Dawsons to hold free valuation day at Nicholsons

Whether it’s a vase picked up at a car boot sale or a brooch passed down through generations, visitors to the Nicholsons can have their favourite possessions valued later this month.

Dawsons Auctioneers will be at the shopping centre to tell people whether they have a fake or a fortune on Friday, February 28 from 10am-4pm.

In the experience of the auctioneers, based in Kings Grove Industrial Estate, Maidenhead, there is a possibility some visitors to the valuation may be pleasantly surprised.

Valuer and cataloguer Rachel Assous said: “Someone brought us an ivory and tortoiseshell box, and they thought it was only a few hundred pounds and it turned out to have sold for £27,000.”

Rachel said the piece was 17th century and described tortoise shell and ivory as ‘quite a good combination of fine materials’.

She also said that on clearing a house last month Dawsons found a Chinese bowl the occupants had been putting their keys in ‘which they thought was worth nothing’ – it sold for £5,000.

Rachel said the day at the Nicholsons is ‘a chance for people to have some of the items they’re unsure about valued for free’.

Rachel added: “For jewellery they could literally bring anything because people just can’t tell sometimes, whether something’s gold, or if it’s plated or if the pearls are real pearls, or just coated.”

Rachel said a clue to the lustre of pearls is whether the clasp of the necklace is plated or not.

Possibly one of the most impressive hauls Dawsons has come across was a rare collection of Martin Brothers ceramics in a home in Egham in September.

Rachel said: “They would have been happy with a few hundred pounds for the lot, but actually the whole lot was worth near £200,000.”

The collection belonged to Samuel LM Avery, a master acquaintance of the Martins, who lived near to their Southall pottery.

It was only following the death of his daughter that her children discovered the items.

They had been unaware as to the extent or exact location of the collection which was found wrapped in newspaper dated 1971 and included a triple bird group produced by Robert Wallace Martin in 1904. To read more about the collection go to Dawsons here.

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