This week we’re adding more great writers to 1010ParkPlace, and one of them is my old friend, Nick Dawes, Vice President at Heritage Auctions in New York and former Sotheby’s Vice President and Auctioneer. Many of you will recognize Nick as a regular, expert appraiser for the last 20 years on PBS’s Antiques Roadshow. As much as his busy schedule will allow, Nick is going to offer us suggestions about the best ways to downsize and get rid of some of our treasured possessions.
I’m also hoping Nick will write about collecting antiques and some of the fabulous pieces that have passed through his hands.
Nick Dawes and I met when we were both in our 20s. Even at that young age, he was the world’s foremost authority on old Lalique glass, and worked for a prestigious auction house. I was a Texas Art Deco (European) dealer who acquired pieces for private collectors and sold old Lalique perfume bottles to high-end stores like Neiman Marcus and Frost Brothers in San Antonio, which no longer exists. Many of these pieces I bought and sold through Nick. The best part of our association has been getting to know Nick, an Englishman with a mischievous twinkle in his eyes, and his wonderful wife, a talented, American garden designer.
Over the years Nick has been known to fly to Paris, just for the day, to buy or sell a delicious treasure. He meets amazing people and has seen exquisite things most of us could never imagine. I once suggested Nick should write a book about the kind of people who become collectors and what they collect. By nature, I think most true collectors are a bit eccentric. I wonder what motivates their obsessions, and what lengths they go to add to their collections?
I imagine Nick’s book would be full of interesting tales about buying and selling beautiful treasures at the Paris flea markets, or perhaps meeting swarthy-looking men who unroll Persian rugs, in Moroccan bazaars, to reveal rare bronzes and glassworks. Without betraying client confidences, I’d like to have Nick paint a picture of the homes and the wondrous collections he’s seen.
Since that’s a book he may never write, many of us will welcome Nick’s expert advice about the best ways to dispose of our things as we think about downsizing. As Nick explains in next week’s blog, “a wind of change is blowing more property into action rooms.”