In 1895 Messrs Wood and Mason opened for business as auctioneers and estate agents at 19 Station Square, Harrogate. In 1917 Mr Ward, then the sole owner, advertised for a buyer or partner for the business as he was expecting to be called up for service with the Colours.
Horatio Morphet left his own practice in Kirkby Lonsdale and purchased the Harrogate business for the princely sum of £450. Two years later his son, Horace Taylor Morphet joined him and in 1923 the firm was renamed Morphet and Morphet.
The Saleroom at Morphets Auctioneers
New premises were sought and the following year the business moved to the site of the old Christian Science Church at No 4 Albert Street with a second saleroom at 27 Oxford Street. In the 1940s the business relocated to to its present day site with the acquisition of no 6 Albert Street, Harrogate.
Such was the growth of Morphets that in 1954 four senior members of staff were invited to become partners and in 1964 Horace ‘Bob’ Morphet retired leaving the firm under the direction of the three remaining partners to continue the success of the business.
It was in 1979 that Elizabeth Pepper-Darling joined the business and appointed as assistant to the auctioneers she began her training as a valuer both in-house and in London. The 1980s saw Morphets merging with William H Brown, the Lincolnshire based estate agency and later merging again with Royal Sun Alliance forming a nationwide network of estate agencies and auctioneers.
In the 1990s the opportunity to return Morphets to an independent auction house arose and on January 1st 1995 Elizabeth Pepper-Darling, then senior valuer, along with auctioneer Robert Woods purchased the business. Robert Woods retired in 1997 leaving Elizabeth to direct a team of consultants and salesroom staff to build on the strong traditions of personal and professional service that have long been the foundation stones of Morphets and have made them one of the top regional auction houses in the country.
Morphets are members of the Society of Fine Art Auctioneers and Valuers