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1 How did you get your start?

I fell into this business by first being a collector then progressed into a full-time dealer. I get a great deal of pleasure from the items I buy and I stay in the business because I enjoy the thrill of the chase, potentially finding very rare items. I specialise in British and European silver and gold items from the 17th century to the present. I believe age is no guarantee of quality and each item is purchased on its own merits. I also enjoy meeting some great people: both customers and fellow dealers.

2 What are some of your favourite items to work with?

Silver and gold boxes, snuff boxes and vinaigrettes. Some of the workmanship can be absolutely amazing.

3 What are some of the challenges facing the trade today?

Our businesses must evolve or die. Young people are less inclined to ‘collect’ items since they have very limited resources and display space.

I strongly believe some daytime TV programmes on antiques have done the trade serious harm and give the impression that antiques are frivolous.

4 Who do you admire?

I admire many of the dealers and organisers I work with at antiques fairs. One person who stands out is Judith Miller. She is exceptionally knowledgeable and always has time to speak to people, customer or dealer. Her attitude is an inspiration to many younger people in the trade.

5 When is the right time to start collecting?

When you have an excess of funds and plenty of tenacity to chase down the pieces you want.

highlandantiques.com

If you would like to be featured in 5 Questions, please contact francesallitt@antiquestradegazette.com