Owners of Sherborne Antiques Market

Phillip Traves, holding Evie the dog, and Craig Wharton, owners of the Sherborne Antiques Market, with tribal art dealer Tom Hurst (centre), who has a unit at the market.

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Back in 2017 we introduced on these pages young Tom Hurst, then a 16-year-old schoolboy who had launched his dealing career.

He began with a range of marble doorstops made from offcuts at marble yards and which he marketed as T.O.M., Totally Original Merchandise.

Hurst is now 21 and specialises in tribal art, always a great love of his. He stands at the annual Tribal Art Fair in September and sources his stock at auctions including sales in Europe and “as much privately as possible”. “Life’s nice and simple with the occasional fabulous object”, he said, which might sum up the trade’s philosophical outlook.

Sherborne Antiques Market

A coronation theme window at Sherborne Antiques Market.

Hurst also has a unit at the Sherborne Antiques Market which we featured when it opened two weeks after lockdown in July 2021.

Owned by Craig Wharton and Phillip Traves, the ribbon was cut by dealer Paul Atterbury of Antiques Roadshow fame who was one of the first dealers to take space at the market in the medieval Dorset town which which now has 38 traders.

Wharton said: “Our role is to work for the dealers and to recognise their strengths. Judith Ogle, one of our decoratives dealers, used to work for Habitat and Heal’s and she encouraged us with our window displays which change weekly and for which we now have quite a following.”

He added: “Another plus is that there is a huge storage area above the shop, where dealers all have a small section with extra stock. When an item is sold a new item is brought down so this ensures that there’s never a missed opportunity.”