Dealer Tom Hurst packs a lot into his young life. First there’s school at Milton Abbey in Dorset, where he is studying art.
For the past three years he has been adding to his tribal collections, including Zulu and Xhosa beadwork which he funded by setting up an eBay business.
Aged 14, he started a business selling vintage glass.
As if that wasn’t enough, last November he created a range of antique doorstops.
Tom is now 16 and is the youngest member of Antiques Young Guns.
He tells me more: “Last summer I did work experience with antique dealers Jamb in the Pimlico Road and Max Rollitt in Hampshire. They both had ranges of not only furniture but also ceramics and light fittings. I felt it would be great to add a range to my business.
“I originally thought of the idea when I saw an antique doorstop made from a lump of stone with a brass ring attached. Anyone who has a draughty old house needs doorstops and most of the ones I found I didn’t like, so I thought there might be a gap in the market.
“I source the lumps of antique marble from marble yards, choosing my favourite pieces. Most of these are offcuts from antique fireplaces.”
Tom adds: “I then designed a ring in two different finishes and asked a local blacksmith to make them out of discarded metal off his floor.”
His branding skills are impressive too. “I came up with the name T.O.M – Totally Original Merchandise – for the doorstops and use Instagram to publicise them.”
Tom, who would particularly like to be a dealer in tribal art, wanted to leave school at 16, “but dad wouldn’t let me,” he says.
Dad is dealer Edward Hurst, who specialises in 18th century furniture standing solely at Masterpiece and who refers on his website to his two children: “A chip off the old block: Tom Hurst Antiques and Jane Hurst Garden Design.”
Tom, who has sold some of his glass and tribal art at IACF Shepton Mallet, at which he did well, is full of praise for AYG, particularly their advice on fairs, and has wanted to take part in some of the things they offer including their pop-up shops, but “school gets in the way”.
Not too much, by the look of his energetic enterprise.