Through programmes like Bargain Hunt, Cash in the Attic, Flog It! and Dickenson’s Real Deal, nationwide exposure to the vagaries of antiques has meant that they are no longer regarded as the preserve of the large auction houses. It is often the local antiques expert who has become the well known ‘face’ of the antiques circuit as these programmes tour the country. Up until a few years ago, people like James Braxton, David Barby, James Lewis and Philip Serrell were only known locally and often only to their regular clientele. However these now well known ‘faces’ are taking on celebrity status and are recognised by their fan base everywhere they go.
So when going to the local auctioneer to get an item valued, or to liquidise assets, many people are surprised when they walk through the door and come face to face with someone they feel they have known intimately for years. It then becomes quite natural to sit and chat with David Barby about cats or James Lewis about his penchant for lions before continuing with the business in hand. These ‘faces’ however, are also regional dealers and their businesses are based on building a rapport with the locality they serve. James Braxton refers to himself as an antiques auctioneer who also appears on television, which sums things up rather nicely.
So visiting the local auction house to sell an antique table may be as near to meeting a real celebrity as most people will ever get, and in this instance they will not have to pay for the privilege and the rewards may be great.
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