1. How has the market changed?
Although much reduced in numbers, the trade is still full of the most generous, helpful and genuinely funny dealers.
With the realignment of prices over the past decade, the aspiration to own beautiful pieces of antique furniture is still very much there and these are now more affordable than they have been for some time. Buyer numbers seem to be rising especially for those of a younger age. Twenty-somethings are increasingly viewing at fairs and coming into my shop.
2. What is the concept behind your business?
Buy the things you really like and be nice to people. It is why, after more than 45 years in the trade, I still rush to work every morning.
I exhibit at the following fairs: Chester twice a year, Westonbirt twice this year, Burford, Harrogate Pavilions twice a year, CADA at Blenheim Palace, as regards visiting fairs, I don’t have any regular “must see” fairs, it is more a question of whenever I have a day free and I can get to a fair, I will.
3. One high point in your career so far?
HRH Princess Michael of Kent opening my summer exhibition was pretty special. One exhibition I would love to stage is one featuring my 25 all time favourite pieces - though choosing which would be a mammoth task.
4. How do you go about the conservation of your stock?
Ever since my late father started the business back in 1951, we have had an in-house conservation department where we do almost all our own restoration, although I do sub-contract out to specialists in some areas. This has also meant that Harveys has been able to look after many of its clients’ collections over the past nearly 70 years.
5. Real ale or espresso martini?
Real ale produced locally here in Witney at the Wychwood Brewery and supped at the Three Horseshoes next door in front of an open fire.
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