Antiques Trade Talks – Angus Ashworth of Ryedale Auctioneers

Angus Ashworth auctioneerAngus Ashworth is the owner and auctioneer at Ryedale Auctioneers based in North Yorkshire, which holds a range of general and specialist sales. We caught up with him fresh from filming his first outing on the BBC’s Antiques Road Trip.

What areas/items are currently selling well?

For us, antique arms and militaria, particularly pistols and Mouseman type furniture.

What do you think are the current ‘good investment’ items – ones to watch?

You’ve probably heard this before but vintage and early technology, such as computer games consoles and classic cars.

Robert 'Mouseman' Thompson caving

What antiques do you have at home?

Having three children under three years of age I don’t have much at home, apart from an early pine lambing chair, and tend to keep the nice things at work!

What do you think will be the antiques of the future?

Vintage technologies computers, etc, but also the popular kids items from 40/50 years ago.

How is the industry changing and what will it look like in the future?

Massive shifts to online sales and auctioneers becoming more retail-type online platforms, although the bottom end will probably continue in the traditional sense.

Tell us some trade secrets – what are your top tips for buying antiques?

Don’t buy something just because its cheap, also its a very competitive market place so shop around for the right deal.

What antiques/artworks would you buy if money were no object?

A Victoria Cross, a good period suit of armour, a volley gun, cased pair of duelling pistols and that’s just the militaria list! A large pair of Blue John urns would be nice, too.

You’re down to your last 50 quid – what antiques/art would you buy?

Either a powder flask, as that was the first antique I ever bought aged 11, or a speculative piece of Oriental to race-away at auction.

Etched ducked hunting scene on antique sporting gun

Where are your favourite antique hunting destinations?

Having just completed my first road trip for BBC Antiques Road Trip, travelling across Scotland, Yorkshire and the North of England and found some real gems, but also know of an amazing spot in Buckinghamshire.

What are some of the biggest mistakes that buyers make?

Not reading descriptions or checking items properly before buying.

Do antiques appeal to young buyers and, if not, how can the industry reach out to them?

Yes, to some extent I am young (well, ish) and there are lots of youngsters in the trade. But more needs to be done to entice the next generation, TV shows could have a more younger appeal and aim to them.

What’s the best buying advice you’ve ever heard?

Trust your gut and buy the best you can afford.

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