Home > TimeLine Auctions: Our Roots


Back to previous page

Our History

Since our founding, TimeLine Auctions has grown to become one of the world’s leading auctioneers of ancient art, with regular sales connecting international collectors with the fascinating world of antiquities. Our sales include jewellery, ceramics, sculpture and coins among other collectable items.

TimeLine Auctions currently operates from its head office in the coastal town of Harwich, whilst hosting its auctions at various established London venues including the Emmanuel Centre and the May Fair Hotel. These auctions, held four times a year, showcase a diverse array of exciting material and attract collectors across the world. Notable lots have included a 15th century silver-gilt iconographic ring thought to belong to Joan of Arc which sold for £297,600, setting a world record for medieval rings. The ring matched the description Joan of Arc gave at her trial in 1431, inscribed with ‘I M’ for Jesus Maria.

 

Continuing a Tradition

TimeLine Auctions is proud to maintain a long and flourishing tradition of gem and fossil trade through its Natural History lots, tracing its heritage back to a historic London dealership. In 2016, TimeLine Auctions merged with Gregory, Bottley & Lloyd, the second longest-running gem and fossil dealership in the world, established in 1858. The company was first established by James Reynolds Gregory (1832-1899) who founded his business selling polished stones, minerals and fossils from his premises in King William Street. During over forty years of dealing, Gregory firmly established himself as an expert in his field. He collected widely, exhibiting at major commercial shows throughout the world, and won awards for excellence in Paris, Sydney and London. He was elected as a fellow of the Geological Society and also held membership of the Mineralogical Society and the Royal Society of Arts.

James Reynolds Gregory died in 1899, leaving J.R. Gregory & Co. to his eldest son, Albert. In 1931, the firm became Gregory, Bottley & Co. when it was taken over by Percy and Winifred Bottley who continued to play an influential role in the mineral market in the UK from their premises at Old Church Street. Under the Bottleys, the business took in the stock of other notable dealers and collectors, expanding until it dominated the supply of specimen minerals in the British Isles. The couple spent many trips travelling across Europe, taking in Belgium, France, Switzerland and Italy, to acquire prized minerals, reviving their business and contacts after the Second World War.

The death of Percy Bottley in 1981 and the subsequent acquisition of the business by Brian Lloyd, an independent dealer and former mineral and fossil expert at Sotheby's, saw the business become Gregory, Bottley & Lloyd. Brian moved the business to 13 Rickett Street in 1982 and then round the corner to 13 Seagrave Street in 1993 where it remained until 2007, when the Lloyds moved to Walmer, Kent, continuing their work from there. In 2014, the remaining stock was auctioned off, signalling an end to 156 fruitful years of specialist mineral dealing.

In April 2016, however, the business merged with TimeLine Auctions and The Gregory, Bottley & Lloyd Natural History Auction was held later that year. TimeLine Auctions is proud to continue the trade of minerals and fossils in each of its sales, taking inspiration from James ReynoldsGregory, Bottley and Lloyd.


Auction Catalogue


See auction lots: