Our Services

Our Services Buyer and Selling Guide Specialist Auctions


At Ramsay Cornish we hold over 62 auctions per year, more than any other auction house in Edinburgh. We have different categories of auction to provide the best possible market exposure for your goods to sale. We hold weekly General Interiors and Collectables Auctions every Saturday – including contemporary and Antique furnishings, clocks, paintings and works of art; from the useful to the decorative. Pre sales advice is always free.

Our busy auction calendar includes regular Specialist auctions – Antique and Decorators’, Collectors and our annual Scottish Sale. We also hold occasional Country House or single vendor auctions which in the past have included Kinross House, Kinross.  Recent highlights from Specialist auctions have included, Jenny Saville, Nude, sketch, selling for £180,000, a rare bottle of Lagavulin whisky, selling for a record price of £11,500, a pair of Regency circular mirrors, selling for £13,000, a handsome mahogany breakfront bookcase, 19th., selling for £6500.

Ramsay Cornish offers a comprehensive service dealing with all levels of goods from single items to entire house contents.  To deal with residual items, we hold fortnightly Vintage ‘fleamarket auctions, an Edinburgh institution carried on from Lyon & Turnbull, George Street, Edinburgh by Martin Cornish this varied and fascinating auction is held outside on a Thursday and has a unique atmosphere. All our auctions begin at 11am. Our auction house is easily reached from the city centre, please click on our Google Maps link in the right sidebar.

Specialist Auction Calendar 2018

Antique & Decorator: Saturday 10th March

Vintage & Collector: Saturday 5th May

Antique & Decorator: Saturday 2nd June

The Scottish Sale: Saturday 25th August

Antique & Decorator: Saturday 29th September

Vintage & Collector: 17th November

Antique & Decorator: Saturday 8th December


Ramsay Cornish offers a full valuation service for professional and private clients. We offer a complete Inheritance Tax (probate) valuation service for the administration of estates throughout the UK. Our inheritance tax valuations are undertaken to make the process as simple as possible for the executors and administrators and are supplied in accordance with Section 160 of the Inheritance Act of 1984. We can tailor the valuation to your particular requirements, for example with illustrations if required, which can be useful for beneficiaries to identify bequests. Valuations are emailed and sent as a hard copy. We can place a high importance on the speed with which we can produce the final valuation and in emergencies can provide the valuation in 48 hours. Ramsay Cornish can also arrange for full clearance of properties, delivery or storage of bequests, or delivery to sale. Our busy sale calendar includes both general and specialist sales throughout the year.

We are always delighted to either appraise goods either on our premises or in your home. Please contact our office for an appointment on info@ramsaycornish.com or 0131 553 7000. We provide quick and efficient valuations for the following:

Inheritance Tax – (known in English law as Valuation for Probate)

Capital Gains Tax valuations for Fine Art & Antiques


Family Division/Divorce

Goods to sale

Willing buyer/willing seller

Change of tenant in Hospitality Industry

Online Valuations

Our free Online Valuations service is now available. A new service that we have introduced is preparing free pre-sale valuations for you online. Just fill in the form and attach an image of the item(s) and don’t forget to include your contact details.

House clearances

At Ramsay Cornish we have over 26 years experience in dealing with house clearances. We are always happy to visit clients in their homes to advise and organise sale of contents or part contents. Pre sales advice is always free. In the case of an executry we can advise and organise all aspects from providing an initial valuation to sorting personal papers and effects and identifying and organising dispatch of bequests. Whether downsizing, moving house or dealing with a relative’s estate, this can be a stressful time and we are delighted to help with advice and support in any way we can. We have good relationships with a variety of local carriers and are pleased to recommend or to organise on your behalf TNT and Broughton Removals. For larger consignments or entire contents we personally visit the property on the day of uplift and supervise packing and removal ensuring that everything runs smoothly at what can be a stressful time. We work closely with solicitors throughout Scotland, from the Borders, East Lothian, Edinburgh and further afield and communicate with them closely over executry work.

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Specialist Auctions

Antique and Decorators’ Auctions

Ramsay Cornish holds bi-monthly specialist Antique and Decorators’ sales by auction. Highlights from the past six months include a 19th century Chinese blue and white hawthorn pattern vase and cover which achieved £2800, a continental figured walnut concave fronted commode which achieved £860 and a charcoal drawing by Sir David Young Cameron which achieved £460 (illustrated).

Martin Cornish

Silver and Jewellery Auctions

Ramsay Cornish holds quarterly specialist Silver and Estate Jewellery Sales. Recent highlights include a 1920s Cartier tutti fruiti carved ruby, emerald and diamond brooch which achieved £6200, an Ebel 18carat gold diamond set watch which achieved £2800 and a lady’s 18carat gold diamond set Rolex watch which achieved £2700.

We are delighted to arrange appointments for jewellery appraisals and valuations. Please contact our office on 0131 553 7000.

Weekly General Interiors and Collectables Auctions

Our weekly General Furnishings and Collectables sales often turn up exciting surprises such as an uncorrected author’s proof copy of Irving Welsh’s Trainspotting which generated a huge amount of local and national interest finally realising £520. With some damage to jacket this was a higher than expected price.

Buying and Selling Guide

Seller’s Guide

Items for sale can be handled in a variety of ways to suit you, the client. It is advisable in the first instance to contact our office on 0131 553 7000 to arrange for a home visit where an experienced valuer will visit to give you a clear idea of items suitable for sale and of anticipated market value. For small consignments or single items you may prefer to deliver them in person in which case a valuer will discuss prices etc. with you on the premises. If a valuer is not available, we can keep the items aside and contact you when they have been appraised.

Should you require a carrier to bring your goods to sale we have a list of approved carriers who will be able to help. Seller’s are asked to note that we are able to receive goods for sale Monday to Wednesday 9.30-5.00pm, should you wish to deliver goods on Thursday or Friday, please contact the office to arrange a time. We are unable to receive goods for sale on Saturdays.

Once goods are consigned for sale, you will be given a receipt with a Vendor Number, this is your unique client number which is used to identify your goods as they proceed through the sale process. All communication with you from receipt to settlement statement will include this number. Settlement will be made by cheque or bank transfer approximately three weeks after the last item has sold.

Terms and conditions for sellers

Privacy Notice

Buyer’s Guide

Bidding in Person

All bidders who intend to bid in person at the sale are required to complete a buyer’s registration form for which proof of address is required. Each buyer is then allocated a unique bidder number and given a paddle displaying their bidder number to be shown clearly to the auctioneer if a purchase is made. Bidder numbers are allocated per sale so you should register and get a new number for each sale you attend. Your bill will be available during or after the sale and should be paid on the day at the office either by cash or cheque. Goods cannot be removed from the saleroom until payment has been received. We require payment by bank transfer for large amounts, details are available from the office. We regret that we are unable to store goods for buyers after the sale. A catalogue is prepared for each sale with a brief description of the item and a ‘lot’ number allocated to each item. Estimates are provided in the catalogue for specialist sales, for other sales, please ask a member of saleroom staff for assistance or guidance. Our online catalogue is fully illustrated with useful features such as enlargement and multiple images for certain lots, for example to show a detail or signature etc.. Please remember that our staff are on hand to help and if you have any questions please feel free to ask.

Absentee Bidding

Bidders who are unable to attend the sale can bid in a variety of ways. You can either email a list of bids with lot numbers clearly shown – it is advisable to put a brief description of the lot, such as ‘chest’ or ‘wardrobe’ to ensure that lot numbers have not been transposed and that your bid is for the correct lot. The email should include your full contact details. Bidders can also complete an ‘absentee bid form’ which you would complete with lot number, description and the maximum price you wish to bid to. Please be assured that your bid is viewed by the auctioneer as if you are bidding in the room. Bidders can also complete a ‘telephone bid’ form including the same details, we will then phone you before your lot comes up and you can place your bids yourself with your allocated staff member repeating your bids in the room. Due to high demand for some lots it may not be possible to guarantee a phone bid to everyone who would like one, it is advisable to book the bid well in advance. We would advise always that you leave a covering bid in case we are unable to get through to you, this will be treated as an ‘absentee bid’. Our staff are on hand to answer any questions you may have about absentee bidding.

Online Bidding

We welcome online bidding through theSaleroom.com, bidders who chose to bid online can do so by registering and logging into the Saleroom website here.

Terms and conditions for buyers

Privacy Notice

Forthcoming Auction Dates

    July 2019

    • Saturday 20thJuly

      General Interiors Auction at 11am

    • Thursday 25thJuly

      Thursday Vintage Auction at 11am

    • Saturday 27thJuly

      General Interiors Auction at 11am

    August 2019

    • Thursday 01stAugust

      Thursday Vintage Auction at 11am

    • Saturday 03rdAugust

      General Interiors Auction at 11am

    • Thursday 08thAugust

      Thursday Vintage Auction at 11am

    • Saturday 10thAugust

      General Interiors Auction at 11am

    • Thursday 15thAugust

      Thursday Vintage Auction at 11am

    • Saturday 17thAugust

      General Interiors Auction at 11am

    • Thursday 22ndAugust

      Thursday Vintage Auction at 11am

    • Saturday 24thAugust

      General Interiors Auction at 11am

    • Thursday 29thAugust

      Thursday Vintage Auction at 11am

    • Saturday 31stAugust

      The Incorrigible Collector: Ethnographia, Textiles and Toys: The Dr E.A. Carswell Collection

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    0131 553 7000 Email
    15-17 Jane Street, Edinburgh, EH6 5HG

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    Buyers commission for Specialist
    and General auctions 18% plus VAT