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November 2020 / Homes & Interiors / by Liz Skone James

Hidden Treasures

The life of an auctioneer is never predictable, says auctioneer and valuer, Harrison Goldman, one of the specialist team at Dawsons Auctioneers & Valuers who travel all over London and beyond, advising clients on anything from a silver tea set to a house full of antique furniture.

“We were recently called to attend a large detached property situated in one of Hampstead’s most premium addresses,” Harrison tells us. “The family required a market valuation for theentire contents and subsequent sale at auction. As we operate a ‘no stone unturned policy’, I spent a whole day exploring every cupboard and attic. It was a fruitful search – a pair of sterling silver Tiffany & Co serving dishes found behind the sink later sold at auction for £550, a 1930s bronze Menorah by Benno Elkan sold for £4,200 and an abstract unsigned bronze sculpture, found within overgrown foliage in the garden, sold for £3,100. Amazingly, all of these items had been missed by another auction house who had previously carried out a probate valuation when the former resident passed away.”

“After the careful collection and removal of the saleable contents, I arranged for the remaining low-value contents of the five-bedroom house to be donated to local charities, anything unsuitable for donation (including, on this occasion, a decomposing car!) was then removed by our in house clearance team. Because I always remain on site to check that nothing of value is left behind accidentally, I managed to rescue several albums of family photographs that were believed to be long lost… These sentimental treasures were returned to a grateful family.”

We can’t recommend Dawsons highly enough. We have worked closely with Harrison Goldman, who is professional, friendly and knowledgeable, and has helped many of our clients at often very sensitive times during probate. His knowledge and expertise has been of great value.Philip Green, Goldschmidt and Howland

Speaking to Harrison about his work, it is clear that this is just one example of the many instances where the Dawsons team have not only discovered previously overlooked items of value, but more importantly saved them from being lost forever. Harrison tells me a story involving a client who had inherited a London home from a deceased relative. “They contacted a local ‘man in a van’ to value and remove its contents. After receiving a valuation of £550 for the entire contents, they were ready to sell. Fortunately, an inquisitive relative spied an ‘interesting chair or two’ and then sought an expert opinion from us. Much to the family’s delight, our team of specialists valued and sold the collection for an impressive £86,000!”

The ‘interesting’ chairs that led a relative to seek a revaluation – they sold for £32,000

Dawsons Auctioneers & Valuers are an established antiques and fine art auction house with offices in London and Berkshire. The team are experts in providing valuations and advice across the country, whether it be for auction, insurance or probate purposes. They provide a ‘turn-key’ solution to their customers, inclusive of the initial valuation, subsequent collection, sale of items at auction, logistics and clearance. Covering the whole of the UK, they specialise in selling antiques and collectables, including furniture, paintings, jewellery, watches, classic cars and much more. Dawsons hold a monthly fine art and antiques auction, streaming all of their auctions live online to a huge global audience; ensuring that they achieve maximum worth in respect of any items that they auction. Their team of specialists take care of everything, ensuring that all items are carefully researched, catalogued, and marketed to prospective buyers across the globe.

To arrange a free valuation you can send photographs to info@dawsonsauctions.co.uk or arrange an appointment at Dawsons’ London office in Hampstead. Alternatively, to arrange a complimentary (Covid-safe) house visit, call 020 7431 9445 (dawsonsauctions.co.uk)