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For the third year running Dreweatts is the UK’s leading ‘regional’ auction house. The Newbury and London operation posted a January to December hammer turnover of £31.15m, a record for any provincial saleroom.

Woolley & Wallis also posted its best result, coming in at £24.1m. Chairman John Axford said: “The market is increasingly selective, and inevitably affected to a degree by worldwide events, but the core remains healthy and regular buyers are still actively bidding.”

Market tightens

Sworders’ chairman Guy Schooling said: “It seems to me that as the market tightens, provenance and its presentation is becoming ever more important.

“The market for more ordinary pieces, typically those priced below £1000, is more difficult. A client with £500-1000 ‘spare’ chose to spend it during the pandemic. Now they will hang on to it to cover bills. A client proposing a £5000 or £50,000 purchase will probably not worry about such things.”

Read the full report in ATG 2628.