Friday, April 17, 2020
Its never been featured in TV programs such as the Antique Road Show, Bargain Hunt, etc. but before the current market free for all there was a structure to the antiques market. Professional, knowledgeable trade specialists operating from trade warehousing literally harboured all the good pieces collated from house clearance, trading, auctions, etc. Often they would have a back end of workshops to restore the furniture and this facilitated supply to the retail shops the consumers would visit (no internet at the time). So professionals qualifying the product, selling to professional retailers and hence the consumer would actually be buying a product correctly described.
Sadly with the chain broken by the new amateur market & unregulated internet, the shops have closed and so have most of the professional trade antique furniture warehouses. Most of the expert restorers and hand French polishers have given up the job because also there is no appreciate of standards in the market place. All over Ebay and other amateur trading platforms resides the most ghastly, often reproduction, worthless furniture that has been ‘restored’ by someone in their garden shed using tins of DIY kit from B&Q. Its not described as worthless junk though - more often a gleaming report that entirely mis-describes.
But all is not lost! In the UK there are still a few surviving true trade professionals that have turned their hand to direct supply via a website, maintained a staff of skillful restorers and offer their clients genuine antique furniture at very low prices. Just like ourselves, if you find any company that has a large stock of unrestored furniture, happily shows you their workshops and doesn’t have a website full of shiny staged showroom pictures of perfect antiques then chances are you’ve just found somebody still passionate about genuine quality antique furniture.