Over the years, most Dealers will have spent a great deal of their time in auction salerooms, either viewing or bidding on goods offered for sale. This remains the case today, notwithstanding the fact that the majority of salerooms now offer online bidding facilities, typically via such portals as www.the-saleroom.com . In like manner, many Dealers offer “house clearance” services as an integral part of their business and this can often provide a valuable source of new stock, previously unseen by their peers in the local saleroom, and thus “fresh to the market”.
It being a common practice for Auctioneers to group goods together, offering the lot as a batch purchase, particularly at the lower end of the market, Dealers frequently find themselves buying half a dozen items in order perhaps to acquire one desirable piece. Likewise, when accepting a commission to clear the contents of a property, whilst there may well be various items of both interest and value to be harvested, there will certainly be a great deal more that are not, but which nevertheless must be cleared as part of the undertaking. It is this surplus, these things of lesser value and interest, either financial or aesthetic, that constitute “the Rest”, which, one way or another should be disposed of as quickly as possible.
When we consider the supply side of the Antiques Trade as thus explained, the origin of the old adage, “Keep the Best and Sell the Rest” quickly becomes clear. By taking your cue from “the Trade’s” seasoned practitioners, and applying this yardstick consistently to your own purchases, regularly pruning and discarding items of lesser interest, then, over time, you will be rewarded by a gradual but discernable improvement in the quality and depth of your collection.