Mark Law, with investor Gavin Alexander, agreed to buy Dreweatts and the brand name of dealer Mallett in a £2.4m deal in May and is implementing a new strategy.
He worked at the firm until 2000 and told ATG he wants to revive some elements of the business that existed then.
“There is pent-up demand to provide the full service,” Law said. “Families and executors want to deal with just one auction house. Offering a general sale provides the full service. Many salerooms are moving away from this model so there is a gap.” He says he expects these general sales to be profitable for the firm.
The first auction, with 600 lots carrying estimates from £50-500, will be held on July 18 and the company has already consigned 600 lots.
“We want to show art and antiques can be accessible. With a lower entry point we will attract new buyers,” Law said.
“In previous years, general sales were an important part of the calendar at Donnington, providing a good service to vendors, and buying opportunities for trade and private buyers.”
Law believes the extra sale will help rather than diminish the calendar of specialist sales, and will not impact the regular ‘interiors’ events where the price point is £500-5000.
The Donnington Priory saleroom will undergo some modest change to allow for the revised calendar.
A saleroom created in the 1990s for a general sale when Law was working at the firm had recently been used as storage. It will be redecorated and returned to hold general sales this year.
Dreweatts will offer all its auctions online via thesaleroom.com, Invaluable, Live Auctioneers as well as its own platform.