About Lawsons



James R. Lawson Senior established himself as the leading auctioneer in Sydney Town during the 1870s when Sydney was a bustling market town, thronging with new immigrants full of pioneering opportunities as a new world city. In those days everything from groceries such as tea and salt, through to sailing ships were sold by public auction often on the wharfs. James R. Lawson was well known in his day as the leading auctioneer in Sydney and he also had a reputation as a great raconteur and the best dressed auctioneer in town.

Into this century the family owned company of Lawsons sold many of the finest collections at Sydney’s gracious homes including on site auctions at Toft Monks and Notable collections sold include the Burdekin House sale in 1922, the Norman Sheuruck collection in 1963, the Sim Rubensohn collection at Kelvin Lodge in 1973 and the Lloyd Jones collection at Rosemont Woollahra in 1981. 

In September 2001 the Menzies Group of Companies acquired the historic Sydney auction house Lawsons with over 120 years unbroken auction history in Australia. The company now handles a wide range of property from domestic and general chattels through to the upper end of the market for Australian and International Art, Antique Furniture, Fine Wine, Jewellery, Decorative Arts and prestigious Home Contents Auctions and Single Vendor Collections.

In recent times Lawsons handled 'the Collection of Amana Finley and Sir Peter and Lady Finley' in Point Piper in April 2003, 'the Estate of the late Dr. Geoffrey Davis' at the Abbey, Annandale in 2009, 'the Estate of the late, the Honourable Roderick Pitt Meagher, A.O. Q.C' in Darling Point in 2011 and the Vizard Foundation Collection of Important Australian Silver and Gold in April 2012 achieving record prices for a colonial gold trophy cup and early goldfields jewellery.



MARTIN FARRAH | Managing Director

Martin Farrah's background is in financial markets trading where he worked for institutional banks in Australia and the United Kingdom. Martin’s lifelong interest in antique furniture led him to pursue a career in the auction industry. He has been Managing Director for Lawsons and auctioneering for Menzies since 2002. Martin has completed graduate and post graduate finance degrees and is a member of the Auctioneers and Valuers Association of Australia.


SIMON HILL | General Manager

Simon has been with Lawsons since 1999 and has extensive experience, a thorough understanding of the auction business and is committed to delivering a high standard of service to our clients. Simon is also our in-house Wine Specialist.


SHAUNA FARREN-PRICE | Business Manager

Shauna completed a Bachelor of Arts honours degree (Fine Art Valuation) in 1995 in the UK and has since worked as an appraiser for independent companies, the insurance industry in London and major auction houses in the UK. Shauna has been with Lawsons Auctioneers since 2001.