Earlier this year, antiques dealer Paul Pedley snapped up an antiques warehouse in Newark, Notts, and relaunched it as Newark Antiques and Interiors. The centre has around 90 dealers over two floors, selling items ranging from furniture to collectables.
In real terms, many antiques have never been cheaper. Furniture in particular represents tremendous value for money. Although retro furniture has increased in value recently, prices will continue to rise further due to increased demand and a limited supply. However, I believe the area with most potential for growth is decent Georgian mahogany. Also, Georgian silver and decorative arts, especially art deco, always seem to be great investments in terms of smaller items.
My tastes are fairly eclectic. This is reflected by the range of things I have chosen to live with. Some of our rooms are furnished with a quite traditional Victorian urban house look. Elsewhere we have a range, from prehistoric fossils to 1960’s furniture. My enduring passion is for the arts and crafts furniture of Heal’s, which I have been collecting since I started dealing.
At the moment we are seeing ever increasing interest in and demand for mid-century designer furniture. We have a couple of tenants who source their stock directly from Scandinavia and they seem very busy at the moment. The more traditional antique furniture is still selling well if it is good quality or unusual. In terms of smalls and collectables, silver seems to be consistently popular and we have also noticed 18th-century glass and 17th-18th century English porcelain have been selling well.
The antiques trade is, and always has been, very adaptable. Currently the main trend in the antiques industry is the shift towards online sales. This will play a very important part in the future of the business. However, I believe there is still a place for an antique centre like ours. In fact, as it becomes increasingly expensive to run independent shops and warehouses, I believe that strong collectives of dealers sharing warehouses and centres will experience a resurgence.
Probably the best tip for buying antiques is to spend time reading and researching first and then visiting antique shops, centres and fairs to refine your ideas. Take your time developing a clear idea of what you want, but always be ready to take the plunge if you spot something you love. It is always a good idea to develop relationships with dealers whose opinions you trust.
If I could buy anything and money was no object there are a wide variety of design classics by the likes of Voysey, Breuer and Aalto that I would like to own. I have always wanted a picture by Bridget Riley and I wouldn’t say no to a Barbara Hepworth sculpture.
The wonderful thing about antiques is that you don’t have to spend huge amounts of money to get something great. Even with a very limited budget there are some marvellous things available from costume jewellery, decorative glass to Georgian corner cupboards.
I travel all over the midlands buying stock from auctions, dealers and fairs but I can honestly say that the best town for buying antiques is Newark. For years we have benefited from having IACF Newark on our doorstep but the town offers so much more than that. There is a massive range of antiques available in four antique centres and a variety of other shops.
Our most recurrent problem is people not planning or budgeting for delivery of larger items. We have several instances where we have had to remove banisters and windows in order to be able to get larger items into houses. Taking a tape measure when buying larger items is a good idea.
Of course they do. There are antiques to suit every budget and taste. In fact, in the age of social media, people like to have statement pieces that make their homes distinctive. Antiques are the perfect way for people of any generation to show their individuality. In the past the antiques trade has not really reached out to a younger audience but now there is a growing movement towards internet selling which should engage younger buyers.