What do you enjoy most about your job?
The variety each day brings... As an Auctioneer and Valuer you never know who you will meet, or indeed, what one may find.
What first attracted you to your speciality?
I’ve always been attracted to furniture in particular, which I believe manifested from visiting country houses in my childhood. Growing up, we did not have many antiques in our family home, so I suppose it was a case of ‘absence making the heart grow fonder’! The craftsmanship and utility of furniture never ceases to appeal, not forgetting how it is also one of the best forms of recycling. Plus of course, one cannot ignore how affordable most pieces can be at auction.
What aspect of your job do you find most satisfying?
Whether it’s a hoard of jewellery at the bottom of a filing cabinet or a folio of 18th century drawings in a sock drawer, it’s always thrilling to both discover objects which have been forgotten about and bring them to new light. As well as learning about the sometimes-fascinating provenance, relaying this history to prospective bidders is probably what I find most satisfying.
Within your career to date, which item would you class as your favourite?
One of my favourite items we have sold at Dawsons was a fine George II giltwood table. In the style of James Moore or Elizabeth Gumley (both very well-respected designers of their time), it was beautifully proportioned, made of the finest timber and very much ‘restrained elegance’ rather than being too ornate. The family were delighted when it sold for £17,500.
A George II giltwood and gesso occasional table in the style of James Moore or Elizabeth Gumley. Sold for £17,500
If money were no object, what would be the item you would purchase?
If money were no object, I would have purchased a pair of Isokon chairs that we sold recently here at Dawsons, as I studied and lived near the Isokon as a student. As an investment, I am sure they will only go up in value, as early 20th century design continues to appreciate.
A 20th century Marcel Breuer (1902-1981) for Isokon "short chair" initially designed in 1936 and produced until 1939 by Isokon. Sold for £7,800
What should a potential collector/buyer look to purchase?
I would encourage any collector to buy traditional antique furniture, as it is starting to go up again in value. So, my advice would be to buy it now, before it becomes even more fashionable (and expensive to purchase). As an additional bonus, it looks wonderful alongside both Fine and modern art.
What are the best items to sell via an auction house?
Iconic design, whatever the period should always do well at auction. We have buyers who are both private collectors and interior designers, and who appreciate pieces in many different ways.
Harrison Goldman BA (Hons)
Auctioneer/General Valuer/Furniture Expert
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