The Best-Selling Art, Antiques & Interiors of 2023

What is clear, is the continued and growing popularity of Contemporary Art and design


The last 12 months have been packed with highlights, and it has been a difficult task to narrow the list down. What is clear, is the continued and growing popularity of Contemporary Art and design. Here we share the best-selling Art, Antiques & Interiors of the past year.

Dawsons work closely with our clients to ensure that we achieve the best possible outcome for them whether they be buying or selling – we want them to be delighted. To this aim, over the past year, our in-house marketing team has worked tirelessly to market beautiful Art & Interiors to a huge global audience and ensuring we achieve the best prices for our clients.


an untitled work

In May, we were thrilled to sell a pastel on paper contemporary artwork by Joan Mitchell. Purchased from a private collector in the USA, a copy receipt dated the pastel to approximately 1975. Bidding across the world was strong, and the artwork eventually sold for £125,000 – much to the delight of our customer.


Joan Mitchell Untitled

Joan Mitchell (1925-1992) American, Untitled

Sold for £125,000 




elisabeth frink and mary quant

In November, Dawsons were privileged to offer up for sale art and antiques that had been privately curated by the late Dame Barbara Mary Quant and her husband, Alexander Plunket Greene. Among the wonderful collection were several works of art by Elisabeth Frink, who Mary Quant and her husband greatly admired – and with whom they would later become friends.


Elisabeth Frink Lying Down DogThis watercolour and pencil on paper ‘Lying Down Dog’ proved incredibly popular with bidders around the world and eventually sold for £18,000.


 Elisabeth Frink Mirage

This bronze - ‘Mirage’ also drew admirers from far and wide, and sold for an impressive £13,000.


a rare clock

In June, we offered up for sale a fine and rare Atmos Clock by Christopher Nigel Lawrence. This design was one of five designs specially commissioned by Jaeger LeCoultre. From a private collection, this rare silver cased clock certainly drew a great deal of interest from suitors across the land and it eventually sold for £13,000.  


Jaeger LeCoultre Atmos ClockChristopher Nigel Lawrence ( active,1969-2003) for Jaeger LeCoultre; a fine and rare silver-cased Atmos Clock, London 1971

Sold for £13,000


St Mary the Virgin Church

This watercolour and bodycolour painting by John Piper (1903 - 1992), garnered keen interest from many of our collectors and sold for a tantalising £13,000 in April.


John Piper St Mary the Virgin Church

John Piper (1903 - 1992), St Mary the Virgin Church

Sold for £13,000


The ‘Return of a Knight in Armour'

We kicked off the year with a spectacular oil on copper from a private collection which was part of a deceased North London estate. Our experts quickly identified the artwork as belonging to the circle of Angelica Kauffman (1741-1807). Kauffman made a reputation for herself by the time she reached her teens, a skilled portraitist, landscape and decoration painter, going on to become one of two female painters among the founding members of the Royal Academy in London in 1768. After some furious bidding, this work achieved £67,000 much to the delight of our client and the team.


Circle of Angelica Kauffman Return of a Knight in Armour.jpg

Circle of Angelica Kauffman (1741-1807), 'Return of a Knight in Armour'

Sold for £67,000


dragon and phoenix 

In November, a matched pair of Chinese “Dragon and Phoenix” porcelain woucai bowls. Privately collected, our client was keen to take them to market and attain the best possible price. The bowls certainly generated a huge amount of interest, both internationally and in the UK.

The hammer eventually fell with the price at an impressive £30,000.

A matched pair of Chinese Dragon and Phoenix porcelain woucai bowlsA matched pair of Chinese "Dragon and Phoenix" porcelain woucai bowls

Sold for £30,000



Okimono of a falcon

In September, our team was thrilled to offer this large Japanese, Tokyo school mixed metal and patinated bronze Okimono of a falcon. Part of a deceased estate, the gilt metal and dark horn inset eyes on a gnarled tree peony trunk over an exposed root base made for a fascinating piece. Finally going under the hammer for £6,500.


Maruki Shachu seiMaruki Shachu sei; A large Japanese, Tokyo school mixed metal and patinated bronze Okimono of a falcon

Sold for £6,500



A gueridon table

Another January highlight was this fine Louis XVI style marble top mahogany gueridon table, in the manner of Henry Dasson. Gueridon tables are a small pedestal table or stand, originally designed to hold a candelabrum in the late 17thcentury in Italy and France. There was keen interest in this gorgeous little work of art, and it went on to sell for £23,000.


Louis XVI style marble top


A fine Louis XVI style marble top mahogany gueridon table

Sold for £23,000



A table box

Our client’s late wife collected table boxes throughout her life, attending auctions and antique fairs – she found them charming. Dawsons included this large copper table box with hammered finish from the collection in the June sale. Made by Fleetwood Charles Varley (1863-1942) for The Guild of Handicrafts (?), it featured an enamel panel decorated with a cascading upland river landscape. The artist and enameller Fleetwood Varley (British 1863-1942) was a friend of C.R. Ashbee and worked at the Guild of Handicraft at Chipping Camden and is known to have collaborated with Ashbee on some of his works. His work for Haselers was most often sold through Liberty & Co. in London. There was keen interest and the box finally sold for £3,000.


Fleetwood Charles Varley for The Guild of Handicrafts a large spot hammered and patinated rectangular copper table box

Fleetwood Charles Varley (1863-1942) for The Guild of Handicrafts, a large spot-hammered and patinated rectangular copper table box

Sold for £3,000


Stamp of approval

Collecting postal stamps has been a long-standing hobby amongst many enthusiasts, this presentation album included many 19th century Italian states postal history examples and went on to sell for a fantastic £10,000.


Philately Italian States 19th century

Philately; Italian States, 19th century, a good presentation album to include postal history examples

Sold for £10,000


'My Dear Cook’

Our June sale featured this original signed letter by Oscar Wilde, part of a collection belonging to the Estate of Mr Peter Farley (a theatrical costume designer), it had been in his family for many years. Oscar Wilde was an author, playwright, and poet, popular in late Victorian England. His acclaimed works include 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' and 'The Importance of Being Earnest'. Renowned for his smart wit, ostentatious style and infamous imprisonment for homosexuality, the letter was written to a journalist who worked at Pall Mall Gazette and featured a discussion about the use of inverted commas. This fabulous piece of history sold for £16,000.


a letter from Oscar Wilde

Wilde, Oscar: (1854-1900), an original signed letter, to 'Cook', believed to be Edward Tyas Cook (1857-1919) 

Sold for £16,000


The Suffragette

In May, we offered this large collection of handwritten letters, photographs and ephemera originally belonging to Sophia Duleep Singh. Princess Sophia Duleep Singh was a suffragette, Red Cross nurse, and critic of British rule in India. There was keen interest in this lot, selling for £10,000.


Sophia Duleep Singh an album of handwritten letter photographs and ephemera

Sophia Duleep Singh, an album of handwritten letters, photographs and ephemera

Sold for £10,000


Do you have any contemporary art, fine art, or antiques that you are considering selling?

With a global audience of over 10 million, we can achieve the best price for you at auction.

Please get in touch with a Specialist today for sales advice. We would be delighted to help:

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