Duke's

Duke’s Auctioneers, established in 1823, is one of Dorset’s oldest businesses. From the premises it moved into in July 2015 in Dorchester, the firm holds a number of auctions every month.

Duke’s sales specialise in fields such as ceramics, glass, Asian art, furniture, jewellery, silver, militaria and coins.


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Duke’s take £1.7m for Fra Angelico saints

23 April 2007

after months of pre-sale coverage in the media, the two recently rediscovered panels of Dominican saints from Fra Angelico’s celebrated 1438-40 high altarpiece for the Church of San Marco in Florence finally came under the hammer at Duke’s of Dorchester last Thursday, when they fetched £1.7m.

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Your Books, My Son – £730,000

12 March 2007

SIR Harry Newton (1871-1951), whose library provided some of the finest things in a £730,000 book sale held by Duke’s of Dorchester on March 8, was an adherent of the old ‘Cabinet’ school of collecting – buying key works of literature and science.

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At £36,000, this is something to spout about

26 February 2007

This Chinese turquoise ground ewer, standing just 73/4in (19.7cm) high, belongs to a group of ritual wares specially commissioned by the Qing Court for placement on Buddhist altars. Their function was for ceremonial use in palaces and temples either within the Forbidden Palace or Bishushanzhuang in Chengde.

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Fra Angelico panels set to make provincial art record

20 November 2006

The discovery of two small panels by Fra Angelico (c.1395-1455) in a semi-detached house in Oxford ranks as one of the most remarkable art finds this country has ever witnessed.

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Oak remains a strength in tough times for furniture

09 March 2005

Duke’s, Dorchester, January 27Buyer’s premium: 15 per centOAK furniture’s rustic aesthetic and its ability to complement modern interiors, has kept it in demand by private buyers and decorators as well as oak dealers, and prices have tended to hold up during the furniture doldrums.

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Duke’s bid for a larger market share with new second saleroom

20 October 2004

DUKE'S of Dorchester are opening a new auction room to allow them to improve their handling for house clearance and deceased estates among other services.

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Finn Trust sales at the double

08 September 2004

RIGHT: this suite of Victorian silver gentleman’s dressing table bottles is among 200 lots donated from Dorset homes that will be sold for charity at auction on September 18.

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Provincial silver

01 September 2004

PICTURED here are two outstanding pieces of provincial silver sold in the country during August.

Big provincial auction houses do well in 2003

05 January 2004

Despite a year that saw substantial declines in brown furniture prices and a tailing off in the demand for general silver, most of the UK’s top provincial auctioneers held steady in a difficult market.

Rex Whistler leaves home as John Parnaby sells up

15 July 2003

Most celebrated for his murals in the café at Tate Britain, Rex Whistler (1905-1944) was also a fine draughtsman and illustrator as is shown in this pen, ink and watercolour drawing, Netherhampton House in the County of Wiltshire, right

£900,000... Sweet Charity begins at dealer’s home

30 June 2003

Netherhampton House, a wonderful Queen Anne home in Salisbury, was the venue for Duke’s English Country House sale on 16 June. Rented from the Pembroke estate since 1990 by dealer and collector John Parnaby, the elegant stone property operated as both a home and a showroom for Mr Parnaby’s business, Victor Mahy Antiques, specialists in 17th and 18th century furniture and works of art.

George III pair of mahogany hall benches

02 May 2003

Sourced from a small church in the West Country but apparently once part of the furniture at William Beckford’s splendid Fonthill Abbey, this George III pair of mahogany hall benches (one shown) were the highlight of Duke’s sale in Dorchester on April 17.

Rare frontier scene makes £35,500

03 April 2003

Peter Rindisbacher (1806-1834) was a Swiss-born artist who was the first Western artist to leave a significant visual record of colonial frontier life in Western Canada during the early 19th century.

Duke’s uniform success

22 October 2002

This full dress uniform of an officer from the Duke of Wellington’s West Riding regiment, right, was an important diversion from the main proceedings at Duke’s auction in Dorchester. Under normal circumstances this would have been a standard lot of textile militaria for the trade, but this uniform actually belonged to the sixth Duke of Wellington and had passed by descent to the vendor.

Rare English porcelain mug

01 October 2002

After some research Guy Schwinge of Duke’s in Dorchester discovered this rare English porcelain mug to be an early piece of Worcester and not Bow as originally catalogued.

Rich pickings as Dorset's quality vendors include Australians now

23 September 2002

THE sales figures from Duke’s sale August 15 & 16 (buyer's premium: 15 per cent) would look good at any time in the year but coming in the high summer for a sale of silver, jewellery and furniture, they were particularly pleasing for auctioneer Matthew Denney.

Wellington’s other heroic duke who gave his life in battle…

23 September 2002

THE heroic exploits of the first Duke of Wellington in defeating Napoleon at Waterloo must be among the best recorded events in British military history.

Dutch treats from the stately white elephant…

13 August 2002

THE WEST Country is not the antiques wilderness it is sometimes painted but a relatively sparse population means that auctioneers cannot simply rely on local solicitors to provide the deceased estates. Networking the landed gentry at cocktail parties or hunt meetings is part of the social round for any flourishing local auctioneer and such contacts regularly pay dividends for Duke’s rooms in Dorchester.

Carter and Co. plate

15 May 2002

PRE 1921 the Poole pottery firm, one of the most innovative of the 20th century British potteries, was known as Carter & Co. Headed up by Jesse Carter, the firm produced very few domestic wares focusing instead on tiles and architectural and garden ceramics.

Staffordshire’s pretty answer to Limoges

24 April 2002

Limoges enamel has its English equivalent in the rustic little boxes produced by artisans in the South Staffordshire towns of Bilston and Wolverhampton during the late 18th century.

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