The eagerly awaited confirmation of the Antiques Young Gun of the Year Awards 2014 can now be revealed! The team behind this fast growing and now very high profile movement, designed to promote members of the antiques trade, aged 39 and under, George Johnson, Mark Hill and editor of Antiques News and Fairs Gail McLeod, are delighted to announce that the awards ceremony and party will take place on Friday 4 July 2014 and will be hosted by Alfies Antiques Market – the iconic London antiques, vintage and 20th century design nexus founded by Bennie Gray in 1976.

Bennie Gray told Antiques News & Fairs: “These days the politicians are all saying it’s the entrepreneurial spirit that will save our economy. Which I think is true – of course the antiques trade has always been one of the most fertile breeding grounds for entrepreneurs, especially those with a fine eye for design. So it is a great privilege and a great pleasure for our antique markets to welcome and support …

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That isn’t a line I’ve ever used before, but I certainly could. Anyone who knows me knows that I hardly keep my love for etchings a secret. And, as there are over 150 of them, they’re downstairs as well as upstairs. I’ve been buying etchings (often generically called prints) since I was a schoolboy in Guildford. I used to visit a wonderful shop called Goodall (I think), hidden away upstairs above a shop down a side street off the picturesque high street. Then it was off to the market on North Street on Friday to find a suitable frame for my purchases. Of course, I couldn’t afford much as my only form of income was a paper-round, but I always liked what I bought and every single one is still with me today. Although I’ve researched some of the artists who produced them, I’ve never been too academic about this collection. I just enjoy it, and enjoy adding to it. Every time I go to a fair or centre, I keep an eye out for …

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