1. How did you get your start?
I visited an antiques fair in Wimbledon and bought an item.
Having been a regular at household ‘junk’ auctions to replace worn-out items in the house, I asked the dealer if she wanted me to buy pieces similar to her stock at my local saleroom.
She said yes, and I spent my life’s savings buying them in one evening. Then she said she had no money to buy the items – but she sold them for me and my business began.
2. How has the market changed?
I started out in the mid-1980s at the age of 15. The biggest change since then has been the loss of the day you could walk into your local saleroom knowing that if no-one else came through the door you would get a bargain.
The internet has changed that. But it has given a much wider worldwide buying base, too, that was not available before.
3. Fairs vs shops vs online?
I am an advocate of fairs – such as Antiques for Everyone at the NEC – mainly as I do not have time to maintain the website with new stock. Also, I feel there is a real advantage to face-to-face contact with dealers and the public, which promotes the goods more than just a photo with a description.
4. What’s your ‘holy grail’?
A pair of Hannah Barlow jardinieres and stands with giraffes on the bases and lions on the tops – known to exist somewhere in the south-east…
5. Real ale or espresso martini?
Neither – G&T or cider.
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