Dealers are constantly on the move, opening new locations, exploring different models for trade and sometimes celebrating staying put. Here, ATG takes a look at three of the movers and shakers from around the UK.
Richard Gardner Antiques
Richard Gardner has opened a shop in Emsworth, Hampshire, that will initially be by appointment only.
Gardner operates his business from his website but will use the small shop and its prominent high-street window for marketing purposes. He said: “Having a shop window is useful, as long as the rent is covered by the interest it generates. But there are not enough walk-ins to justify the costs of an expensive large shop.”
He originally traded from a space in Petworth for 19 years, later moving to a Georgian four-storey house in Chichester for five years and then to a warehouse.
Gardner is also holding what he describes as a “semiretirement sale” on his website to clear some stock.
He added: “I will be working in the showroom at odd times: when I want to change the stock over or if I just fancy sitting in there working on the website, all very flexible. Working this way I am able to get a better worklife balance. If someone wants to see something in the showroom or from the website, I can be in Emsworth in about 20 minutes.”
Richard Gardner Antiques, 4 Queen Street, Emsworth, Hampshire, PO10 7BL
Goodman Fine Art
Mark Goodman of Goodman Fine Art has opened a gallery on London’s Duke Street. It is his first permanent public space after five years working out of Hampstead and hopes to capitalise on it and grow his client base.
The shop, which measures slightly less than 10sq m, is reputed to be the smallest gallery in London. It was formerly occupied by Pre-Raphaelite and Kitchen Sink painting specialist Julian Hartnoll.
And with a big window onto one of London’s best-known streets in the trade, it remains an attractive location.
“Clearly with business rates and rents rising, galleries are harder to make profitable, but The Crown Estate is working very hard to improve St James’s and this will pay dividends for all,” Goodman says.
He offers Modern British painting and sculpture as well as medieval works and other exceptional items. He has exhibited at fairs such as the London Art Fair, the LAPADA Fair and Art & Antiques Fair Olympia.
Goodman Fine Art, 37 Duke Street, St James’s, London, SW1Y 6DF
Jessica Farnham, formerly a curator at a London art gallery, is now a vintage artefacts dealer in Canterbury and has recently launched a dedicated website.
Her business, The Arqivist, focuses on objects of British social history, particularly in small items such as vintage posters, silver buttonhole studs and vintage rulers.
“Launching my own website was a daunting process,” she says, adding that, even with it up and running, she is always “tweaking and perfecting it”.
Farnham says: “This is not an easy business to get into and to be successful in. You can have record sales one month and almost nothing the next.”
She first discovered a passion for car boot sales in 2014 during a drive to declutter her home. However, she was quickly drawn to the offerings of the other sellers. She acquired a supply of vintage goods and started selling on eBay, where she got a feel for which items were the most commercial.
Of her big change, Farnham says: “I’ve always loved art and culture and the city life, but ‘antiquing’ has become my number-one passion. I absolutely love it and this is what I can see myself doing for the rest of my life.”