David Lay

David Lay are a firm of fine art auctioneers and valuers based in Cornwall. Founded in 1979 by David Lay, they hold regular auctions at the grade II listed Penzance Auction House.

The business often deals with private collections such as the contents of the Pendarves Library which they sold in 2013. Other areas of expertise include Oriental works of art, prints, collectables and books.


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Dod and Gluck stand out in Penzance

12 October 2020

Works by two Modern British female artists whose stars have been rising commercially over recent years topped the bill at the latest fine art sale held at David Lay (18% buyer’s premium).

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Rich variety of printed material sold in Cornwall auction

31 August 2020

Extensively interleaved with scholarly notes and running to over 700pp, a Japanese and English Dictionary compiled by JC Hepburn was a notable rarity in a Cornish summer sale.

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Promotions and appointments at Bonhams, Swann Galleries and David Lay

08 July 2020

An update of moves and appointments from across the art and antiques industry.

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Local scenes lift Cornish art offered in Penzance

06 July 2020

As might be expected, local scenes were an important feature of David Lay’s Cornish art sale on June 11. Among them was a view of Penzance’s Market Jew Street by Norman Garstin (1847-1926) that depicted a location only a 10-minute walk from the saleroom.

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Auctioneers in Dorset and Cornwall benefit from vendors with close links to famous artists

06 July 2020

Consignments from vendors with a close connection to famous artists are always a welcome boon for any auction.

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A Constable sketch, a Hornby locomotive and The Wind in the Willows first-edition are among the five lots to watch at auction this week

29 June 2020

With estimates from £700-20,000 here are five previews of upcoming items this week.

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Life after lockdown in the art and antiques world - in pictures

27 June 2020

Auction houses, dealers and antiques centres have begun to reopen their premises to the public. All have taken steps to ensure buildings are ‘Covid-secure’ with new layouts, hygiene regimes and occupancy restrictions.

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Dod Procter's high brow oil takes £26,500 in Cornwall art auction

22 June 2020

The stand-out lot at David Lay’s latest Cornish art sale was an oil by Dod Procter (1891-1972), a leading member of the colony of avant garde artists working in Cornwall in the 1920s-30s.

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Pick of the week: Exceptional shodana shows super details

02 March 2020

David Lay’s (18% buyer's premium) second stand-alone Asian art sale held in Penzance was topped at £65,500 (estimate £3000-5000) by this shodana made in Meiji period Japan, c.1890.

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Affordable art: Three works sold for under £1250 including a Marjorie Bruford oil

17 February 2020

Three modestly valued works selling at regional sales including a Marjorie Bruford Cornish village scene.

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Good resort result for travel poster in Penzance

09 December 2019

A collection of vintage travel posters included a number with the added advantage of local appeal when offered by Penzance auction house David Lay (18% buyer’s premium).

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Harold Harvey's Kit keeps her intense appeal

02 December 2019

When this portrait of a young woman was first exhibited in the early 1930s, critics remarked on its “intensity and vital quality”, “the charming head” and the “wonderful life-like expression”.

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Five lots to watch at auction this week including a Kutchinsky brooch, a ceramic fire mark and a signed Oliver Cromwell document

11 November 2019

With estimates from £300-6500, here are five previews of upcoming sales this week.

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Pick of the week: 18th century dockyard plans detailing the Royal Navy war machine attract wave of bids

19 August 2019

A complete set of plans showing what was once the world’s largest industrial complex and the British state’s single biggest investment has sold in Cornwall. Thomas Milton’s plans of the Royal Dockyards sold to an online buyer for £10,000 (plus 18% buyer’s premium) at David Lay's latest sale in Penzance.

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Penzance saleroom hosts first Cornish Asian auction

05 August 2019

Penzance auction house David Lay (18% buyer’s premium) is no stranger to the great Chinese boom but in July it staged Cornwall’s first dedicated Asian sale.

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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.

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A pietra dura and ebonised casket and an early 17th-century English text – five auction highlights that caught bidders’ eyes in the last week

28 June 2019

ATG’s selection of hammer highlights over the past week includes a pottery faience charger and a Fijian sperm whale tooth pendant.

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‘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.

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Affordable art: Three works sold for under £1001 including an oil by Paul Gauguin's son

13 May 2019

Three modestly valued works selling at regional sales below £1001, including an oil by Paul Gauguin's son Pola.

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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.

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