In 2013, Keys Fine Art Auctioneers celebrated its 60th anniversary, making us one of the longest-established regional auctioneers in East Anglia.
Founded by Geoffrey Key in 1953 on the site that Keys still occupies today in the North Norfolk market town of Aylsham, the business started as a small livestock market selling mainly poultry. By the end of the 1950s, these sales had become some of the largest of their type in the country.
In 1955, Geoffrey Key was joined by John Lines, who developed the sales to include a weekly general furniture sale and periodic antique sales during the 1960s.
In 1970, Roy Murphy – still with the business as Partner and Fine Art Director – joined, establishing other fine art sales, including pictures, books and collectables.
In the intervening years, Keys has developed into a major auction company, with a reputation which stretches far beyond its East Anglian origins.
Nowadays Keys holds over 80 Fine Art, Antique, Country, Commercial and Specialist sales covering the whole auction spectrum. Still operating from the same five acre saleground in Aylsham, Keys now has a wide-ranging team of experts in many areas, offering a complete auction service which rivals many national concerns.
The firm has been in the vanguard of embracing new ideas and technology. In particular, the advent of the internet, and live online bidding, has opened up its sales to a much wider, worldwide audience, with buyers bidding from their computers and mobile devices right across the globe.
Keys Fine Art Auctioneers is part of Arnolds Keys, a group which also incorporates Norfolk’s largest independent property and estate agency firm, as well as Keys Holidays, a holiday lettings business which is rapidly expanding from its core in North Norfolk into Broadland. This wider expertise allows the firm to offer useful complementary services; for example, a complete probate package including sale of both property and contents.