Theo Burrell


Decorative Arts & Design

Fine Antiques


Specialist Stories

Excitement right from the start!

My time at Lyon & Turnbull has seen a vast array of auctions, including single-owner, and various departmental sales. However, one of my most exciting times occurred when I first started at the company and was involved in the selling of a 16th century maiolica dish by the Italian artist Francesco Xanto Avelli.

In the lead up to the sale I learnt not only a huge amount about the dish and the artist, but also about the story it depicted and the history of its purchase. When the press came to photograph it, I nervously clutched it for the cameras, and I ensured it was safely packed away at the end of each day. After all of our research, the enquiries started to come in and as the sale day drew closer we knew that the dish was going to be an exciting lot in our auction. I was not left disappointed, eventually selling for over £390,000 (premium inclusive) the sale room erupted into applause! It was a fantastic result for a wonderful object!


Theo Burrell is a specialist in Fine Furniture & Works of Art and Decorative Arts: Design from 1860. She also specialises in European ceramics and glass, taxidermy and tribal art.  

Theo joined Lyon & Turnbull as a specialist in the Antiques department in July 2011, where she ran the seasonal antiques auctions for over a year before introducing the Interiors sale format. She now works primarily on the Fine Furniture and Decorative Arts auctions.

Her experience and interest developed from her studies: an MA in History and a MLitt in Decorative Arts, both completed at the University of Glasgow. Before finishing her second degree, Theo interned with Lyon & Turnbull for some time, working on various auctions throughout the company. Her relationship with Lyon & Turnbull stretches back to her teens however, when she spent summers working as a viewing staff member.

In October 2012 Theo took to the rostrum as an auctioneer, a skill which she continues to exercise across various auctions during the year. The rest of her time is spent researching, cataloguing and appraising antiques for auction, both in our Edinburgh office and at house visits throughout the UK.