Dealer Julie Sumner sells an eclectic range of items.

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1 How did you get your start?

In March, 2021. I was looking for something I could do from home and I started by selling my own collection of vases and then reinvested in more stock. I mainly sell on Instagram, although now I do fairs too. I recently did the Nantwich antique fair, Cheshire, and the Oswestry antique and collectors fair, Shropshire.

2 What do you specialise in?

I buy what I like: beautiful vintage and antique ceramics, lamps, paintings, copper and brass plus anything with a botanical influence. My main area of expertise is vases. I love to be able to enjoy them in my own home before parting with them. I source for florists, interior designers, the hospitality trade and private collectors.

3 Your kitchen cupboard recently appeared on BBC’s Bargain Hunt - why was that?

It was a photograph I had taken of my Fulham pottery vase collection. The wonderful Catherine Southon, who sold them at auction for me, appeared on the programme in conversation with Eric Knowles. He was presenting a feature about the Constance Spry who designed Fulham vases.

I really admire Spry. She had a hard life at times but she didn’t give up on her ambition to change the fashions within floristry. She succeeded with amazing ingenuity and flare. I visited the Constance Spry exhibition in The Garden Museum a couple of years ago with my daughter. It made such an impression on me; that’s when I started collecting Fulham pottery vases in earnest. I now have started collecting them again - they are just too addictive


A selection of items from Julie Sumner including a vintage Elaine Goddard ceramic lamp (£125), a Fulham pottery Alberware vase with nipped-in waist (£95) and a Fulham pottery Alberware tulip-shaped vase (£210).

4 What is one question it is important for people to ask before buying?

Before buying ceramics especially at auction ask for a condition report if you cannot view. In my early days I got caught out a few times.

5 Real ale or espresso martini?

Real ale, especially Three Tuns stout. We ran our own pubs for years and my husband always got us in The Good Beer Guide.

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