Surprise new custodian of the Cornish manor has a clear-out

08 July 2019

The story of Cornish care worker Jordan Rogers, who proved he was the illegitimate son and legitimate heir to a £50m Penrose mansion, made national headlines in May. It also had a knock-on effect in the auctioneering world.


‘Cornish Wonder’ work sells at £12,000

20 May 2019

A portrait by John Opie (1761-1807) led nearly two dozen family portraits from the historic Penrose Estate in Porthleven, Cornwall, at local Penzance saleroom David Lay (18% buyer’s premium) on May 2.


Mouseman’s homely charm provides comfort

15 April 2019

More homely than the material being produced in Scandinavia and France, the adzed oak furniture first made by Robert ‘Mouseman’ Thompson in the 1920s-30s was, nevertheless, a distinctive genre.


Days with puppies and fairies

04 March 2019

Illustrated with eight hand-coloured litho plates, each with moveable flaps, The Puppy’s Visit To His Friends was issued as one of EC Bennett’s moveable books, probably in the 1850s.


Rare timepieces from wartime in Penzance and West Sussex

11 February 2019

A rare Longines centre seconds military wristwatch – a type developed in 1944 for the rigours of airborne work by the Research & Development team of the War Department – sold for a multi-estimate £11,200 at Barbara Kirk (15% buyer’s premium) in Penzance on November 27 last year.


Newlyn School art offered at auction in nearby Penzance

12 November 2018

Edwin Harris (1855-1906) is one name that did not feature in the Robin Hanbury-Tenison collection of Newlyn School art at Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood (see main story in this section).


Letters from Japan by 'father of studio pottery' Bernard Leach sell at Somerset auction to a Surrey museum

18 October 2018

An archive of letters by leading studio pottery maker Bernard Leach (1887-1979) has been bought at auction by a museum which holds the largest collection of his material in the country.


Celebrated diarist turns to decorations

10 September 2018

In a worn but period calf binding, a 1697 first of John Evelyn’s Numismata. A Discourse of Medals… made £350 in the book section of a recent Cornish auction.


Serious story from the Scilly season

13 August 2018

From 1936-45, St Ives artist John Wells (1907-2000) embarked on a series of labour-intensive creations while working as a GP on the Isles of Scilly.

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Gramophone needle tins up at auction show the appeal of niche collecting

16 April 2018

By the law of averages, there must be a collector out there for just about any antique. So while gramophone collecting is not that unusual, gramophone needle tins definitely push into the ‘niche’ category.


Rudiments of reading and other tales of childhood

19 March 2018

Early children’s books, many from a single collection formed by the late Mary Joy Sanger, provided a principal attraction in a February 27 sale held in Penzance by David Lay (18% buyer’s premium).


The Leicester Square buzz and bustle captured in oil painting

12 February 2018

A bustling scene of Leicester Square by genre painter Edward Prentis (1797-1854) took £6800 at David Lay (18% buyer’s premium) of Penzance.


Shaft and globe shows a lot of Cornish bottle

29 January 2018

A 17th century long-necked sealed ‘shaft and globe’ wine bottle sold for an unexpected £8300 (plus 15% buyer’s premium) at Barbara Kirk Auctions in Penzance on January 23.


Artist Midge bites back at auction

20 November 2017

Just a clutch of canvases by the Cornish artist Marjorie Frances ‘Midge’ Bruford (1902-58) have gone under the auctioneer’s gavel.

Mining and other Cornish pastimes

25 September 2017

Works of Cornish interest featured prominently in a sale held by David Lay (18% buyer’s premium) of Penzance, among them those from the library of the writer and scholar, PAS Pool.

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Not a krazy amount for a toy but spot-on

11 September 2017

Topping the 175 toys at David Lay’s (15% buyer’s premium) sale at Penzance on August 22, was this 1930s clockwork tinplate Krazy Kar marked By Permission Walt Disney – Mickey Mouse Ltd to the rear and Made in England to the left-hand side.


Artist who is now ruffling feathers

17 July 2017

“If I was a dealer, I’d buy the whole lot and put on a show. He’s a sort of great ‘undiscovered’ artist.” Mimi Lay of the Penzance auction house David Lay is referring to a consignment of graphic art by the 20th century painter and lithographer Richard Platt (b.1928).

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Death Railway survivor's sword comes to Cornish auction

22 June 2017

The ‘value’ of an auction lot cannot always be summed up by price alone. While not at a high estimate level, a sword coming up in a Cornish saleroom has a fascinating background. And whatever the final result is, the historical value can be viewed as priceless.


Cornish and Celtic lots from an all-rounder academic and bard

30 May 2017

First Professor of Cornish Studies at Exeter University and Bard of Gorseth Kernow, Charles Thomas (1928-2016) was both a prolific writer and a bibliophile.


Shipshape Cornish work sails back home

15 May 2017

A Newlyn School work by Albert Chevalier Tayler (1862-1926) topped David Lay’s (18% buyer’s premium) April 27 sale in Penzance.