Whether consciously or otherwise, those choosing to pursue a career within the Antiques Trade find themselves by default, together with their peers who inhabit the allied world of fine art auctioneering, in the vanguard of the conservation movement, whose influence has grown exponentially in recent times.
Whilst it must be admitted that there are dealers, just as there are auctioneers, who are but little concerned with the aesthetics of their chosen profession, their interest in the goods in which they deal extending no further than a sharp appreciation of their financial value, this, in today’s world tends to be less the case than was so in years gone by.
And much as Wine has play’d the Infidel,
And robb’d me of my Robe of Honour ~ well,
I often wonder what the Vintners buy
One half so precious as the Goods they sell.
Much of the credit for this growth of public consciousness and enduring interest in the conservation of our rich historic heritage must be accorded to The National Trust, to English Heritage and to their peers and counterparts around the U.K., all of which organisations are deserving of support. Television too has played a generally positive role in the matter, with programmes such as the Antiques Roadshow stimulating interest in that myriad assortment of lesser antique and vintage items, many formerly to be found in abundance, but today all too often in danger of being overlooked and thus perhaps lost to posterity.