Antiques For Everyone at the NEC

Last week I attended the wonderful Antiques For Everyone Fair at the NEC, Birmingham, along with Judith Miller. Held three times a year, it’s the largest vetted fair in the UK, attracting hundreds of dealers, and tens of thousands of buyers and collectors. This time around, Judith and I had been asked to help with the vetting process – something neither of us have ever done before. In case you’re not familiar with the term, every item for sale at the fair is checked by a panel of independent experts and specialists to ensure that it is correctly identified, labelled, dated, and that any restoration of modification is correctly noted. We joined a committee totalling 120 across all subjects, with me working with Robert Marris and my friend Charles Hajdamach on the glass committee, and Judith joining the ladies’ vanities committee. As you can imagine with so much to see, the process took all day, and was both enjoyable and educational. As we crossed from stand to stand, Judith and I were also on …

Read More

Last Saturday saw the launch of the first ever exhibition and book dedicated to Caithness Glass and the work of its co founder and first designer Domhnall ÓBroin. Over 300 pieces of glass from the Cooley Collection were beautifully displayed at Broadfield House Glass Museum, covering fifty years of world-renowned design since the company was founded in 1961. The largest display cabinet was devoted to the work of ÓBroin, with later designers such as Colin Terris, Helen MacDonald, Alastair MacIntosh, Gordon Hendry, and others filling the rest. The brightly lit glass-walled corridor to the glassblowing studio was lined with sandblasted vases in a rainbow of colours. The day kicked off with me giving an animated talk on my personal ‘Top Ten’ designs in 20th century glass. Lunch came next, and was followed with a typically intelligent and insightful lecture by Graham on his perspective on Caithness Glass. Over 60 people then joined us as Graham and I gave a private tour of the the exhibition. A very special guest made the day the success it was – we were joined …

Read More

I’ve never been a prize before, let alone a first prize! Last Thursday, Judith Miller and I visited the Bath Decorative & Antiques Fair to give a personal tour of the fair to 6 of their competition winners. They also received a bottle of vintage champagne, and a free Miller’s book. One lucky couple also won a night at the truly sublime Royal Crescent Hotel, with dinner included! If you don’t know this well-established fair, you really should. Co-organised by Robin Coleman and the truly marvellous Gail McLeod of Antiques News & Fairs, over 50 of the country’s best decorative, vintage and retro antiques dealers came together at the Pavilion to show and sell their latest finds. For anyone who thinks ‘antiques are dead’, I can tell you that this fair proves you wrong. Gail’s own words sum it up best, “We are still recovering from a major success here!  We have been given so many wonderful compliments from both trade and private visitors alike. Our shoulders are heaped with praise!  It …

Read More

Antiques Roadshow ‘trends’ on Twitter

#TT #antiquesroadshow #antiquestweetshow – all these hash tags and more were flying around the internet last night as Antiques Roadshow became one of the top topics being talked about across the world on Twitter for the first time. Of course, a large percentage of the tweets were from people questioning why it was trending, thus building the ‘trend’ even further. However, what was more interesting to me were the comments from those who weren’t asking this. Most people think the Roadshow only appeals to a more mature generation. That’s simply not true. Unless they’re using profile photos of other people, it was great to see so many younger people in their 20s and 30s saying they love it too. Clearly, timeless and widely appealing themes including history, the story behind an object, the owner’s own story, beautiful and resonant objects, and the great guessing game for the value don’t just appeal to the over 60s. That’ll be why it regularly attracts over 7m viewers each week… In a way, given this and the growing popularity of social media, …

Read More