1 How did you get your start?
I was dragged around antiques fairs and shops from the age of about eight by my father who collected and traded in silver – I didn’t really stand a chance. I later trained as a restorer in the early 1990s and from that moved into dealing, launching Bags of Glamour in 2004.
2 What is the first sale you remember making?
I was at a fair in Wiltshire when a lady asked if she could buy my handbag. It was a 1950s Dorset Rex 5th Avenue black and chrome lucite and metal weave bag. I emptied the contents and sold it to her.
3 How has the market changed since you’ve been dealing?
In the early days, dealing in vintage handbags and accessories was considered very niche and often not taken seriously. Nowadays, accessories whether antique, vintage and especially designer have enjoyed a meteoric rise.
Lucite bags always appeal.
The versatility of the material enabled a fantastic array of Art Deco-inspired designs that capture people’s attention. Prices have increased dramatically. Also, 1940s and 50s powder compacts attract a lot of interest among collectors.
4 What’s your ‘holy grail’ – something you would love to get your hands on?
In terms of lucite, a Wiesner clear ‘birdcage’ or as a second choice a black ‘birdcage’. Otherwise, the earliest reticule possible.
5 What is your best advice for new collectors?
Talk to people, engage with dealers, auctioneers, other collectors. Join online forums, interact and ask questions. Handle as many objects as you can and make mistakes – we all do and it’s all part of the learning curve.
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