Going for a Song……………

Going for a SongAfter a gap of some years, I enjoyed, during the past weekend, revisiting “Going for a Song ~ English Furniture”, in which the late Arthur Negus, in conversation with Max Robertson, reflects upon his years in the Antiques Trade. As the “resident connoisseur” of the hugely popular television programme which, in the mid 1960’s first awakened the general public’s interest in antiques, laying the ground for the many others that followed, the author, with his mellifluous voice and engaging manner became a widely recognised and greatly respected figure. There are but few people in the world of entertainment whose voices manage both to capture and exude the very essence of “Englishness”, John Gielgud and Edward Fox springing to mind as suitable candidates, and Arthur Negus was right up there with the best of them ~

The book is filled with much useful information, which remains as pertinent to any study of the subject today, fifty years after publication, as when it first arrived fresh off the press. The real treasure which it bears however is to be savoured in the first chapter, “How it All Began”, a pot-pourri of tales, drawn from real life, illustrating just how the author’s experiences as a young working Dealer moulded his character and sharpened his professional antennae. All these years later, the material here presented continues to demonstrate perfectly the precept that successfully to pursue a career in the Antiques Trade requires not only a sound academic knowledge of one’s subject, but, more importantly, that indefinable “eye” or “flair” without which qualification real success is likely to remain an elusive “Will-o’-the-Wisp” ~