Dealer Paul Boorman.

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1 How would you describe your business?

I deal in antique and salvaged objects, both large and small. Mostly unrestored and fresh to market. I try to source as much as I can through the shop from private individuals. It’s what I had always wanted to do since I was a teenager. Now after all these years I find myself to be completely unsuitable for any other occupation.

2 How has the antiques trade changed?

My customers today are a lot more about something different and individual than the traditional look of the past. After a painful period of technological adjustment, I now find it really useful that people can just email a few photos of items they want to sell rather than having me drive all around London to take a look. I also find Instagram to be a very good way of connecting with potential customers (@islingtonantiques).


A pair of large (3ft high) buff terracotta ball finials that once graced a very substantial roof. Priced £1250 from Paul’s Emporium.

3 What do you collect personally?

Small Japanese Meiji-period items for their quality of manufacture, humour and sheer beauty. I also have a substantial collection of funk, soul, reggae and jazz vinyl records that I play in the shop.

4 When is it the right time to start a collection?

When an object that you’d be truly sorry not to own is offered for sale in front of you – you may well never see another.

5 Real ale or espresso martini?

Just an espresso please. Make it a double – I do a lot of early mornings.

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