I've been busy catching up with a few industry legends and some new kids on the block (NOT the band!) to give you an insight into the wonderful world of antiques. We find out how they got into the trade, their favourite finds and their biggest regrets, and there are a few words of advice for anyone thinking of getting into the trade. These little interviews will come out over the course of the next couple of months, so remember to follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter (or even better, all three!), to be notified of my new posts.
First up, with over 30 years of experience in the antiques trade, is 'Dickinson's Real Deal's' very own Tim Hogarth.
Tim Hogarth (Image: Robert Day)
Q. How did you get into the antiques trade?
My passion for antiques started at a very young age. I was fascinated by history and what our ancestors left behind. I was bottle digging at 8 years old and by the time I was 12, I had progressed to local flea markets, jumble sales, auctions, etc... maintaining newspaper rounds to fund my passion for antiques! Whilst at school the only job I wanted was to be an antiques dealer. Much to the horror of my family and a very confused careers officer. Not being very academic, I left school at 16 and went straight into a job in the local spring factory, in the despatch department! I then got a job in a curry factory! By the time I was 18, I had stock to start selling at flea markets and the princely sum of £60 working capital.
Q. What is your current speciality or interest?
I’m often asked this question and to be honest, I love all antiques. Their backgrounds and the people that owned them are fascinating to me. We live in such a crazy world that there’s something comforting to be taken from the quality that our ancestors produced in items. From high end items made for the rich, to simple country antiques, they give me a real buzz.
Q. Do you think it’s better to specialise in one specific subject area of the trade and if so, why? Or is it possible to deal in everything and anything?
I personally have such a passion for all antiques that I could never specialise. I would find it too restricted. We learn every day from seeing items and buying them from all fields. The antiques trade is like a huge box of chocolates, so many tastes, that for me, it would be far too restricted to focus on only one field. I need to taste as many of those chocolates as possible!
Q. What has been your favourite find?
Because I’ve been doing this business for 30 odd years, I’ve had some real finds! I’ve also had some horror buys!!! But I suppose my first great buy was from my local charity shop as a child. I lived in Haworth which was the home of the Bronte sisters. With my very meagre newspaper round wages, I could only afford the odd item. I took to buying prayer books from the Victorian period because they were cheap, often 20p or less. In one of these books I found a letter by the Rev Patrick Bronte, the Father of the famous Sisters, in which he spoke of his health and the inclement Haworth weather (nothing changes on those wild moors of Haworth)! I eventually sold it to the Bronte museum in Haworth. At the other end of the spectrum I purchased a nephrite frame made by faberge in a flea market in Eastern Europe.
Q. Has there been an item that you have regretted not buying?
I’ve regretted not buying lots of items in my career. I have a few I should have bought, but sometimes, it’s just not knowing what the item is, its true value or having the cash! I would say most dealers have stories of the one that got away and I’m no exception. The key to the antiques trade is knowledge. You have to absorb as much as you can. We are continually learning and we all make mistakes in selling. Anyone who tells you they are an antiques expert, take with a huge pinch of salt!
Q. Do you have any advice for someone looking to get into the antiques trade?
I’m often asked this question and my only advice would be that you have to love the job! You have to have a passion, a fire in your belly. If you're looking to get rich quick, forget it!! Antiques are a passion and they are windows into a forgotten world of our ancestors. Be they rich or poor, their stories are fascinating and compelling, adding to the thrill of the chase. You have a job that’s both exciting and rewarding.
So, that's it for this week folks! I hope you enjoyed this little Q & A session with Tim, I certainly did. Remember to follow me on my social media handles for notifications of my new blog posts.
Until next week, stay safe, keep buying those antiques and spread that Source Vintage love!
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