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The company, founded by Aubrey Dawson in December 2016 in Maidenhead, has bought the assets of Hampstead Auctions and will open a valuation office at 12 Heath Street, Hampstead, in early February.

Dawson’s, which employs 15 people, has taken on the lease of part of the former auction venue and will be open Tuesday-Friday with valuation days on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Hampstead Auctions, which sold primarily jewellery, silver and Asian art through online-only auctions, ceased trading on January 5 and is in liquidation. It had previously expanded into larger premises which led to financial difficulties.

Aubrey Dawson, managing director of Dawson’s, said: “Opening in the heart of London is a very important step.

“It fits into our strategy of having full-service satellite valuation and consignment offices in carefully chosen locations that support our main saleroom. Our first task is to ensure all the former clients of Hampstead Auctions are looked after.”

“It became apparent that a wider service, selling art, antiques and furniture would be very beneficial for our client base

London has recently become a more competitive market for middle-market auctioneers, but Dawson added: “This is already an existing auction business and we have taken over the phone number and website.

“We will do more of what we do in Maidenhead – great customer service, making it simple and transparent for customers to demystify the auction process.”

Wider service

A number of Hampstead Auctions staff were made redundant but former managing director Colin Smith and Leah Michie, both of whom worked there for more than 10 years, will now work for Dawson’s.

Smith said all vendors and creditors have been paid and unsold goods are being returned or sold through auction at Dawson’s in Maidenhead.

Smith added of the Dawson’s move: “It became apparent that a wider service would be beneficial for our client base. We will be able to offer house clearances, probate and insurance valuations.”