The Trade…………..

So you aspire to become an Antique Dealer ~ First of all then ask yourself Why ~ What is it about The Trade that you find so attractive ? If it’s simply a matter of aesthetics, then might you not be more suited training to become an Auctioneer, in which case you can enjoy handling the goods without risking your own money by investing in them ~

Giltwood Convex MirrorWhatever your motive, the first thing that you should realise is that the Antiques Trade today is very much a knowledge based business, and that while much of that knowledge may be gleaned from everyday “hands-on” experience, you will find the possession of a suitable academic qualification, such as a relevant degree in the Applied / Fine Arts of inestimable value as a foundation upon which to build. Assuming that you are suitably so qualified, the next requirement is one that, whilst of equal importance, indeed, some would argue of greater value, is that difficult to pin down attribute, “Flair for your subject” This is one of those factors which, generally speaking, you either have, or you don’t, and is not something that is easily developed unless it comes naturally to you. It is fair to say then that while a strong academic base may offer the opportunity to progress, without the necessary accompaniment of that flair which should come as second nature to the student, such progress is likely to be slow and perhaps ultimately unrewarding ~

Papier Mache ChairSo, you are suitably qualified, and in possession of that flair, often referred to as “good taste”, which means that you are able instinctively to recognise quality in the sense that things “jump off the wall” at you. How then to move forward ? The workings of the Antiques Trade are in many ways analogous to those of the Stock Market, the operative word here being market, while at the same time requiring that it’s participants exercise a sense of judgement in relation to risk more commonly associated perhaps with the horse racing fraternity. Like the Stock Market, much of the activity that takes place in The Trade is contra-cyclical in nature, thus, assuming that you are in it for the “long haul”, then you must be prepared, whilst following your intuition, to select your stock purchases with care, understanding that many of them will perhaps be with you for a very long time. Bottom fishing wherever possible, only buy things that you yourself both like and understand and spread your purchases over as wide a range of compatible stock categories as your funds will permit. In other words, be careful to avoid having “all of your eggs in one basket”. Always buy quality, for while the price of an object may fluctuate, it’s quality will remain constant, and this tells in the end, and always be awake to the possibility of a bargain, wherever you are, in a shop, at a fair, in a saleroom ~ Like a diligent Police Officer, Always be on duty, available, willing to learn and above all, Happy to Help ~