Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

The 13-year-old was one of two selected ‘young guns’ offered a paid-for place by the fair organisers, Philip and Claire Crosthwaite “to come and experience the nuts and bolts of a fair”.

Mentor-for the-day to both Charlie and Sam Sparrow, also 13, was local dealer Mark Nelson Griffiths, known as Nelson, of Greenfinch Antiques.

He said: “My two young apprentices were both enthusiastic and keen to find out about silver in particular. By the end of the fair they were both able to use a hallmark book with versatility.

“Touring around the stalls, they could identify pieces of silver and had picked up knowledge on valuing silver by weight, condition, detail and workmanship as well as identifying out-of-the-ordinary pieces.

“They both engaged well with buyers and started to develop a convincing sales pitch with Charlie closing an Arts & Crafts silver tazza deal.”

Griffiths added that the boys “saw the benefits of pursuing an interest in precious metals and the fact that a good buy of even damaged pieces, of which there is a bounty, can get an immediate return by virtue of an ever present intrinsic scrap value in spite of sometimes very variable changeable rates.

“And that is not something that can be said of furniture, pictures, porcelain and almost everything else on every level.”

Both boys sound as if they had a rewarding day, with Sam saying: “The highlights of the day were spending time with the experts who were amazing and shared their time and knowledge. In particular I really enjoyed learning about antique silver hallmarks from Nelson.”

Charlie added: “I got to learn so much about dealing, especially from Nelson. This event taught me a lot, from understanding how to recognise what silver is to learning about jewellery.”