The antiques season in the UK is in full swing in June, with numerous smart antiques fairs happening in London and around the country. Just as there are smart terrestrial antiques fairs, there are smart online ones too, and with a new emphasis on buying green and buying from the UK, antiques are showing a steady move upwards in trendsetters’ style barometers. The black view of a brown trade is fading rapidly...
www.antiques.co.uk is one of the UK’s smartest online antiques shows. It’s smart for more than one reason: not only does it look good, it has a clever format, offers a daily stock of over 18,000 quality antiques (far more than you would ever find at a fair), and it does the business too, with at least one dealer on the site - Rod Chapman of Mansion House Antiques, Leicestershire, reporting a tenfold increase in business after signing up.
Launched last year by Iain Brunt, an antique dealer and art consultant for over 25 years, the site is now well-established with a regular 100,000 visitors each month on the hunt for rare ware from £5 to £100,000 or more. Both expert and amateur antiques buyers use it - collectors, other dealers and interior designers buying for their clients.
Yorkshire-based interior designer Vicki Cockcroft uses Antiques.co.uk as it saves her time finding key pieces for her design projects. "Sourcing for my clients used to take weeks. Now it is a pleasant few hours of efficient searching."So why source through Antiques.co.uk ? Iain Brunt explains the reasons:
Sheer convenience with over 18,000 items from 150 dealers from around the UK, with an ultra fast search engine
Quality, vetted stock from reputable dealers; you can easily locate your nearest dealer
Easy browsing and no online buying; it’s simpler to contact the dealer direct for a conversation about the piece you like
Antiques are green: buying an antique is recycling in its best form - re-use
Antiques are usually unique or scarce, beautiful and well made
Translation and currency conversion for international visitors to the site.
Brunt emphasises that people should buy what they love but with his finger on the design pulse, he tips the use of acid colours - limes/pink/turquoise - with antiques; translucency - coloured glass, chandeliers (still hot), Lucite (a form of Perspex) on its own or mix with nickel/chrome; bold shapes, pale woods, or simple lines in furniture, whatever the period (keep decorated surfaces to accents such as lamps and mirrors).
"The internet has democratised the world of antiques. It’s still a stylish world, but no one is intimidated by it anymore," says Iain Brunt, "The recession and change of government are already forcing us to rethink our lifestyles and what we will buy for our homes. There’s a move away from the new and minimalist - antiques are back on the style radar."
Notes for editors:
Antiques.co.uk was founded by antiques consultant Iain Brunt and relaunched in 2008. With its No. 1 Google ranking, regular 100,000 visits a month, clean clear design, speedy functionality and useful features (valuation and conservation service links, book list, link to trace.com for stolen pieces), it is the site for antiques lovers. It costs £15 per month plus Vat for a minimum of 3 months for sellers to promote unlimited items on the site, upload items themselves and change details whenever they wish. An XML feed import service allows details to be updated directly they are amended on sellers’ own sites. A regular vetting panel, headed by Mark Goodger, dealer and LAPADA member, ensures quality and authenticity. Buyers may log their wish lists and are notified by email when such items are posted on the site.
With over 18,000 antiques listed on the site each day, from over 150 UK dealers antiques.co.uk is the largest antiques website in Europe and is the major online antiques resource in the UK. There is no online selling: it is simply a highly efficient way of matching buyers with sellers – usually dealers - and there’s no commission charged to either. It is the perfect way to find what you are looking for and you can even search by region.
Iain Brunt has worked in the art and antiques field in London and New York for over 25 years. In 2009, he became an antiques activist when he launched an online petition calling on the UK Labour government for more support for the antiques industry. This petition has attracted over 1000 signatories protesting at high business rates for these small businesses, and lobbying for stricter planning regulations to prevent the cloning of high streets when major retailers and developers move into areas of towns which owe their character and attractiveness to the existence of independent shops and, in particular, antiques arcades and shops.
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Captions can be found in the editors' notes below