How to buy gifts at auction this Christmas

A stress-free and sustainable solution to Christmas shopping


Auctions are a great place to buy, with a wide selection of items all available to bid for at the touch of a button, it has never been easier to buy at auction. Whether you are looking for the perfect painting, a particular antique to add to a collection, or designer jewellery for someone special, the list of gift ideas is endless.

Here are just a few reasons why you should buy your gifts at auction this festive season.

A stunning Patek Phillippe lady's dress watch

Sold for £14,000

Be more sustainable this Christmas

As the year draws to a close and we start to think about what the future has in store, climate change and sustainability are at the forefront of many people’s minds.

In their 2022 annual consumption report, eBay reported that due to increasing concern regarding climate change, 39% of consumers are keen to be more climate conscious in their Christmas shopping and celebrations this year.

Christmas is a time of joy and gratitude, but little do we know just how much our celebrations affect the planet. In 2021, it was reported that on average each year, the UK spends £700 million on unwanted presents, with £42 million of that figure ending up in landfill!

Attributed to Ronald Ossory Dunlop (1894-1973), a woodland landscape

Sold for £300


Buying gifts for a long list of people can be difficult, which is why so often we give and receive gifts that are neither wanted or needed, and eventually end up in the bin - we often buy them for the sake of crossing names off a list. However, imagine what a difference it would make if we were to choose our gifts more consciously, remembering quality over quantity.

If we were to look at the bigger picture and acknowledge the environmental impact our consumer habits have, we may be tempted to shop a bit greener this Christmas.


Find unique gifts 

Inspiration can be in short supply when rifling through empty shelves in a busy shopping centre, feeling exhausted and defeated as you reach for yet another toiletry gift set. Whilst of course, there is more to Christmas than gifts, surprising your loved one with a present you know will bring them joy, is a gratifying feeling that makes Christmas just that bit more special.

For those wanting to branch out and find something unique this year, auctions are an Aladdin’s cave of treasures and hidden gems, so you can guarantee you will find wonderfully different items with fascinating stories, that your friends and family will cherish for years to come.

A Victorian Scottish agate bracelet of belt and buckle design

Sold for £750


In particular, Victorian jewellery often proves to be one of the most popular Christmas gifts bought at auction, not just because of its beauty, but also the way in which it lends itself so well to the festive season.

As the pioneers of some of Britain’s most popular Christmas traditions, the Victorians were very much inspired by their Royal Family when it came to finding festive ways to brighten up the long, dark winters. Through the marriage of Queen Victoria to German-born, Prince Albert, European traditions such as gift giving, baking, and Christmas tree decorating, made their way into British culture.

Whether it be through literature, architecture, or decorative art, some of the most beautiful forms of artistic expression emerged during the innovative Victorian era. Their highly decorative and floral inspired jewellery continues its popularity today, making it the perfect Christmas gift.


A Victorian amethyst and seed pearl necklace

Sold for £950


purchase luxury items for affordable prices 

The financial pinch of Christmas can be tough even without the added pressure of a cost of living crisis. 

With retail prices skyrocketing due to inflation, many of the world's favourite brands have become unaffordable. The likes of Cartier, with their classic red and gold branding, have always been popular Christmas gifts but with the extortionate increase of retail prices, many are having to forgo their favourite brands this year.

However, buying at auction provides an excellent solution, giving access to a wide variety of luxury brands for more affordable prices, meaning that even in times such as these, you can still treat your loved ones to something special this Christmas.


A Cartier 'Elephant' ring

Sold for £5,400


Buy a gift that keeps on giving

When buying a gift such as a collectable antique or piece of vintage jewellery at auction, not only are you gifting something unique, but you are also making an investment that could benefit your loved ones in years to come. A lot of items sold at auction will increase in value over time, meaning that if you decide to sell in the future, you could see quite a significant return. 


Breathe new life into something old

At Dawsons, we are passionate about the human elements of the items we sell, and are proud to share their fascinating stories with our buyers. 

In passing on a gift bought at auction, you are weaving your loved one into the fabric of that item’s rich history and reigniting its story. There is something undeniably romantic about the notion of bringing a piece of history back to life, which is a privilege that simply cannot be matched by the mass-produced items found on shop shelves.


Chanel - A double flap classic handbag

Sold for £4,100


A stress-free way to do your Christmas shopping

Online shopping has increased significantly in popularity over the years due to its convenience and wide variety of options. During the busy festive period, the appeal of online shopping grows as shopping centres become inundated with bargain-hungry Christmas shoppers.



A bottle of Ancestor Dewar's Rare Old Scotch Whisky, 1950s

Sold for £100


Through buying at auction with Dawsons, you can enjoy a more relaxed Christmas shopping experience, all from the comfort of your own home. Our catalogues are available to browse online in the week leading up to our sales, and if something catches your eye, you can register to bid either through our own bidding platform, or one of our associated platforms. All our auctions take place online and bidding is as simple as tapping a button, it couldn’t be easier to buy with Dawsons!


Have you seen an item within an upcoming sale that appeals to you? 

Our expert team of valuers would be happy to answer any queries you may have or offer condition reports where required.

Click here to see our full list of forthcoming auctions, or contact us directly to enquire about any item. 

We’d love to hear from you  |  0207 431 9445