The approach appears to be paying off. The latest sale held in Leyburn on February 25 raised £63,250, with 85% of the 199 lots getting away.
“Not only are we seeing increasing numbers of fine paintings consigned to sale, but strong numbers of new bidders for each sale too,” said specialist Saskia Riley-Smith.
“Particularly encouraging are the numbers of young buyers, especially from London, who will become the future of the art market.”
A highlight was an arid mountainous landscape by obscure British painter Delmar Harmood Banner (1896-1983). The 16 x 20in (41 x 50cm) oil on canvas, below, is one of only a handful to have appeared at auction over the last few years.
It sold online to the London trade for a multiestimate £2200, the second highest price for the artist at auction.
Banner was born in Germany, but after being educated in England, settled in Ambleside in the Lake District with his wife where the pair became great friends with Beatrix Potter.
The top lot of the sale was a portrait by Paul Wright (b.1973), Head of a Versatile Man.
It attracted keen competition before selling online for £3500 against a £400-600 guide.
The portrait was part of a significant private collection of modern British and contemporary art, the highlights of which have been cherry picked for Tennants’ Spring Fine Art sale on March 24-25.