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Ben Fenton of Dundee auctioneers BL Fenton dies aged 81

Dundee auctioneer Ben Fenton.
Dundee auctioneer Ben Fenton.

Ben Fenton, who spent nearly 70 years with the family firm BL Fenton and Sons auctioneers in Dundee, has died in his 82nd year.

He conducted his last auction a few weeks ago and remained heavily involved in the firm he joined at the age of 15.

BL Fenton and Sons was established by Ben’s grandfather, also Ben, and the firm has been based in Victoria Road ever since.

Education

Ben’s parents were Harry (Henry) and Winnie Fenton and he was educated at Morgan Academy in Dundee.

He left school at 15 and went straight to work in the family firm.

His son, Richard, said: “He began at the very bottom and worked his way up.

“He would work on the van, collecting and delivering, then he progressed to driving the van before becoming an auctioneer.

“He learned every aspect of the business from an early age.”

Saleroom

At one point in its history BL Fenton had its own showroom which was stocked with furniture and household goods.

Ben met his future wife, Lilias in Broughty Ferry and the couple married in 1962. They had two of a family, Richard and Steven, who now run the business.

Proud to serve

Richard said his father took great pride in being a family business that had served the city well for more than a century.

The post-war period when some owners of large houses were downsizing was a particularly busy time for the firm.

Although the mainstay of the business has been the sale of household items, silver, porcelain and antique furniture, there have been some outstanding prices set for artwork over the years.

Artworks

A painting by Scottish artist John Maclauchlan Milne set a world record price in excess of £20,000 and several works by James McIntosh Patrick have passed through the saleroom.

Golf and snooker were Ben’s two great hobbies. He played competitively over Monifieth golf links for many years.

You can read the family’s announcement here.

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