Children In Need - Friday 17th November
The Stowmarket office are holding their inaugural Children In Need bake sale on Friday 17th December from 10am.  Please feel free to pop in and see what is on offer!
Dingley Dell , Preston St. Mary
Dingley Dell presents attractive rendered elevations under a predominantly thatched roof line.
Of particular note is the wonderful sitting room/dining room with open studwork, further exposed timbers and an open fireplace.  Also of note is the large drawing room which is double aspect, again with exposed timbers and a fireplace.  The ground floor also comprises entrance lobby, recently fitted kitchen with solid oak surfaces, utility room, shower room and a study/bedroom 4.
There are two independent staircases that lead up to the first floor where access is given to the 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms (1 en-suite and 1 Jack-and-Jill)
Dingley Dell is situated in a wonderful rural setting amongst open Suffolk countryside.  The property is approached through a five bar gate, onto a gravel drive leading to a large parking area for several cars.  Access is given to the garage with up and over door.  Most of the garden can be found at the rear of the property and is predominantly laid to lawn with mature trees and shrubs.  On the furthest southern boundary there is an orchard area with access out onto the undulating and elevated countryside.  In the middle of the grounds there is a building currently used as a tractor shed, but with the possibility of conversion to a stable and feed store. The garden also has a dog kennel, log store and further shed and there is also a covered BBQ area.  The gardens and grounds approach approximately 1.5 acres subject to survey.
Dingley Dell is situated on the outskirts of the village of Preston St Mary.  Preston St Mary is a pretty village, which lies in an area of outstanding natural beauty about 3 miles to the north east of the beautiful medieval town of Lavenham, which has local shops, restaurants and other facilities.  There is a popular public house The Six Bells.  A more comprehensive range of amenities can be found in the market towns of Hadleigh, Sudbury and Stowmarket, which has mainline railway station to London Liverpool Street Station with a journey time of approximately 85 minutes.  There are good schools in the area including Old Buckenham Hall Prep School which is about 2 miles to the north.  Bury St Edmunds, with a rail link to Cambridge is approximately 12 miles distant and the county town of Ipswich is about 17 miles to the east and has a wide range of facilities and a station with a regular rail service to London Liverpool Street approximately 65 minutes.
Nĭ hăo from Bury St Edmunds to Beijing!
We are excited to announce our new partnership with Chinese bidding platform, Asia’s leading fine art, antique and collectables online platform.

As you are no doubt aware, the Chinese market for art and antiques has seen rapid growth in recent years and this shows no signs of abating.  In 2016, Chinese buyers purchased 60% more items from international auction houses than in 2015, and Asia now accounts for approximately 40% of the global auction market.  The number of Chinese online bidders at our auctions has been increasing steadily, not just for Asian art but also quite noticeably for Western silver and jewellery.  Although this market has been extremely welcome, it’s fair to say that there have been the occasional language and cultural disconnect; therefore a platform such as ePaiLive which bridges this divide is heaven-sent.

ePaiLive was founded by Qiqi Jiang in 2012, after she discovered local auction houses while studying for her PhD in Oxford and realised the potential for providing access to Chinese buyers.  Since then, the platform has partnered with more than 5,000 auction houses in 98 countries and territories around the world – but we are pleased to say that we are the first in East Anglia!  

Starting with our 24th October Affordable Jewellery auction, our specialist auctions will now be accessible to over 300,000 Chinese speakers and antique collectors across Asia, and we look forward to seeing how this global partnership progresses.
Historic letter collection
Our 9th September Fine Art & Antiques auction included a fascinating collection of letters, Royal Warrants, notes and autographs from prominent figures of British Regency & Victorian society to include; Royalty, peers, prime ministers, soldiers, diplomats, writers and painters. As well as an autograph album featuring over two hundred signatures & notes including; George IV, Queen Victoria, the Duke of Wellington, Sir Walter Scott, Jane Austen, Gladstone, Disraeli, Joseph Banks and John Everett Millais. The collection ranged from frivolous insights of Regency high-life to WWI letters between a father and son at the front line, alongside an invitation for the Duke of Wellington's funeral and political missives signed by Queen Victoria. 

Chief among the collection, was an autograph album containing over 200 signatures and notes - a veritable Who's Who of Victorian and Georgian society, which sold for £16,000.  Of particular note was a fragment of a letter from Jane Austen. Very little actual biographical details of Jane's life have survived, so the slightest insight is important.  This fragment is a snippet of her domestic arrangements and mentions going through a linen inventory with 'Mde B', who may be the family's faithful servant and friend Madame Bigeon and was included in Jane's will. 

Amongst the collection, a letter from Charles Dickens described the disastrous over-long visit of Hans Christian Andersen in 1857, and laments his dreadful accent. Dickens comments that "He was here for some six weeks, and I turned his face to Folkestone a week ago. His existence was of the most bewildered kind. He spoke French like Peter the Wild Boy and English like the Deaf and Dumb School. He could not pronounce the name of his own book, The Improvisatore, in Italian; and his translatress appears to make out that he can't speak Danish." This letter has received a lot of the press attention and appeared in articles in The Observer and The Times. it eventually sold for £4,600. 

A series of letters between members of the Royal Geographical Society discussed Dr Livingstone’s disastrous Zambesi Expedition, including the statement from Sir Roderick Murchison, President Royal Geographic Society, “I am inclined to agree with Mr Meller [Charles James Mellor, Naturalist and Surveyor to Livingstone's Zambesi Expedition]. It is a wild goose chase, but Dr Livingstone must be allowed to try". This bundle of letters achieved a hammer price of £2500.

Elsewhere, was a letter from George, Prince Regent, to his friend (the ultimate Regency dandy) Beau Brummel cancelling a dinner date. The Prince expresses his extreme regret as "you know how happy I am at all times to dine with you" and he hopes soon "to make up for this punishing disappointment".  The letter sold for £500. 

Also included are notes from prominent artists Edwin Landseer and William Holman Hunt with sketches. Typically, in Landseer's case there are dogs, but Holman Hunt's offering is a cheeky origami sketch of a young boy poking his tongue out - showing a much lighter personality than his paintings often suggest!

On a more serious note, Arthur Elliot (Liberal Unionist MP) writes a detailed account of a séance he attended along with his friend George Darwin (son of Charles) in 1874.  Also present was a certain Mrs Lewes - better known to us as the author George Eliot. The medium Charles Williams brought forward a spirit named John King and mysteriously moved chairs and candlesticks around the room. However, Arthur was left with "A strong impression that it all looked like humbug", and Williams was later debunked by a Spiritualist Circle in Amsterdam. This letter sold for £950.

The letters' original owner and collector was Lady Charlotte Portal (d.1899), fourth daughter of Gilbert, the 2nd Earl of Minto (1782-1859).  Her father was a politician and diplomat; First Lord of the Admiralty under Lord Melbourne and Lord Privy Seal under Lord John Russell (who one of his daughters married). Lady Charlotte married Melville Portal (1819-1904) who was also a politician.  The family were clearly very well connected and an active part of high Regency and Victorian society.  From Lady Charlotte, the collection passed down through the family, before part of it went through a Sotheby's auction in 1938.  The collection came to us from a well-connected Scottish family now residing in East Anglia.
The Advertising Standards Agency
The Advertising Standards Agency has told Purplebricks not to repeat their TV adverts, which have been described as misleading. The ASA ruled that the adverts failed to make clear the difference between the ‘No Sale – No Fee’ commissions offered by most agents (including Lacy Scott and Knight) and the upfront fee which is required by Purplebricks for marketing, regardless of whether a sale results.

 For years most High Street agents have worked on a No Sale – No Fee basis, the advantage being that the customer only pays if the sale actually results.
In pursuit of Sparklers & Sport
In pursuit of Sparklers & Sport
Due to strong demand we  ave introduced two extra sales to our auction calendar – Affordable Jewellery and Country & Sporting Pursuits.  These two sales reflect both the ever-growing popularity of jewellery & watches, and the re-emergence of a classic antique genre.

Affordable Jewellery 24th October
Although there has always been a tangible value in gold, diamonds, designer watches and the like, the market has exploded in recent years to become a hugely popular area for collecting and investment. The trend for Vintage fashion has helped to bring even brooches, cuff-links and pearls in from the cold, while the wearability and workmanship of quality wristwatches has seen their value eclipse that of traditional timepieces such as longcase clocks.
And it’s not just the obvious sparklers taking the limelight.
Large diamonds and heavy gold will always find a market, but we have seen some stunning prices elsewhere. Amber jewellery prices have been a recent surprise, while pieces with an historical link such as pendants and earrings in the Suffragette colours have proved popular.  In wristwatches, Rolex, Omega and Jaeger LeCoultre are still the top names, but less well-known names such as Corum, Ebel and Zenith are gaining a following. 
As this market has grown ever-larger, we have decided to create a specific auction to include jewellery, watches and accessories ranging from £50-£500 – namely those pieces which deserve to stand alone but won’t break the bank.  Entries are invited until 5th October, please contact Ed Crichton on for a free valuation if you have anything which may be suitable.
Country & Sporting Pursuits 8th December
Our latest addition to the sales calendar will include art and collectables related to hunting, fishing, shooting*, horseracing, golf & other sports, and taxidermy.  It was long believed that stuffed animals, shooting sticks and fishing rods belonged to a lost age (along with beards and trench coats, so it just goes to show), but whether it’s nostalgia or a renewed appreciation of the skills involved, this genre of antiques has been rejuvenated in recent years.
Of particular interest are taxidermy fish by the likes of John Cooper & Sons; these displays are a fabulous example of workmanship, nature and art, and they often have historical notes regarding the circumstances of the catch.  In the same area, fishing rods, reels and accessories (especially those by Hardy Bros) are sought after. 
As hunting has become more of a corporate away-day than a regular countryside activity, and most of our meat is processed on industrial farms, items relating to this pursuit have increased in collectability.  Therefore, we are inviting consignments of decorated brass shot flasks, antique fire-arms*, hunting pictures & prints, taxidermy animals, hunting horns, gun cases and shooting sticks.  On a less visceral note, our love of horses has not diminished over the years, despite our reduced contact with and practical use for them, therefore riding & racing art and related items are still sought after – especially around here with the ‘Home of Racing’ just down the road at Newmarket. 
We are confident that this sale will be a welcome annual extra to the auction calendar, and we are inviting entries until 10th November. If you have anything which may be suitable please contact Glenn Pearl on for a free valuation.
*Please note that due to restrictions we will only consider registered firearms with a value of more than £1000.
Music & Movie Memorabilia
To be held every March & September

To include; classic & modern film and concert posters, rare & collectable vinyl, autographs, film & stage props, musical instruments, signed items, film scripts, concert tickets & other ephemera and collectables relating to the world of entertainment.

Are you a Beatle-maniac with a hoard of LPs but no record-player?  Do you have tickets for Nirvana’s 1994 tour (which didn’t go ahead for obvious reasons) languishing in a drawer beside your lumberjack shirt?  Did you collect horror film posters from the local video store, which looked great in your teenage bedroom but aren’t really suitable décor for your family home? Has your Star Wars collection got a bit too galactic?  Does that Gibson Les Paul guitar just remind you of a failed New Year’s Resolution? 

If so, our valuer Alex Manning wants to hear from you.  Entries invited until February 2018.

The Beatles Yellow Submarine UK Quad film poster £1,100
Peacehaven, Mill Road, Occold, IP23 7PN
This is a substantial, detached bungalow built to a high standard and with well fitted kitchen, utility, shower, cloakroom and bathroom facilities. There is ample storage space with wardrobes/cupboards in 3 of the 4 bedrooms.
Of particular note is the combination of the Dining Room, Sitting Room and Conservatory which flow through one another and out into the rear garden.
Interested applicants are advised to make an early viewing arrangement to visit this most impressive property.   
This property is approached over a driveway which provides ample car parking and leads to TWIN DOUBLE GARAGES (20’4” x 18’7” and 19’ x 18’10”) both with light and power connected. The gardens to the side and rear of the property are meticulously maintained with lawns and paved areas and many mature shrubs, trees and borders. Outbuildings include garden shed, greenhouse and store. The gardens and grounds extend in total to almost 0.50 acres (sts) and adjoin open farmland to the rear (west).    
This property is situated in the parish of Occold which lies just south of the historic small town of Eye and a few miles south of the Norfolk/Suffolk border.
There is a primary school and church within the village with further schooling, shopping and leisure amenities in nearby Eye, Debenham and Diss. There is a rail station in Diss on the mainline Norwich to London (Liverpool Street).      
43 years ....
Our little piece about longevity in the business in the last edition prompted a note that our Brian Fullam has been with us for 43 years joining us on 1st July 1974.
New Year's Day was celebrated as a public holiday for the first time;  Bob Latchford, the Birmingham City Centre forward, became Britain's most expensive footballer in a £350,000 move to Everton and Don Revie, the manager of Football League champions Leeds United since 1961, accepted the Football Association's £200,000-a-year deal to become the new England manager (but he only lasted 3 years); Ceefax was started by the BBC – one of the first public service information systems; the first UK McDonald's opens in Woolwich, Southeast London; Lord Lucan disappeared after the murder of his children's nanny; No. 1 in the week Brian started – ‘She’ by Charles Aznavour;
Continuity and stability are vital in any business, and we do appreciate the loyalty which Brian has shown to us over the years.
His family were good enough to find us a photograph of Brian in his very early days, enjoying the summer weather.
Michael Gove Makes Speech Outlining Plans for Farming Subsidies Post Brexit
Immediately following the Brexit vote in 2016 the Government assured the farming community that they would continue to support the BPS system until at least 2020.
Environment Minister Mr Michael Gove has now confirmed that the Government will extend this support until 2022.  Whilst this is good news Mr Gove has made it clear that he feels future farm subsidies will have to be earned rather than just handed out, and the focus will be on obtaining value for money via measures which protect the environment and enhance rural life.

Farmers will only get payouts if they agree to protect the environment and enhance rural life, Mr Gove has stated.

The move is part of what he calls his vision for a "green Brexit".

Farmers’ leaders want the current £3bn total to be spent on the environment, more infrastructure to develop farm businesses, and promoting British food.

The government has promised to keep overall payments at the same level until 2022 and the Tenant Farmers' Association - which represents tenant farmers in England and Wales - has called for the same amount of money to remain after that time.

Mr Gove has criticised the current system for giving money to some of the UK's wealthiest landowners, for encouraging wastage, and for not recognising "good environmental practice".

He has explained that Brexit is "an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reform how we care for our land, our rivers and our seas, how we recast our ambition for our country’s environment, and the planet".

Loss of wildlife
Critics say under the CAP wealthy UK landowners are given subsidies of up to £3m a year.
The issue was highlighted last year when BBC News revealed that taxpayers are paying more than £400,000 a year to subsidise a farm where a billionaire breeds racehorses.

Environmentalists will applaud the promise of change; they blame the CAP for the huge loss of wildlife in the British countryside. Environment Secretary says that CAP puts resources in the hands of the already wealthy.

Mr Gove said in his speech: “There are very good reasons why we should provide support for agriculture. Seventy per cent of our land is farmed - beautiful landscape has not happened by accident but has been actively managed.

“Agriculture is an industry more susceptible to outside shocks and unpredictable events - whether it’s the weather or disease. So financial assistance and mechanisms which can smooth out the vicissitudes farmers face make sense."

He also expressed a desire to protect the “human ecology” of Britain’s highlands, where farming without subsidy is impossible.

This won’t please radical environmentalists, who want Mr Gove to save money (and in their view enhance the environment) by letting sheep farming wither, and allowing the uplands to revert to natural forest.

The Country Land and Business Association, known as the CLA, accepts the need for reform and has launched a plan for a land management contract.

Ross Murray, president of the CLA - which represents owners of land, property and businesses in England and Wales - said there is "vital work to be done", including to support farming practices, to manage soils and preserve land.

When pressed on whether rich landowners should receive public money, he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme he was open to change but practices such as tree planting - which are good for the environment but provide landowners with little benefit - should still be recognised.

Asked if farming subsidies could be reduced in the future, he added: "In the long term perhaps, but in the meantime I think we're going to have to support farmers who provide public goods which could never be provided by the market."

Craig Bennett, head of Friends of the Earth, welcomed the speech, but said: “Current EU rules aimed at tackling air pollution and climate change and protecting our birds, bees and nature must not be watered down, and mechanisms must be put in place to enforce them post-Brexit."

One crucial question will be who has the final say on proposed developments in the UK's prime wildlife sites. At the moment they are protected by the EU as part of Europe's common heritage. That protection may disappear after Brexit.
1977 & All That
So what happened 40 years ago?  Geoff Boycott scores his 100th Century; First Concord service to New York; Star Wars is first screened in the UK.

But more particularly in June 1977 our own Senior Partner Chris Philpot (pictured in the 1980's) embarked on his career working for Chartered Surveyors & Agents in the centre of Ipswich.

After a move to Stowmarket in 1980 and then a move to R C Knight & Sons (now part of Lacy Scott & Knight) in 1982 he reflects on changes, primarily of course mobile phones and the internet.  He remembers that 40 years ago half the battle was knowing where to find information, whereas nowadays it is all available at a click on Google.

A terraced house would cost somewhere between £6,000 and £8,000, and the profession was not swamped by legislative red tape.  June 1977 was also the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, so has Chris still got another 25 years to go to catch up!
Auction Centre Opening
It’s fair to say, that this has been a hectic couple of months. We’ve moved into our new offices, hosted BBCs Antiques Road Trip (which will definitely be one to watch when it airs in August), had a grand opening with former Ipswich Town & England captain Terry Butcher, held a charity auction which raised over £7000 for GeeWizz charity, and worked incredibly hard to put together a house record-breaking double auction. 
The grand opening night was a particular highlight, not least because it involved some fabulous wine kindly supplied by Sumaridge Estate!  We have worked closely with Gina Long, founder of Geewizz Charity, for many years and been privileged to provide support to previous charity auctions.   Now that we have such prestigious premises, the chance to hold a charity auction in-house seemed an opportunity too good to miss – and to have footballing legend Terry Butcher, an ambassador of Geewizz, as a guest was a particular boon for most of our team.
It was a fantastic turnout with representatives from among our clients, local businesses and solicitors, former Bury St Edmunds mayor Patrick Cheung, and supporters of the charity.  The catering students from West Suffolk College did an excellent job providing mouth-watering canapes, and the afore-mentioned wine kept the conversation flowing.  The auction comprised 9 lots kindly donated by local businesses to include meals at award-winning restaurants such as Maison Bleue and No. Ten, a team-building day at Go Ape, a days shoot from Hall Farm, a framed and signed Beatles photograph from photographer Tom Murray, Culford School Opera in the Park tickets, and an evening at Ravenwood Hall.  There was also the chance to win your weight in that wine which we seem to keep mentioning! 
Fine Art manager Ed Crichton took to the rostrum and after fawning over Terry Butcher, and thanking the many people who made the evening possible including the Lacy Scott & Knight partners and especially the much-missed Rowland Beaney, architect Paul Scarlett, and developers Hartog Hutton, the auction got underway.
Everybody bid generously and we were absolutely over the moon to exceed our hopes and raise over £7000.  All proceeds are going to GeeWizz with the intention of buying a ‘Magic Carpet’ for Riverwalk School, here in Bury St Edmunds. A ‘Magic Carpet’ was on display on the night, and our guests had the chance to see what a fantastic interactive sensory resource it could be for disabled children. 
The evening continued with Terry Butcher kindly agreeing to sign catalogues and be photographed with fans, and a plaque commemorating the opening was unveiled in our reception.  It was a great night all round, and I’m sure it won’t be the only time we hold such an event! 
Another Happy Customer!
Selling houses is what we do for a living, so thanks are not necessary, but are nonetheless most welcome.

A card or maybe a bottle of something are the usual, but ocassionally there is something special. 

Stowmarket office received a beautiful big bunch of lilies together with an enormous sponge cake from Jason and Claire Ritchie following the recent sale of their house in Battisford.

They said "your hard work has allowed our family to have a complete change of lifestyle" as they start the 500 mile journey north to their new home in the Hebrides.  We wish them all the very best.
The hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world
Correspondence and ephemera belonging to Miss Olive Rattle – beloved nanny and friend to the Royal Family.  

This collection comprises postcards, photographic Christmas cards, letters, and invitations from various members of the Royal Family including Prince Charles & Lady Diana, Princesses Alexandra and Michael of Kent, Prince Edward Duke of Kent, and James Ogilvy, to Nanny Rattle.  Also included is Miss Rattle’s Royal Victorian Medal along with signed note from HRH Queen Elizabeth II, and Royal Wedding memorabilia.

The image of the British nanny is ingrained in people’s minds as the paradigm of caring discretion and resourcefulness with a no-nonsense approach.  Whether it’s the ‘practically perfect in every way’ Mary Poppins, Nana the devoted St Bernard dog in Peter Pan, the heroic team of Nannies in One of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing, or more recently Nanny McPhee; there is a certain image which springs to mind at the mention of the traditional British nanny.  It is also a truism that Nanny’s often play an especially important part in their charges life and continue to support and influence them long after their official employment stops.  Wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill wrote in his autobiography "I loved my mother dearly - but at a distance. My nurse was my confidante. Mrs. Everest it was who looked after me and tended all my wants. It was to her I poured out all my many troubles.”, MP Jacob Rees-Moog took his former nanny canvassing with him in 1997, while many Nannies were gifted homes for life or pensions to fall back on in the future.

The Nannies of the Royal Family have experienced more exposure than most, and many of us are familiar with Queen Victoria’s beloved Lehzen, our current monarch’s apparently duplicitous ‘Crawfie’, and the Tiggy Legge-Bourke saga of the 1990s.  However, most Nannies do their utmost to stay under the radar and focus solely on their VIP charges.  Miss Olive Rattle was one of them.

We know very little about Miss Rattle aside from what can be gleaned from this collection – and what a testimony it is to her devotion to duty!  Possibly originally hailing from the Ipswich area, Olive Rattle was working as a nanny either in or close to the Royal Family in the 1950s. By the 1960s though, she worked for Princess Alexandra of Kent (cousin of Queen Elizabeth II) and Sir Angus Ogilvy, helping to raise their children James (b.1964) and Marina (b.1966).  She resided along with the family at Thatched House Lodge in Richmond Park for many years, and most of this correspondence is addressed to her there.  Since the 1950s until 2013 when chronic arthritis forced her to cancel engagements, Princess Alexandra was one of the most active members of the Royal Family (on average performing up to 120 engagements per year); and she clearly had full confidence in Miss Rattle to care for her children while travelling.  One letter from the Princess while on a foreign tour enquires after James’ behaviour and Marina’s dancing lessons, but is not unduly concerned about being away from her children for a long period of time!

A particularly engaging part of this collection is a series of photographic Christmas cards from Prince Charles to Nanny.  Beginning with the Prince as a fresh-faced 21-year-old, the cards progress through the years and the Prince is joined by Diana Princess of Wales then also the two young princes William and Harry.  Another lovely item is a thank you letter for silver wedding anniversary presents signed by both the Queen and Prince Philip.

The 1980s saw Nanny Rattle awarded the Royal Victorian Medal in the 1984 New Year’s Honours list for services to the Royal Family and her retirement from nannying. By the 1990s she was living in sheltered accommodation in Kennington. The last dated letters in the collection are from her now grown-up and married charge James Ogilvy, they thank her for the children’s Christmas presents and entreat her to look after herself as they had heard she had been unwell.   Sadly, Nanny Rattle died just a short time later in 2000.

This is a fabulous collection offering a personal insight into the devotion and dedication of one woman’s role close to one of the most famous and beloved family’s in the world.  It will be offered in our 10th June Fine Art auction with viewing on the Thursday & Friday prior.
Energy Performance Certificate
It has been common knowledge for some time that residential properties will need to comply with a minimum Energy Performance Rating of “E” for renewals or lettings after 1st April 2018, but what has been a little quieter is the fact that commercial property will also need an “E” or better.  The standard between residential and commercial are different, but clearly it might be harder to insulate or improve the EPC rating on a commercial property than on a residential.

There are certain exemptions for a commercial property when an EPC is not needed, and we have a little concern that if a commercial letting is going ahead after that date, it could come unstuck if the property does not comply with an EPC.  Prudent landlords may wish to obtain the EPCs or check the EPCs on the units which are commercial properties which are known to becoming available or for a lease renewal after 1st April 2018 so they have ample reaction time.
Bury St Edmunds even bigger and better Auctioneers
Whether it’s been the annexing of part of the car park, the presence of some friendly builders, or the physical manifestation of something taking shape in front of our salerooms; regulars and locals can’t fail to have noticed that we’ve grown over recent months.  It has taken four years from our initial meetings with the architects Brown & Scarlett to crossing the threshold once construction company Hartog Hutton had finished their labours, but finally, on Monday 10th April, we moved into our new offices and reception area.   The whole endeavour has been a large investment in the future of the firm, and we think it is money very well spent!

The biggest change will be that clients will now enter a large and comfortable reception area and be welcomed by one of our two new team members Mary and Rachel.  Also, Helen and Caroline (previously confined to a dark and forbidding attic) will be just through reception in our new offices.  The reception area (with sofas, water cooler, auction preview displays and toilets) then leads on to our two revamped salerooms. Upstairs, we have a new meeting room so that clients can consign their items in privacy, and extra secure areas which will provide some much-needed cataloguing and storage space.

Over the last decade, the auction world has changed considerably and we have kept abreast of all the new developments.  We were one of the first provincial auctioneers to adopt live bidding across all of our sales, we have introduced an in-house packing & postage department, we are on top of all the relevant legislation introduced (including restrictions on ivory, firearms and rosewood furniture etc), and all of our catalogues online are fully illustrated with results available immediately after the auction.  However, despite being lucky enough to still have a full house come sale day, I think it’s fair to say that we had neglected the physical aspect of our auctions!  This is why we have put so much time and effort into our new extension and hope that our clients like it as much as we do.

On the horizon, we also anticipate extending our sales calendar and specialisations. Currently we hold three-weekly General Antiques & Collectables auctions, quarterly Fine Arts & Antiques and Toys & Models auctions, twice-yearly Twentieth Century Design and Coins, Medals & Militaria, as well as our annual Wine, Port & Spirits auction.  Further to this, although we are open for free valuations and consignments Monday to Friday 9am – 5.30pm (basically if we’re here, you can be too), we are hoping to offer extra out-of-hours opportunities for people to bring items into our experts.

It’s a very exciting time and we look forward to welcoming you in our new environment!
We have to smile.  On a recent survey on a recently modernised property, we couldn’t work out why a base of a wall in one spot was warm.  Electrical fault?  Heating points? None seemed to fit the scenario.  It turns out that the builder had had a fan heater on the wall for most of the morning prior to our visit, to try and dry out the damp.  It is a pity really as the rest of the house looked to have been very well improved, and the damp itself wasn’t particularly evident.
The problem on old houses is that damp can take a very long time to dry out, even when the original course has been removed.
Young Farmers Quiz
The annual Lacy Scott & Knight Young Farmers Quiz took place last Sunday morning (April 9th) on what was the hottest day of the year to date.  The event was hosted at Old House Farm, Hintlesham and saw 15 teams enjoying the sunshine while they dealt with the questions posed.  Thanks to co-sponsors Ensors and we will look forward to doing it all again in 2018.
A fitting end to an era
As the building of our extension nears completion and we prepare to move from our dark and dusty attic-like offices into a bright and shiny new space, it was great to have a month of excellent, and in some cases record-breaking, auctions. 

The 4th March General Antiques & Collectables was our highest total yet for a general auction, with excellent prices for brown furniture and paintings, as well as the expected current buoyancy in the jewellery market.  The top price was an unanticipated £1350 for three 19th century ‘rock crystal’ rings, this was closely followed by £1150 for a modern Duresta sofa. It was a massive auction of 1300 lots, but the fantastic total took the sting out of the tail of working late! 

After a quick turnaround in the saleroom, we held our Twentieth Century Design and Fine Art & Antiques auctions the following weekend.  

Despite generally attracting a younger crowd who are happier to bid online, it was good to see a full saleroom for the Twentieth Century Design auction.   The sale started well with a triple estimate £900 for a 1960s Poole Pottery vase within the first 10 lots, and continued to impress. Top prices included £3800 for a Georg Jensen cutlery suite, a William de Morgan glazed tile for £1150, £2600 for a Christian Dior design necklace, £1100 for a Beatles Yellow Submarine poster, and £1000 for a pair of Robert ‘Mouseman’ Thompson oak tables. Looking at the results, it is clear that with these sales in particular big names and stylish design are key to attracting bidders and getting the best prices.

The top price was £4500 for our front cover lot; an oil on canvas by Ruskin Spear CBE RA (1911-1990). Due to childhood polio, Spear used a wheelchair and much of his art captured his immediate surroundings, such as pubs, shops, or as in this example, sheltering from the rain at the seaside.  Works by Spear hang in the Tate, the Royal Academy of Arts, and the National Portrait Gallery.

After a few hours’ respite, we returned on Saturday for our Fine Art & Antiques auction.  The sale started with an excellent Books & Written Ephemera section which included a collection of 18th & 19th century letters, journals and other documents relating to the Elliot family and the baronets of Minto. A group of the Honourable George Elliot’s (1822-1901) journals sold for an unprecedented £3200.

Thankfully the momentum continued and there were big prices across all sections to include; a pair of rare 18th century Mennecy porcelain jars and covers with Chinese blanc-de-chine decoration for £2200; a pair of cultured pearl and diamond earrings by Graff for £7500; £3500 for a 1970s Omega chronograph, £3100 for a pair of Victorian coaching lamps, £2400 for a Thomas Smythe oil on canvas, and £3700 for a mid-18th century walnut hall table.

Unsurprisingly, with the jewellery market being so enthusiastic at the moment, the highest price of the day was £11,000 for a pair of Art Deco white gold and diamond ear pendants.

We look forward to our imminent move (in particular the official launch party), and hope that this month’s auctions are a sign of increasing confidence and buoyancy in the Art & Antiques market.
A piece of history
Early in March we were delighted to be given a photograph by Steve & Sue Williams of the Stowmarket History Group.
This is a very old photograph showing our history, and believed to be taken in around 1890.  The main building on the corner was R C Knight & Sons offices until about 1984, when it was demolished to make way for the bottom of the precinct which now leads to Asda.
We are currently housed in the Public House (The White Hart) to the left, and many of the features of that old building can still be recognised.
“Peddars” became Hunt, Peddar & Knight, which eventually became R C Knight & Sons, we then merged with Lacy Scott to become Lacy Scott & Knight.
Ampton Point to Point
On Sunday the 12th March Lacy Scott & Knight sponsored the Men’s Open race at Ampton Point to Point the weather was warm and the rain stayed off. The race had only one horse running, one of the best Point to Pointers in the country and no other horses were prepared to take this horse on! The winning horse was Broken Eagle and is owned by Mr and Mrs Exelby. Our congratulations go to the owner, rider and off course Broken Eagle. the picture is Rob Swiney  (Lacy Scott & Knight) presenting the prize to the owners.
Increases to Probate Fees
After the rush to purchase buy to lets in the early months 2016, because of increased in Stamp Duty, we are now having the 2017 rush, because of the increases in probate fees.

A flat fee currently applies of £215 if reporting privately, or £155 if done by a solicitor, but this will increase to £20,000 for estates worth £2,000,000 or more, from May 2017.

 At this moment it is unclear whether this is the 1st May or the 31st May, but it seems that the date will reflect when probate is applied for, rather than the date of death.

 It will be on a sliding scale, and will be in addition to Inheritance Tax.
Agricultural News
With the 2017 applications opening in the next month the RPA has announced that they have issued 2016 Basic Payments to over 93 per cent of all claimants, 2 months ahead of schedule.

Despite a report fall of around 4 per cent for average arable land values, as recent sales have shown whilst there is still a steady demand for amenity and horse paddock land.

With reports of outbreaks of bird flu (the serious and notifiable disease H5N8) continue, BASC, CA, CLA, GFA, GWCT, NGO and SGA have produced a guidance note on Avian Flu which supports DEFRA’s advice. Specific information regarding gamebirds can be found at The legal requirement to house kept birds or to otherwise separate them from wild birds will remain in place throughout Great Britain until at least 28th February 2017.  Where housing is not possible, the legal requirement is to take ‘reasonable and practical measures’ to separate all kept gamebirds and poultry from wild birds.

Defra has announced the Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZs) for 2017-20. NVZs are areas designated as being at risk from agricultural nitrate pollution. They include about 58% of land in England. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) reviews NVZs every 4 years to account for changes in water pollution.

NVZs for 2017 to 2020 started on 1 January 2017. They include new areas of NVZs, and exclude areas that have been de-designated. Landowners can check whether their farm falls within an NVZ by using the “What’s in your backyard” tool.

However DEFRA has addressed many of the notifying letters to agents not the landowners, having referred to the RPA database. Unfortunately the only individual identification on the letters is the NVZ identification number which does not relate to anything we have access to.

A DEFRA spokesperson told Farmers Weekly the department was aware of the issue, but had sent out the letters to make agents and farmers aware of the designations.  They said DEFRA would be sending out further letters directly to farmers whose notifications had been sent to agents. This was expected to happen in the next month and would reset people’s 28-day appeals deadline date. If you are uncertain whether your land falls within an NVZ or have difficulty viewing the maps online then you can contact the Environment Agency.

It has been a good start for potato prices which have remained strong, finishing at an average £205 per tonne for GB average and £245 per tonne for average free-buy despite volatility earlier in the month. The 2016 has continued to store well with limited reports of wet rot, blackheart and temperature damage in ambient stores.

Approval for the use of the active herbicide ingredient, linuron, has been withdrawn by The European Commission Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed.
Auction History
With our 150th anniversary fast approaching and the latest stage of our development literally taking shape outside, we thought now would be a good time to reflect on Lacy Scott & Knight’s history as an auction house.  

The auction side of the business was established in 1869 by Henry Lacy Scott, and we have been an integral part of historic Bury St Edmunds ever since.  The company was later enlarged to Lacy Scott & Sons, and then further expanded when we merged with Knight’s estate agents of Stowmarket in 1997.  We are now one of the largest salerooms in the East of England, and hold a diverse range of specialist and general sales throughout the year.  However, our early history was less Fine Art and more Fat Sows, as befits Auctioneers of a regional market town!

The first mention of the firm was in the Bury Free Press of 9th July 1869 in the form of an announcement; “Mr Henry Lacy Scott begs to advise as to his setting up in business as an Auctioneer and Valuer, the office being at No.3 Guildhall Street”.

Within a few years, Henry Lacy Scott founded a livestock market behind the Market Tavern (now Gym Bar) on Risbygate Street in 1874.  It soon became the vibrant heart of the town; bustling with dealers, auctioneers, farmers, and drovers, as well as children who loved to see the farm animals.   Henry, who was also a borough councillor and twice mayor, was joined by his sons Archibald and Reginald around the turn of the century before dying in 1904.  The cattle market gradually expanded, briefly interrupted by WWI in which Reginald served.  In the 1920s & ‘30s, Archibald’s own sons Henry and John (who our two salerooms are named after), joined the firm.

The excitement of market day was immortalised in literature when Adrian Bell (father of MP & journalist Martin) described his visit there while training to be a farmer in the 1920s

“All the while the air was filled with the lowing of cattle, the slithering of hoofs, pigs quarrelling, and bells ringing. The large pigs seemed indifferent to their surroundings, sleeping until the auctioneer came to them and the crowd poked them to sudden panic.  Each, as sold, received an indigo blue hieroglyph upon its back, and was soon once more in deep slumber… Everywhere sticks waved; one of the undertones of the place was the continual tattoo of them pattering upon hides.  Men stood conferring solemnly with their hands upon a bullock’s back, as though it were a sacred relic they were swearing by, or raised themselves and stood on the rails to get a comprehensive view of a particular penful.”
Corduroy, Published 1930.

To read the full Auction History go to
Stowmarket Hornets
Stowmarket Hornets (Under 11’s) travelled to Cliff Lane, Ipswich on Sunday for their lunchtime fixture with Ipswich and Suffolk Youth League rivals Ipswich Valley Rangers.  The Hornets were looking for a fourth win in a row, but on a very chilly day suffered a 4-1 defeat against a strong home side.

Before the game the players got together for a team photograph to show off their new kit which has been sponsored by Stowmarket Estate Agents and Chartered Surveyors, Lacy Scott & Knight.  Hopefully Sunday’s loss will only be a temporary setback, and they will soon be back on the winning trail.
During a recent inspection and report by our Surveyor Chris Philpot, he was interested to find that neither the previous tenant, nor the landlord, nor the potential purchaser knew of a problem with the floors which was quickly apparent to those with experience.
A small proportion of 1920s and 1930s properties were built with floors of boards laid onto a concrete screed, but without the benefits of modern damp proofing materials.  As a result the floorboards warp and eventually become loose.
Thick carpets can disguise the problem, but it does not appear to be in any text books, but nevertheless is found by a relatively regular basis around the Suffolk area.  Rectifying the problem is quite expensive and disruptive, proving that cost of a survey would be money well spent.
For more information on surveying and our services, please contact Chris Philpot on 01449 612384 or email
The Great Ivory Debate
No doubt if you are interested in, or trade in, antiques, you will be aware that there is currently a far-reaching and emotive debate taking place regarding the sale of ivory. For centuries, ivory has been used to produce items currently traded as antiques such as piano keys, teapot finials, chess pieces, furniture inlays and carved artworks.  Particularly in the East, ivory has great religious significance to many cultures. Because ivory is a natural organic material which is also virtually indestructible, ivory has been viewed as having mystical powers that could only be attributed to a deity.  But the shocking demise of elephants and rhinoceros, and other species in the wild, means that we need to take stock of what our desire for ivory is doing to the natural world.
The current UN law (passed 1989) in the trade of ivory states that items must be ‘worked’ and to have been produced pre-1947.  This was primarily intended to save elephants, but the result has often been counterproductive because restricting supply in a time of increasing wealth in Asia (the largest market for ivory) has driven up prices.  There is also some confusion under the current law as to what constitutes ‘worked’; in February four London dealers were forced to destroy silver figures of Beefeaters with carved ivory faces and ivory finials on silver teapots at an antiques fair in Miami. While further uncertainty is attached to the date issue; until very recently traders could decide for themselves if the items were pre-1947, but were not required to provide documentary proof of age.

This grey area has proved tricky for reputable auction houses and antiques dealers to navigate.  For example, as it stands, we will sell Japanese Meiji period okimono and netsukes because they have been ‘worked’ (i.e. thoroughly carved and no longer resemble their original form), and they are pre-1947.  However, partly due to restrictions, the lucrative trade in ivory means that recently carved items have entered the market and it can be difficult to ascertain their true age.  Likewise, items such as carved tusks are not necessarily considered ‘worked’ because they are still quite clearly tusks.   In these situations auction houses such as ours err on the side of caution and will not accept them for sale.
On the back of this, there is the ongoing mass slaughter of elephants and rhinoceros.  The numbers are truly appalling.   According to Save The Elephants “an estimated 100,000 elephants were killed for their ivory in Africa between 2010 and 2012”.  A study by Great Elephant Census states that “the population of savannah elephants declined by 30% between 2007 and 2014”. It is clear that something needs to be done if we want elephants to exist for future generations.  
However, the main impetus appears to be to reduce demand, rather than supply.  Aside from its aesthetic value, ivory is prized in many parts of Asia as a status symbol, investment, and is used in the production of drugs.  There are concerns that an imminent outright ban could speed up the massacre of elephants and make illegal poaching and trade even more lucrative as it is forced underground.  Organised crime currently drives the ivory industry, and they will be the main beneficiaries if legal markets are closed down.  A lesser evil, but an interesting comparison is alcohol prohibition in America – Americans kept drinking and only bootleggers and gangsters benefitted.  There is also the fact that some poor communities, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa, rely on poaching as their only means of survival. Nonetheless, legal traders will also be adversely affected by an outright ban.  A LAPADA (London and Provincial Antique Dealers Association) spokesperson estimates that approx. 350 of their members would go out of business if a complete ban was enforced.  This is without even considering the countless, sometimes centuries old, works of art and antiques which could no longer be traded and may actually be destroyed. 
There are many salient points on both sides, and while none of us wants to see the continued destruction of elephants and rhinos, we certainly don’t want to hasten their demise with ill-considered laws. The CITES (Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species) conference began on 24th September, and members will vote on the closure of domestic ivory markets, which several countries oppose, including Japan, Namibia and South Africa.   Whatever the outcome, we all welcome clarity in the law and hope that this issue can be resolved satisfactorily.
Housing and Planning Act 2016
The Housing and Planning Act 2016 has now received Royal Ascent. Although there is much detail to follow we have picked aspects of the Act that may impact landowners with potential residential development land.
Permission in Principle (PiP)
There is the introduction of Permission in Principle (PiP) where Local Authorities will theoretically identify land which in principle can be developed subject to the scale of development.  For land to qualify for Permission in Principle it will need to meet the relevant Local Authority criteria and Technical Details Consent will still be required to obtain a planning permission.
Resolving disputes over planning obligations
The Act introduces legislation relating to the Resolution of Disputes about planning obligations/Section 106 Agreements.  There will be a timetable agreed for outstanding issues on Section 106 Agreements to be determined and where necessary an independent person will be appointed to determine the final terms of the Section 106 Agreement to prevent delays in determination of planning permission.
Starter Homes
Local Authorities must promote the supply of starter homes which are likely to be new dwellings or conversions available to purchase for qualifying first time buyers only.  Starter homes will be sold at a discount of at least 20% of the Market Value and to be sold at less than a price cap £250,000 (outside of London).  It is likely that starter homes will be subject to a number of restrictions although the details are not clear. Restrictions may including a period within which, if the dwelling is resold, a discount should still apply and possibly a requirement to sell to another qualifying buyer.
Self-Build and Custom house building
Local Authorities would be required to maintain a register of people interested in self-build and custom build housing.  The level of demand for this type of development land will be monitored as a result of the number of registrations and this will inform the Local Authorities on the need for this type of housing when preparing their Strategic Housing Market Assessment.  This infers that ultimately there will need to be provision of self-build and custom build plots which equates to the number of people on the register. Ultimately this may create an opportunity to identify and allocate land for this type of development. In other words if you would like a self-build plot get registered and this may lead to the allocation of suitable land.
If you would like to discuss any of the topics above please contact Alex Turner on 01284 748614 or email
A Time to Grow
Over the past 130 years, Lacy Scott & Knight has established itself as one of the East of England’s leading property consultants and fine art auctioneers. With a qualified team of experienced agents and valuers operating in the residential, commercial, rural and antique and collectables sectors, they provide a range of bespoke services that are focused on the needs of their clients. Senior Partner, Chris Philpot, looks to the future....

We have a diverse and dynamic business and when planning the different sections of our new publication we came to appreciate our many facets and how well we integrate and complement each other.

It shows we are not simply estate agents selling houses, although that is of course one of the most obvious profiles, but also you will see how we offer advice over a variety of property types and how the Auction Centre has become one of the most significant sale rooms outside London.

It is pleasing that we have such an active agricultural department in this farming community, and that we can assist on many aspects of advice in an environment that is becoming increasingly bound up with regulations and red tape.

We always think laterally to ensure we are cross-selling our skills and knowledge to bene t our clients. We constantly look at the bigger picture, working to obtain the best results. We recently launched our new website to improve our online presence.  The site presents our full-service offering, our background and people. It also gives you the opportunity to keep in touch by signing up to our e-newsletters and auction catalogues or following us on social media.

If you have not seen a copy of the aforementioned publication do get in touch to request a copy.  It's top class presentation, which is timed to launch with the new website, and reflects a lot of very hard work both within, and outside, Lacy Scott and Knight, for which I am very grateful.

Chris Philpot
Senior Partner
01449 612384




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