Senan MacDonagh

General Valuer

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From a tender age, Senan has always had an interest in all things antique. He has a passion for objects with a historical value.

A General Valuer with a leaning towards jewellery, Senan would be delighted to provide you with sound advice on art, antiques, or jewellery.


 

Request a complimentary valuation

 


Why are you working within the auction world?

From a young age I was always interested in antiques. I count myself blessed to have had a relative who worked at an auction house and used to take me to salerooms, and it was this early initiation that ignited my passion for the auction world. 

I don’t think there are many jobs where day to day you never quite know who is going to walk through the door, or what they might bring. Whilst the stories that are attached to these objects can often ensure a fascinating experience and elevate the status of the item to truly special. This is what keeps you fresh and enthused in this line of work.

 

Within your career to date as an Auctioneer and Valuer, which item would you say is your favourite? Why? Sale price?

It is a difficult question. However, I think it would have to be an extremely rare 15th century Irish silver gilt chalice. It had been discovered in the stables of a house in the South of England, with the vendor having no idea of its history. Being from an Irish family, it was amazing to be able to handle this relic that had survived the protestant reformation, most likely by being buried beyond ‘the pale’ on the west coast. It was a pleasure to handle and ultimately facilitate the sale to an Irish collector who has loaned the piece to numerous museums across the world.

 

What first attracted you to your speciality? 

When I first started working in an Auction house. I began to take home copious amounts of books, with topics ranging from furniture to ceramics to jewellery, I read them all. The first book I read cover to cover was the catalogue and history of the Cheapside hoard. I became fascinated with this early collection of jewellery which had laid undiscovered for so long. I think it’s amazing that such small delicate items can open a portal back to the past.

"There is great pleasure in helping a client achieve a fantastic price for an item that they no longer wish to own, and equal pleasure in uniting an object with a buyer that has searched for that ‘one’ piece for a long time."

What aspect of your career do you find most satisfying?

There are many enjoyable aspects to the job, but if pushed, it would have to be dealing with clients in both the sale and purchase. There is great pleasure in helping a client achieve a fantastic price for an item that they no longer wish to own, and equal pleasure in uniting an object with a buyer that has searched for that ‘one’ piece for a long time.

If money were no object, which item would you most like to buy at auction? Why?

A very difficult question… being a lover of early jewellery it would probably have to be a pair of 18th century rock crystal cufflinks with a gold wire initials. Although, I am yet to come across a pair with my initials, I am still holding out hope!

 

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

Whether it be silver, jewellery or a work of art, before purchasing, one should always consider whether you love that item and if it is unique or rare. I don’t think that you can go far wrong with those formulae.

 

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

Having followed recent auctions that have taken place internationally, the jewellery market is incredibly buoyant. Indeed, our recent results have shown that there continues to be a strong demand for fine jewellery and watches. 

 

 

 

 

a collection of Grima jewellery

Sold at Dawsons in 2021

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What are your valuables worth?

Request a complimentary 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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