The awards party for the 2014 ‘Antiques Young Gun of the Year’ at Alfies Antiques Market was proof that there’s still life in the antiques trade yet.
On a balmy summer evening on Friday, July 4, Alfies' roof terrace provided the perfect setting for the second edition of the award, which was founded by Mark Hill, George Johnson and Gail Mcleod.
Last year's winner Timothy Medhurst, currently of Reeman Dansie but soon to move to Duke's of Dorchester, handed over the mantle to the 2014 Antiques Young Gun of the Year, the dealer James Gooch of Doe & Hope, based in Bedfordshire.
A popular choice, James said he was delighted to take on the role from Tim, who had been a superb ambassador, and is looking forward to both the challenges and benefits that come with the role.
Speaking after the event, James said: "Since I was part of the first core of AYGs championing the movement on social media, it is wonderful to be recognised by my peers as an AYG winner and I've had many a kind word from all those involved in the trade since the awards which is incredibly important to me."
At only 18 years old, William Potts of Just William Collection had impressed the judges with his drive and dedication to a life of antiques dealing at such a young age - he already has a space in the Furniture Cave in London's Chelsea. He particularly caught the eye of Judith Miller, who awarded him the new prize donated by her this year, The Judith Miller Award for Outstanding Potential.
Although not an auctioneer or dealer, Marika Clemow of ATG Media had also caught the judges' eye with the impression she had made both in her roles in the print advertising department of Antiques Trade Gazette and in establishing a new delivery service for the-saleroom.com.
In recognition of this she was awarded the Special Judges Award.
Also announced on the night were the 11 mentoring packages, through which shortlisted candidates are paired with senior members of the trade, and the winners of eight showcases at the decorative antiques collective Lorfords@Babdown in Gloucestershire.
It was a chance for mentors and protégés to get to know each other and Lennox Cato whisked his new charge, the young dealer Jason Clarke, off straight away to impart some wisdom over fish and chips.