Lewis Browning

General Valuer

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From an early age Lewis has had a passion for art and history, whilst his father’s profession in the car industry ensured he grew up with an appreciation of the value of auctions.

 

It is no surprise to find him working at Dawsons, where his love of art & antiques and general valuations knowledge are put to great use in helping provide clients with sound sales advice.

 

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Why are you working within the auction world?

It is an amazing way in which to see a whole range of different and interesting pieces from many different areas of collecting. It’s simply not the same as seeing pieces in a museum behind glass… they are things you can actually handle. Also, there are very few industries, where each day is quite so varied, you’re never sitting still, as one can never know what is out there to discover. It’s the thrill of the chase that keeps me working within the auction world.

 

Within your career to date, which item would you class as your favourite? 

Oddly, despite not being a specialism of mine at all, while working through a large collection of toys and dolls house furniture, I found a group of five tin plate pieces of dolls house furniture within a large dolls house.  They were out of keeping with the rest of the pieces, so I researched them and found them to have been made by the manufacturer Evans and Cartwright of Wolverhampton, whose pieces are highly valuable and collected. The group of five pieces sold for £4500, having been bought by a private collector who said it was the first time he had ever seen pieces by the maker correctly attributed and catalogued at auction! Quite an accolade, and my favourite discovery to date, as these items had caught my eye amongst a huge collection.

What first attracted you to your speciality?

I have always been interested in the arts and in this early period of my career I have a wide range of interests. Paintings and sculpture have proven to be the areas which I find the most interesting, coming from an art history background. I was attracted to it as I love the element of connoisseurship, being able to spot the inner works of the artist’s mind on the piece is quite a special feeling.

A French Art Deco platinum and multi gem Egyptian revival pendant
A French Art Deco Egyptian revival pendant

Sold for £39,500

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What aspect of your career do you find most satisfying?

I do love discovering and valuing the pieces, whilst being able to convince a client to consign their objects for sale is also an extremely satisfying moment. The industry can be perceived as somewhat stuffy, but in reality, it is a very competitive, modern and fast paced sector to be working within.  

"being able to spot the inner works of the artist’s mind on the piece is quite a special feeling.."

If money were no object, what would you most like to buy?

An oil painting by Lucian Freud, as he is one of the greatest painters of the 20th century and part of the great group of the London School. His relationships between the artists of that period totally fascinate me, especially his relationship with Cedric Morris. Despite ending up as one of the greatest artists of all time he was taught in my home village in leafy rural Essex. Also, I believe going forward his works will continue to grow in desirability and would be a great piece for an investment potential.

What should a potential collector/buyer look to purchase? Why?

You should always collect and buy what you yourself love/ find interesting. Collecting something purely from the point of investment is a dangerous way in which to buy. Market trends go up and down in terms of interest, hence one can never be 100% sure of items from an investment standpoint. So, if you buy what you love you’ll never be truly disappointed if the items don’t hold value in the future. Failing that, female modern British artists are doing better than ever so I would never advise against that as a collecting area.

 

What are the best items to sell via an auction house?

Anything of value, whether it be from jewellery, watches, gold, or silver, through to great works on canvas. A well marketed auction gives the best opportunity for items to achieve their best value, with the art world working in the global way it now does, buyers form across the globe can have access to the pieces. If it’s an item of sentimental value or personally precious, auction is the best way for the item to achieve the best value, with it being an open transparent way of selling.

 

A Cartier Kashmir Sapphire & Diamond Flower Brooch
A Cartier Kashmir Sapphire & Diamond Flower Brooch

Sold for £340,000

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What are your valuables worth?

Request a free auction estimate from our team of specialists, or contact us to book an appointment. If your item is suitable for auction, we will provide you with a valuation and further details of how to sell with us.

 

 

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