week: So what am I bid for my great-great aunt?

08 February 2021

A nude study by Dame Laura Knight (1877-1970) found plenty of admirers when it appeared at the latest fine art sale held by Penzance saleroom David Lay (18% buyer’s premium).

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Dod and Gluck stand out in Penzance

12 October 2020

Works by two Modern British female artists whose stars have been rising commercially over recent years topped the bill at the latest fine art sale held at David Lay (18% buyer’s premium).

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Rich variety of printed material sold in Cornwall auction

31 August 2020

Extensively interleaved with scholarly notes and running to over 700pp, a Japanese and English Dictionary compiled by JC Hepburn was a notable rarity in a Cornish summer sale.

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Promotions and appointments at Bonhams, Swann Galleries and David Lay

08 July 2020

An update of moves and appointments from across the art and antiques industry.

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Auctioneers in Dorset and Cornwall benefit from vendors with close links to famous artists

06 July 2020

Consignments from vendors with a close connection to famous artists are always a welcome boon for any auction.

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Local scenes lift Cornish art offered in Penzance

06 July 2020

As might be expected, local scenes were an important feature of David Lay’s Cornish art sale on June 11. Among them was a view of Penzance’s Market Jew Street by Norman Garstin (1847-1926) that depicted a location only a 10-minute walk from the saleroom.

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A Constable sketch, a Hornby locomotive and The Wind in the Willows first-edition are among the five lots to watch at auction this week

29 June 2020

With estimates from £700-20,000 here are five previews of upcoming items this week.

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Life after lockdown in the art and antiques world - in pictures

27 June 2020

Auction houses, dealers and antiques centres have begun to reopen their premises to the public. All have taken steps to ensure buildings are ‘Covid-secure’ with new layouts, hygiene regimes and occupancy restrictions.

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Dod Procter's high brow oil takes £26,500 in Cornwall art auction

22 June 2020

The stand-out lot at David Lay’s latest Cornish art sale was an oil by Dod Procter (1891-1972), a leading member of the colony of avant garde artists working in Cornwall in the 1920s-30s.

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Pick of the week: Exceptional shodana shows super details

02 March 2020

David Lay’s (18% buyer's premium) second stand-alone Asian art sale held in Penzance was topped at £65,500 (estimate £3000-5000) by this shodana made in Meiji period Japan, c.1890.

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Affordable art: Three works sold for under £1250 including a Marjorie Bruford oil

17 February 2020

Three modestly valued works selling at regional sales including a Marjorie Bruford Cornish village scene.

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Good resort result for travel poster in Penzance

09 December 2019

A collection of vintage travel posters included a number with the added advantage of local appeal when offered by Penzance auction house David Lay (18% buyer’s premium).

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Harold Harvey's Kit keeps her intense appeal

02 December 2019

When this portrait of a young woman was first exhibited in the early 1930s, critics remarked on its “intensity and vital quality”, “the charming head” and the “wonderful life-like expression”.

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