Setting the scene
Having been dealing in antique glass for thirty years has meant that we have built up a large customer base in the United Kingdom and abroad, particularly in Europe. It is to be hoped that the impact of Brexit will not in the long run have an adverse effect on the European trade.
Education must begin with an exposure to joy and variety. Ideas have a way of creating peopleRon Richardson
Research is a very important part of what I do. The world of glass is so wide that I am regularly finding pieces which I have never seen before. An example of this is the strange object shown below.
This is a 19th century askos which was probably made in England but could have been made on the Continent. The original design dates back to Ancient Greece where such objects were used for pouring oil.
Sometimes it is possible to discover for whom the object is made. By following lines of enquiry the object ceases to be simply an object but something which was used by someone years before any of us who are handling them now were born. When I started in the antique trade someone once said to me « You know we deal in dead people’s things, don’t you. » This, of course, is true. The definition of antique is usually something more than a hundred years old. By definition such objects must have been the property of people no longer able to tell us about their possessions. Now it is their possessions which tell us about them if we are prepared to look carefully enough.
Another important point to remember is that although we invest money in these objects we are only custodians for the period of time we have them. They will be here long after we are no more. Research builds up provenance for these objects which is important for the custodians who come after us.
Buying involves looking for pieces I like myself. I learned a long time ago that it is easier to sell something I like and would be happy to keep than something that is supposed to be fashionable but does nothing for me personally. The stock is drawn from various sources including auctions, dealers and, of course, collectors.
Selling is about establishing trust between those who are buying and the person who is selling. My business is based on this important feature which is why some of our clients have been buying from us for more than twenty years. It must be one of the few businesses where many of your clients become your friends.