Keys

Keys is an auction house in Aylsham, Norfolk which was founded in 1953 by Geoffrey Key. Originally a livestock auctioneer, Keys soon began regular furniture sales before adding art and antique sales to its calendar in the 1960s.

In 2019, the auction business split from its estate agency parent company after a management buy-out was led by fine art director Kevin Lines and new managing director David Broom.


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Marine themes: more means moor at Keys

16 October 2017

Keys is holding two specialist sales next year to whet the appetite. Not only does the Norfolk auction house have a shipshape selection dedicated to ‘local hero’ Nelson, but it has also secured the diploma collection of the Royal Society of Marine Artists (RSMA), Tom Derbyshire writes.

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Busy summer in Norfolk creates warm sales glow

11 September 2017

It was a busy summer for Keys (20% buyer’s premium), who had book sales in both July and August.

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Lot of local interest for Maurice Gorham first edition

04 September 2017

Sold for £420 in an August 24-25 sale held by Keys (17.5% buyer’s premium) was a 1939 first of Maurice Gorham’s 'The Local', with its 15 coloured litho illustrations by Edward Ardizzone.

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Lowestoft musicians play £4000 part in Keys’ sale

14 August 2017

A pair of white glazed figures of musicians made by the Lowestoft factory c.1770 sold for £4000 at the July 18 sale at Keys (plus 20% buyer’s premium) of Aylsham.

Lowestoft figures

Rare Lowestoft porcelain objects highlight of Norfolk auction

22 July 2017

A pair of white glazed figures of musicians made by the Lowestoft factory c.1770, sold for £4000 (plus 20% buyer’s premium) at the July 18 sale at Keys of Aylsham. The pair – perhaps the first to come onto the market for at least 30 years – provided the highlight of more than 100 lots of Lowestoft porcelain.

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Rare Lowestoft emerges at auction

10 July 2017

Following a near sell-out auction of Lowestoft in March at Keys of Aylsham, another tranche is poised to go under the saleroom’s hammer.

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First mention of Poirot detected

03 July 2017

Agatha Christie’s books were much in evidence at a Keys (17.5% buyer’s premium) sale of June 7-8, among them a 1921 first of The Mysterious Affair at Styles.

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Fleecy does it for Lowestoft joys sold in Norfolk

02 May 2017

What Aylsham auction house Keys (20% buyer’s premium) considered one of the largest private collections of Lowestoft ever to come to market was a near sell-out on March 21.

Sir Malcom Arnold collection auction out of tune

24 April 2017

Offered by Keys (20% buyer’s premium) on April 6, the Sir Malcolm Arnold Collection proved to be a problematic one.

William Seward’s Anecdotes of Distinguished Persons

Keys to auction vast library from Morningthorpe Manor

26 August 2016

A four-day sale of the contents of a Norfolk country house being conducted by Keys at their Aylsham rooms will include on September 8-9 the vast library formed by Ron Fiske at Morningthorpe Manor.

Don Quixote first english edition at Keys auction

The Man of La Mancha in Norfolk – first English edition of Don Quixote makes £25,000

09 August 2016

One of a great many books removed from a couple of terraced houses in Norwich for sale by Keys of Aylsham was an 1612 first English edition of the first part only of Don Quixote.

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Lowestoft birth tablet takes £7400

15 January 2014

English porcelain birth tablets are unique to Lowestoft – and one of many pieces that give the factory’s wares such a profound sense of time and place.

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You wait ages for a Prince, then two come along at once

13 July 2012

Just three copies of the 1640, first English edition of Nicholas Machiavelli’s short treatise on political leadership have come to auction in this century, the last of them in 2005.

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Revised Tyndale lacks pages but not admirers

14 October 2004

ESTIMATED at £500-600 in a Keys of Aylsham sale of September 24 but very much the lot that attracted most interest – and a final bid of £10,200 – was the New Testament seen right.

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£13,250 bid answers speculation about cow creamer

13 October 2004

SOME provincial auctioneers batten down the hatches during August, but for Keys (10% buyer's premium) in Norfolk it was a particularly busy month with two antique sales, a collectors’ auction and a picture outing.

Sylvie & Bruno meet Famous Five, Chalet Girls and the Fat Owl

22 September 2004

INSCRIBED in both volumes “with the author’s love” to an Edith Barnes, presentation firsts of Lewis Carroll’s over-long children’s story Sylvie and Bruno of 1889 and its continuation or conclusion of 1893, the original red cloth bindings now uniformly faded to the spines, dampstained to the front of Vol. II and showing repairs to the spine ends of the first volume, was sold for £1400 in a Bloomsbury Auctions sale of July 15.

Bookcase at £5500 sees Victorian values restored

16 September 2004

BULKY Victorian brown furniture may be the least attractive subject at many sales, but the most expensive entry at Keys (10% buyer's premium) 1386-lot Norfolk outing on August 3-4 was a 9ft square (2.74m) mahogany library breakfront bookcase.

Victorian games go to museum

10 August 2004

AS one of Keys of Aylsham's (10% buyer's premium) huge, six-a-year, sales aimed squarely at collectors, the strengths of this 1423-lot outing on June 17-18 lay in toys and militaria.

Rozenburg garniture is £4000 highlight

29 June 2004

WITH giant sales every three weeks, Keys (10% buyer's premium) of Aylsham will cheerfully put two-figure lots under the hammer, but there were also a number of four-figure sellers to help swell the hammer total to £110,000 at the latest 1640-lot outing on June 2-3.

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Monzani flute plays £2200

22 June 2004

HIGHLIGHT of the Collectors’ Sale conducted by Keys (10% buyer’s premium) in Aylsham was this silver-mounted ivory flute by Monzani.

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