25th June 2024

Prime Magazine Issue Five: Hidden treasures in your home, Dawsons Auctioneers

Category: Lifestyle


Tags: antique, art, auctions, dawsons, jewellery, vintage

In the words of American interior designer and author Nate Berkus, “Your home should tell the story of who you are, and be a collection of what you love, brought together under one roof.” For many, moving house can be an opportunity to ‘start again’, with a new house and a blank canvas of sorts. Taste in décor and style can change significantly over time, and if you are moving house, it is very possible that you have items in your house that no longer ‘tell the story of who you are’. If that is the case, knowing what is and is not valuable can be a difficult thing to work out.

We spoke with leading international Valuers & Auctioneers, Dawsons to discover whether it’s time to dust off your hidden treasures. Based from their auction logistics centre in Maidenhead Berkshire, Dawsons are dedicated to providing professional, discrete current market valuations and sales advice for Fine Jewellery, Watches, Fine & Contemporary Art, Antiques, and Family Heirlooms. Fine sales are broadcast live across multiple auction platforms to a global audience of over 10 million active bidders for maximum exposure, along with social media posts, to create increased competitive bidding from buyers all over the world.

So, what’s on trend and performing well at auction in 2024?

Contemporary Art

Often when investing in art, it is to fit in with the décor of the house we are living within. When we move, the dilemma is whether that art will fit the design a new house may already have. Thankfully, the value of contemporary art is significant in today’s marketplace. As with any artform, contemporary art fluctuates in value in accordance with fashion and desire – the more fashionable and desirable an artist, the higher the market value of their work. In recent times, Dawsons has provided sales advice and delivered outstanding results when marketing and selling clients’ contemporary art at auction.

Modern British Art

The demand for modern British paintings, sculptures and ceramics is currently at a high. A market that has often been overlooked as an investment; buyer interest, and as a direct consequence – prices, have recently soared. Now, works from artists such as L.S. Lowry, Mary Fedden and Barbara Hepworth, to name but a few, are highly sought after. With many artists now coveted by a growing international audience, it is important to state the need for expert opinions on items and their value. Dawsons’ friendly team of experts can provide a complimentary valuation and confidential sales advice, helping you to make an informed decision.

Follower of Filippino Lippi (1457-1504), a depiction of the Madonna and Child with attendant angels | Sold at auction for £255,000

Contemporary / Modernist Furniture

Interestingly, over the past 5-10 years in particular, antique furniture has become less and less fashionable, and as a result it has become less desirable to potential buyers. Antique ‘brown’ furniture commands less money when sold on the open market, whilst conversely, contemporary and modernist furniture has become more fashionable and popular in recent times, often realising significant prices at auction. Invariably built around practicality and ergonomics, furniture from the 20th Century in particular, such as Isokon and Eames, are now extremely sought after.

Antique silver / jewellery

Whether Edwardian or Victorian, you may have inherited antique jewellery that has been passed down through the generations that is simply not to your taste and which is currently in a jewellery box or bedside table, often never seeing the light of day. It is worth noting that antique jewellery is very much in fashion with a huge audience of international conoisseurs, and it can often realise a significant amount at auction – allowing you to replace it with jewellery more to your liking.

Or, perhaps you have a large collection of family silver that, for practical reasons, is no longer put to use. With a huge global audience of collectors, antique silver is proving extremely popular with buyers in both the UK and abroad.

Rolex Sea-Dweller Submariner 2000 – Double Red – Reference: 1665 from 1968 | Sold at auction for £31,500

Wine and Whisky

One of the hardest things to safely transport with you to a new home can be vintage wine, champagne, whisky, and rare spirits. Indeed, if you have an ageing wine cellar, it is highly possible that you may not be aware of the current value lurking within. The same goes for whisky which, for certain vintages, has seen prices skyrocket in recent times, especially for rare or limited-edition bottles. In 2019, The Macallan Fine & Rare 60-Year-Old 1926 became the most expensive whisky ever purchased, when sold at auction for £1.5 million!

A Collection

It is worth noting that collections can reach significant value at auction, depending on the desirability of the items that have been carefully put together. From collections of Messien porcelain, to family silver, to Martin Brothers pottery, to privately curated collections of fine paintings, through to collections of film memorabilia, and everything in between, they can often hold significant value.

Dawsons understand that selling a collection, that may have been within a family for many years, can be an emotional and difficult thing to do. However, if you are not keen to take a collection with you to your new home, expert valuers are on hand to provide confidential sales advice – their findings might just delight you!

So, what treasures are hiding in your home? If you are thinking about moving house, it may be worth having a conversation with Dawsons. Visit their website at www.dawsonsauctions.co.uk

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