21-year-old Chloe Wood is a general valuer and cataloguer at Oxfordshire auctioneers Mallams. She is a member of the National Association of Valuers and Auctioneers and The Antiques Young Guns.
What are the current hot sellers in the auction room?
20th century decorative arts have been flying out the door recently, but as a general rule, quality does. More specifically 1950’s – 1970’s Swedish designer furniture.
What antiques do you have at home?
Great question, I do have quite an eclectic taste, but my favourites? A 1920’s Scottish Silver Stag for decorative purposes, and for more practical purposes, my early Victorian mahogany and ivory inlaid toilet mirror.
What piece would you love to sell in the auction room?
I’ve always had a fascination with René Lalique jewellery, I’d love to sell a piece!
Will people go to auction houses in 20 years or will sales all be online?
100% certain… But as an auctioneer I would hope so haha! And it’s for the same reasons I love auctions: the excitement, you can always tell when tension is building for certain lots, and that’s something that cannot be replicated in online bidding.
What are tomorrow’s antiques?
Tomorrow’s antiques… A tricky one, but I’d have to predict that fashion will hold its value, it’s something that has changed so drastically in recent years, even now certain pieces can fetch a hefty sum.
Tell us some trade secrets – what are you top tips for being at an auction?
Ask questions. Talk to experts at the auction you’re visiting. Most of the time the people who have catalogued the items, the people who have spent time researching them will be there, and will be happy to answer any questions you may have. And if we don’t, we’ll try our best to find out for you.
Will brown furniture make a comeback?
Absolutely. But I’m very biased, I have a huge amount of respect for brown furniture and would always choose that over modern-day pieces of furniture that you would buy in shops today.
Where are your favourite antique hunting destinations?
My personal favourite for buying is the Peterborough antiques festival, which takes place twice a year. However to browse and to look at some exquisite items would be Antiques for Everyone at the NEC in Birmingham. I’d never miss it.
Young people don’t like antiques – agree or disagree?
Disagree! Again I’m biased. I’m 21. I have been an auctioneer since I was 17. And I have always loved antiques. I know many people close to my own age who also love them. And there’s the Antiques Young Guns, which have only been growing in strength recently.
What’s the future for the trade?
I’d say the future looks bright. Antiques will always have a place, and there will always be members of every generation who will love them, use them and look after them. At least I hope so!