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Lee Young who has become the new owner of Frome saleroom Dore & Rees.

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Based in Somerset, he told ATG he had “fallen in love” with his local saleroom and the idea of running his own business after senior roles elsewhere.

Young, 50, who began his career at Messenger May and Baverstock in 1988, worked at Sotheby’s, Phillips, Freeman’s and Lyon & Turnbull before joining Duke’s in 2017.

Dore & Rees, based in a Victorian gothic building in Vicarage Street, Frome, since 1868, conducts business in a timehonoured way.

Run since 1984 by Mark Rees, it is one of the few salerooms in the region that continues with fortnightly auctions, a £2 catalogue, 130 lots an hour, a pledge to pay vendors within 48 hours and a VAT-inclusive buyer’s premium of 15%.

Currently the saleroom does not list its catalogues online, although Young says this will be among the changes he plans to implement.

“The saleroom with its Victorian gothic building has a magic and is such a cherished part of the local community. I want to keep that while bringing it into the modern world.”

Speaking on behalf of Duke’s partners, Guy Schwinge told ATG: “We are sorry to see Lee go and wish him all the best for the future. We will have news about new talent joining Duke’s in the near future.”