How to Sell Your Collection

Why your collection could be worth thousands of pounds…

Gone are the days where only a handful of carefully selected antiques sell for large sums of money. In the internet age, all manner of collectible items have seen their value skyrocket.



The pandemic has also played its part, with a captive audience becoming enthused enough to start their own collection, or simply adding items to their existing one. Football shirts, action figures (they’re not dolls!), even vintage Pokémon cards have seen their value spike since the pandemic started. Indeed, Logan Paul (an Influencer – just in case you hadn’t heard of him) last year spent $4,000,000 to trade his special edition Pikachu card for an identical card that had a higher quality rating… That is a lot of money for a piece of card!

But that is exactly the point – collectors don’t spend what some may call ‘silly money’ on items because they have inherent worldly value, collections are special because of what they mean to the collector. They are as valuable to you as you want them to be. They could evoke nostalgia from a particular period of your life – Pokémon cards have become particularly sought after by millennials fondly remembering their childhoods. They might make for particularly beautiful display pieces – such as paintings, pottery, glass or ceramic collections – or they could be relevant to your family history, like a collection of a relative’s war medals. The point is, is that the only people who can truly determine what a collection is worth are the owners (and prospective owners).


A set of six 1970s Royal Copenhagen Flora Danica dinner plates.

Sold at Dawsons for £1,500


Antiques are no exception to this rule, and the older and rarer a collection is, the chances are, the more money they are worth. If you have a collection of items that are in excellent (or even good) condition, then you could be sitting on a serious amount of money.


a collection of Martin brothers jugs


These Martin Brothers jugs formed part of a much larger collection, which was sold at Dawsons for over £125,000


What makes a collection valuable

If an item was bought for a lot of money when it was released, that does not automatically mean that its resale value will be higher (or even as much as you paid). The main factors in determining a collection’s value are:

  1. Its condition: this is vital – you could have a beautiful antique piece, but if it is in poor condition then its value is going to take a severe hit. That being said, if there is a market for that particular antique then it is possible it could still be worth a lot of money, despite not being in the best state of repair.
  2. Age: the older an antique is, the more valuable it can become.
  3. Rarity: perhaps the most important factor when it comes to a collection’s value. If the items within your collection are in great supply, then why would someone pay thousands of pounds for yours? However, whilst it is important that your collection has at least an element of rarity, if the collection is too niche then chances are there will not be a large pool of buyers on the market, meaning that its value is likely to be lower than a more widely desirable collection.
  4. Artist / Sculptor / Maker: The name of an artist, sculptor or maker has a large bearing on the value of a collection. There are many that are much sought after by avid collectors across the globe. Martin Brothers pottery, Salvador Dali sculptures, paintings by John Piper or Banksy, Lalique glass, are among the many highly collectible names that regularly achieve wonderful prices at auction.
  5. Whilst there is never any guarantee, one-of-a-kind and special, commemorative items also tend to hold their value due to the nature and rarity of them, so if you have a one-of-a kind or special edition antique that is part of a wider collectible market, there is a good chance that it could be worth good money.


a moorcroft tea set


A rare William Moorcroft silver overlaid 'Pomegranate' pattern three piece tea set formed part of a collection.

The tea set sold at Dawsons for a world record £15,400


Which collectibles are worth the most money?

Whilst the value of specific collections changes all the time, there are a general list of collection types that will normally fetch for high prices if the specifics of the collection are right. Collections of fine art, paintings, decorative art, antique coins, jewellery, watches, glass & ceramics, Chinese porcelain, and watches are sold regularly at Dawsons.


Donald McIntyre Early snow


Donald McIntyre, RCA, (1925-2009), Early snow.

Sold at Dawsons for £9,800 in 2021 as part of a collection of 57 paintings


How & where to sell your collection 

Collections are personal and emotional affairs. It can take months and even years to garner or finish a collection, and for that reason it can be a very difficult decision to make if you decide you want to sell it. For that reason, it is essential that you make sure to do your research on where to sell your collection – as not finding the right marketplace could mean you do not achieve the best value when selling, and that could leave you devastated.

Engaging an Auction House can be an excellent route to go down when it comes to selling your collection, as going directly to a vendor or dealer will almost certainly mean that you do not achieve the maximum amount in respect of the value of your collection.

At Dawsons, we strive to provide our clients with the greatest experience possible. If you are thinking of selling your collection, we can arrange for one of our experienced valuers to carry out a private assessment (with no obligation to sell) in the comfort of your own home.


The expert team of specialists at Dawsons would be happy to provide a valuation in respect of your collection.

Please do get in touch should you have any queries, or have a collection you are thinking of taking to auction.

We would love to hear from you:

0207 431 9445  /