The business commenced in the early 1920’s when Rowland Gorringe opened offices in Lewes, the county town of East Sussex, as an estate agent and auctioneer.
He held many sales in properties in Lewes and its environs, most famously being instructed to sell the contents of Lewes House, a collection built by the American art connoisseur and collector Edward Percy Warren. This sale created international interest as, in addition to a remarkable collection of early furniture and works of art, it included the major works - Auguste Rodin's 'The Kiss' ('Le Baiser') and 'The Portrayal of Adam and Eve' by Lucas Cranach The Elder. This sale was certainly the talk of the county and was followed by a series of instructions to sell country house contents.
Up until this time, collective sales had been regularly held at Wallands House in Lewes, the last sale there taking place in September 1945. Just after the war in 1946 Gorringe’s moved to its current site at 15 North Street in Lewes.
The late 1990’s saw the addition of further galleries to the North Street saleroom and the opening of the Tunbridge Wells office.
In 2001 Gorringes Incorporating Julian Dawson formed by a merger with Lewes Auction Rooms, the other established auction rooms in Lewes. The partnership continues to operate from two salerooms with regular Antiques and Fine Art catalogued auctions at North Street and weekly Antiques, Collectables and Household auctions at Garden Street. Julian Dawson is due to retire as a partner at the end of 2016.
In November 2008 Gorringe’s pioneered live internet sales. Initial take up was modest but now provides 50% of all bidding.
2010 saw the complete refurbishment of the North Street Galleries, with new silver, jewellery and picture viewing rooms, a new saleroom with multiple screens and a café.