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My favourite story concerns long standing clients in Ayrshire who were moving house. They asked us to visit to look at silver and paintings and almost as an after thought asked if we had book sales. The company currently has three specialist book sales a year. After several hours looking through the shelves of dusty volumes we came across one volume (of three) of the first edition of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. By the end of the day we had found the other two volumes to make up the set, one in the maids room and one in the library! The client was delighted to learn that they might have some value and we took them away to be photographed and catalogued for our upcoming sale.
On the day of the sale I was on the telelphone to a very strong bidder from the south of England. He had heard about the sale of the books on Radio 4 that morning and had quickly organised a telephone bid. He ended up being the successful purchaser at the price of £42,500. He was buying the book as a very special gift to his wife who had studied English Literature at university and was a dedicated Jane Austen fan.
I love this story as it encapsulates exactly what our team do best – seeking out undiscovered gems and, through specialist knowledge and creative marketing, secure a new owner who cherishes this previously un-noticed treasure.
Campbell Armour, one of the founding Directors of Lyon & Turnbull, heads up the Valuations department in Glasgow and the west of Scotland. He is also a specialist in European ceramics and glass.
Campbell has over thirty years’ experience in the world of fine art valuation and auctioneering. After studying Modern Languages at the University of St Andrews he spent a year in Paris returning to complete a post-graduate degree in Accounting in Edinburgh.
A brief stint with Ernst & Young was followed by his first role at an auctioneers, general porter for Phillips. Moving on to become an assistant in the Furniture & Antiques department, he worked with his now fellow Lyon & Turnbull director Paul Roberts, before moving to the Glasgow saleroom as a general valuer. Campbell became Director of Glasgow soon after this - the youngest Director of Phillips in the UK.
During this period he studied for RICS exams in the chattels division and won the Reginald Tapping Prize. This involved two years of study and exams culminating in a practical exam taking the form of a written valuation. For a number of years he sat on the specialist Antiques panel of RICS with regular meetings in London.
In 1999 Campbell left Phillips and, along with four other colleagues, was instrumental in the regeneration of the long-established Lyon & Turnbull. In his role as the Glasgow and the West Coast Director he continues to work as a general valuer and is integral to the company’s business development team.
Campbell is renowned as a charity auctioneer carrying out around 20 charity auctions a year. Over the years he has helped raise huge amounts for charities throughout the UK, including assisting Woman of Influence to raise over £1million for their chosen charity Action for Children and supporting Macmillan Cancer Support at one their biggest annual lunch events. He has similarly helped institutions including The University of Glasgow, The RSNO, The Trades House of Glasgow and The Glasgow School of Art. More recently he acted at an Oxfam fundraising event with Annie Lennox.
Outside of Lyon & Turnbull Campbell dedicates a lot of his time to various charitable associations supporting the arts in Scotland. Not only has he served as the chairman of the Art Fund for his region for over seven years, a group with a membership of around 700 people, he is also a trustee of the Biggar Museum Trust and a patron of both National Galleries of Scotland and the National Museums of Scotland.