Georgian style double-chair in a dark grey period room
Lifestyle

Vintage Décor and One-of-a-Kind Discoveries from an Auction House for Your Home

Are you looking for that one item to take your home décor to the next level? The experts at Dawsons Auction reveal how to decorate your home with vintage décor, antique furniture and one-off finds from auction houses.

How often have you strolled into a friend's house, or even a hotel or restaurant, and noticed at least three pieces of furniture you already own? As the world becomes smaller, trends get more consolidated, and soon every shop window sells variants of the same item.

What if that's not what you're looking for? Perhaps you're seeking a certain kind of mirror or a large oak sideboard, or you want to possess a genuine piece of design history rather than a knock-off. It appears that knowing what you want is becoming simpler; yet, knowing where to get it is not always as straightforward.

Purchasing vintage and antiques is an excellent method to locate one-of-a-kind items. However, you are not alone if the notion of cosy antique stores and loud auction rooms makes you break out in a cold sweat. It may be an intimidating idea, yet there are lots of fantastic deals to be obtained. We spoke with Dawsons' Harrison Goldman following the most recent Fine Art & Antiques sale to get some tips on how to get started with buying one-off pieces at auction.

What Kinds of Individuals Attend Auctions?

It's not the boisterous, frightening environment you may expect. People come from all walks of life, including collectors, interior designers, architects, and those looking for that one unique piece for their house. An item is only worth what the highest bidder is willing to pay for it at auction, making the auction room a particularly democratic environment.

What Should a Newcomer do First?

Look through the internet catalogues of auction houses to see if anything catches your eye. If you want further information or photos, the auctioneer will gladly provide them, and you may ask them as many questions as you wish. The more information you have, the more confident you will be in the procedure.

What are Your Tips for Finding One-off Pieces at Auction?

This point was said previously but is massively relevant again. You should always first go through the auction house catalogue online to determine whether the things on exhibit pique your interest; that's the best way to find the right piece for you. If you want further information or photographs of the item on the exhibit, you can contact the auctioneer. Ask as many questions as possible to get crucial information that will help you make informed purchasing selections.

What Kind of Condition do You Look For?

When looking at an item at auction, we recommend aiming for items of good condition. Of course, this may not be possible due to the condition of some antiques naturally deteriorating over many years; however, it is a good rule of thumb.

Are you interested in attending an auction held by our partner Dawsons Auctioneers? Whether you have something to buy or sell, you can book a call with the specialist team to discuss your requirements to make sure you are confident when bidding for that unique piece that's caught your eye.

How Items at Auction can be Described

  • NEW

    The item is sealed in its original packaging. Note: "New" does not necessarily mean that the item is the most current model.

  • Pair of Chinese antique lidded vases
    EXCELLENT

    Virtually unused or unblemished.

  • Wooden framed miniature paining of Roman ruins
    GOOD

    Moderate wear and/or moderate blemishes.

  • Bronze trophy statue of a docked horse wearing saddle and bridle
    FAIR

    Significant wear and/or significant blemishes

  • Antique cast iron kettle
    POOR

    Serious wear and/or serious damage. May be non-functional.

  • Ernst Leitz Wetzlar antique camera
    UNTESTED

    Functionality has not been tested. All items with this condition are sold "As Is".

How do you Best Care for Items for the Home?

I recommend verifying your insurance coverage. Whatever you buy at auction to add to your furniture, it's a good idea to check how much coverage you have on your house insurance for your belongings. If you're purchasing antiques or other valuables at auction, this is very crucial. You could have purchased something precious, so be sure you have it correctly appraised.

People frequently discover that the worth of their possessions has grown over time without them recognising it, resulting in underinsurance.

If you're unsure, contact your insurer or agent to review your existing claim limitations and compare them to your most recent property value.

Any Extra Tips on How to Find and Buy the Best Vintage One-of-a-Kind Items?

Yes. I have a few. Here are some top tips:

  • When bidding, try to only bid on products for which you believe you have a good understanding of the cost.
  • Stick to your limit, and don't get carried away.
  • Make sure you understand the regulations for bidding, such as reserve price, sales tax, buyer's premium, and payment for items.
  • Don't bid if you're not convinced about an item's authenticity (or provenance, as it's called in the trade).
  • Keep an eye out for any modifications to the auctioneer's item descriptions.
  • Don't only seek for the word "old." Modernist furniture is quite popular these days.
  • Make a list of winning bid prices next to catalogue goods and compare them to what you find later online.
Antique figurine
Pair of antique silver candelabra

We sell a wide range of furniture, ranging from old Georgian and earlier pieces to modern design items from the 1960s. Dawsons continues to have excellent outcomes for items of extraordinary quality, uniqueness, and age, even in a challenging period for typical antique furniture.

Buyer preferences and views about interior design have shifted, implying that the perfect piece will always find a buyer. Please do not hesitate to contact us for a complimentary valuation or discuss auction items in further depth with one of our professionals whether you want to sell at auction or purchase to collect.

There you have it, everything you need to know about discovering your next unique furniture piece at auction.

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