THE ANTIQUES YOUNG GUNS
]Well It’s not every day you receive an e-mail asking if you would like to be part of feature in the Guardian Weekend, but this Spring an e-mail saying exactly this popped into my inbox from the very talented journalist Jo Leevers. Jo has been an incredible support over the last 8 months and has become a close friend, we first started speaking when she contacted me via twitter after seeing a few pictures I had tweeted of my pad and asked if it had been featured in a publication (you can imagine my face). Following a series of e-mails Jo came back with two very exciting pieces of news, one of these was asking if I would like to be included in a great feature on the ‘Antiques Young Guns’ who are an extremely talented and incredibly fun individuals in the antiques trade. The group is an eclectic mix of dealers, auctioneers and restorers all of which can be found at www.antiquesyoungguns.co.uk and many of which showcase and sell their incredible stock online, I urge you all to take a look. The day of the Guardian shoot arrived and I made my way to a stunning location in London’s swanky Holland Park, dressed in my best Lanvin jacket ( a bit moth eaten I admit ) I made my way on the tube with one of my favourite 19th century French ballroom chairs, not the easiest thing to take on the central line but I did have a seat the entire journey, a luxury I’m not usually used too.
I was of course the first to arrive and greeted by the Guardians lovely Jessica Edwards and very attractive photographer David Yeo, slowly but surely each Young Gun turned up carrying their own prop which ranged from a taxidermy crow to Timothy Midhurst’s modest yet very successful gavel. It was clear from the start that this group of bright young things were all very close and together made up a very exciting and powerful group changing the face of an industry many would say had gone stale and passed its best, it is however not the case at all.
With entrants of the Young Guns being as young as 17 it was clear that there was potential for this to be much more than just a group of experts, it was clear that their was and still is a demand for people wanting to be part of this exciting movement, which is why the fabulous trio Gail McLeod of Antiques News & Fairs, George Johnson of Lady Kentmores, and of course antiques expert and TV superstar Mark Hill launched the Antiques Young Guns of the trade awards. An instant success and supported by big names in the business such as BADA, LAPADA, the Antiques Trade Gazette, Antiques Are Green and Miller’s it was clear that this was going to be big news. Now an annual event, the most recent hosted by Alfies antiques market celebrates the new and exciting members who continue to make a difference and promote the wonderful world of antiques that has now become a big trend on the pages of the interiors titles and widely respected by a younger audience who no longer see antiques as something our grandparents had hanging around in the loft but beautiful and interesting pieces that can be incorporated in to homes all over whether it’s a Georgian town house or a modern studio apartment.
“I quickly noticed that this handful of young dealers on twitter were helping each other by exchanging knowledge and lively banter. I was also very much aware through my own business, as owner of Antiques News and Fairs, that the vital and hard won expert knowledge held by existing members of the antiques trade could naturally expire without enough fresh young blood to join this heritage industry which is subject to so many changes in both the fashion and economic landscapes” Gail McLeod
When the Guardian piece finally published on May 3rd 2014 it was clear that many readers took notice, an abundance of tweets, facebook comments and e-mails from both old and young fans made it very clear to me that I loved being part of a group that would were all about keeping an industry going that I have been in love with from a very young age, with that said I can’t thank Jo Leevers and The Guardian enough for having vision and bringing such a great story to life on the pages of one of Britain’s most read supplements.