Tennants started out as a small family-run business, set up by Edmund Slinger Tennant, over 100 years ago. Edmund prided himself on providing a personal service, always putting his clients’ interests first – and that tradition is still being upheld today by his grandson, Rodney Tennant and great-granddaughters Alison, Jane & Caroline.
The 21st century has seen Tennants become an important international auction house, operating from impressive purpose-built premises in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales.
The Early Years
The first auction house was in Middleham, a 2,000sq ft building with adjoining field for farm equipment and larger household items.
By the 1970s and early 1980s Tennants was consolidating its position in the North with a series of important country house and fine art sales held in their Richmond saleroom.
Moving onto the International Stage
On 1 September 1993, Tennants’ impressive Auction Centre in Leyburn was officially opened by the late Sir John Harvey Jones MBE. The 40,000sq ft building went on to be voted the ‘Best Regional Auction House’ by BACA (British Antiques and Collectables Awards) in 2002. This prestigious award was complemented by Rodney’s achievement in 2001 of being crowned ‘Auctioneer of the Year’.
The new Auction Centre helped to establish the company as one of the leading auction houses both in this country and overseas.
On 27 February 1995 the doors opened to Tennants’ Harrogate office. The Oakham office opened in 2003 following the aquisition of Heathcote Ball Auctioneers of Leicester. These offices provide additional convenient locations for clients to have their items valued, arrange home visits or enquire about our services and sales. We also have a network of regional representatives throughout the UK.
With 26 specialist departments, over 50 highly knowledgeable full-time staff, a network of renowned consultants and a multi-million pound turnover, our success remains firmly rooted in our traditional values of personal service and guaranteed confidentiality, combined with an outstanding range and depth of expertise. We have achieved a high profile and widely respected standing in the international marketplace, with clients worldwide.
In 2014 we expanded the existing premises to include The Garden Rooms; a multi-purpose venue allowing us to combine auctions with the arts, education and events. The new venue is an extension of our core auctioneering business and gives further department, cataloguing and saleroom space as well as museum standard display galleries which allow us to exhibit rare or unusual items, or collections, for up to three months ahead of sale. Our venue is now 80,000sq ft, making us the largest family owned auction house in the UK and one of the largest in Europe.