Arusha ‘Roo’ Irvine has a busy schedule filming for BBC shows including Bargain Hunt, but she also finds time to run Kilcreggan Antiques, which reopened last month.
She rents a shop in the town centre of Kilcreggan, Scotland, and just before lockdown expanded into the barber shop next door. Irvine adds: “The shop is now over double the size. It is still compact, though – more of an Aladdin’s cave. We have a large concentration of Victorian houses here so there is no shortage of beautiful items that become available due to estate clearances and ‘downsizing’.”
Crazy Jane Antiques
Jayne Hepsibah Sullivan launched Crazy Jane Antiques in Brackenbury Road, Hammersmith, during the lockdown, returning to her roots in the trade.
She started out 30 years ago, running Hepsibah Antiques & Interiors before switching to design hats, becoming a milliner to the rich and famous. Since 2008, when she sold off her hats, she has rented the gallery out for pop-up exhibitions.
Now Hepsibah Sullivan has come full circle and returned to selling antiques, taking the shop name from WB Yeats’ poem Crazy Jane Talks with the Bishop.
She says: “When I read the poem, I thought, ‘How come I’ve never heard of the Crazy Jane series of poems, and more to the point, how come nobody had ever called me Crazy Jane?’” She promptly registered the website.
Her stock includes mirrors, Modern and Contemporary art, furniture and more.
Hepsibah Sullivan says that she was inspired by a recent ATG headline suggesting that the future of trading could be online, as well as a story about the death of a Portobello Road dealer, whose most spectacular pieces were kept at home.
“All the pieces I’ve treasured and collected over 40 years are being unpacked and dusted off,” she adds. “The things I would never sell are now for sale.”
Irving Street Antiques
Tom Corrie and Rowena MacKenzie have opened Irving Street Antiques in Dumfries, Scotland. Corrie, a ‘weel kent’ face in the Scottish antiques trade, started the shop with his partner, furniture restorer MacKenzie, over the summer.
So far they have sold primarily to the trade with some private customers “from car-booters to royalty”.
Corrie says: “I have been trading in antique furniture for 30 plus years and prices today are at their lowest. This is a good thing. Any antique furniture dealer stocking their shop with, say, £50,000 worth of furniture today will fill it with far better goods than they would have obtained for the same money 20 years ago.
“For antique dealers, and private persons wishing to buy good furniture for their house, this is a golden time. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise.”
Collector Tony Pedley has decided to turn his pastime into a job, opening a shop in his home town of Coventry. 888 Emporium launched last week on Foleshill Road in Longford and focuses on vintage and retro and salvage finds.
Pedley said: “I have always loved the weird and wonderful, with my house filled with vintage finds. When I took on this premises (for my storage business) and it came with the shop space, I knew it was my chance to turn my passion into a business.”
Leslie & Baggott
Dealership Leslie & Baggott has opened a new shop in Auchencairn, Dumfries and Galloway. The shop in south-west Scotland replaces its former home, less than an hour away in the 16th century Isle Tower.
The firm was set up in 2017 by Miranda Leslie, a former managing director of Bonhams Scotland, and Henry Baggott, previously a Bonhams specialist and a former antiquarian bookshop owner.
Baggott said: “We had always planned to move our premises in March this year so we were very fortunate with the timing of lockdown – we moved out the week before.”
Baggott has spent the last few months renovating the new saleroom from “the top down”. He added: “Due to lockdown I did most of the works myself including the roof, restoration of sash windows and joinery work for interior period features.”
The new showroom, on a farm, was opened on October 2 by Patsy Gilroy, the Lord Lieutenant of The Stewartry of Kirkcudbright.
Baggott said the firm now plans to operate the new showroom on a by appointment basis with trading focused online.
He added: “2020 has been a testing year and although online sales have been strong we were held back by not being able to get out to buy new stock. Now we have been out buying again and are feeling positive about the months ahead – there seems to be a real buzz in the trade at the moment.”