So Magazine March 2022

Page 22


Antiques collecting a modern perspective

I do hope you are able to pop in and visit us in due course. We’re in the Corn Exchange at 49 Lower Walk on The Pantiles, and can be contacted on 01892 322777 or by way of

22 | March 2022 | SO Magazine

One of Eric Knowles’s new partners at The Pantiles Arcade, David Hickmet, shares his thoughts on being mindfully acquisitive… Collecting antiques is very much alive and well. Many people remain very aware of the benefits of obtaining something of historical relevance or sentimental value which contributes more to their homes than a mere investment, although the latter can still be a very shrewd option, if pursued with an open mind. Thankfully, we’re now lesstightly bound by the strictures of what determines artistic merit – there should be more facets to the perceived value of an item than just the technical merits of its physical form, or its age ! Antiques can, for example, help to enhance a sense of place, particularly if you are able to find something relevant to the area in which you live. This could be something made from locally sourced materials, or produced by craftsmen who lived and worked near to your home. There’s a definite sense of achievement

from restoring an artefact to its birthplace. Our colleagues here at The Pantiles Arcade - ScottishAntiques. com and the inestimable Eric Knowles - are always beaming, for instance, when they manage to ‘repatriate’ an example of Tunbridge Ware. They’ve recently been able to place a Victorian book-slide depicting Eridge Castle in the hands of the Marquis of Abergavenny, for instance. Their hunt continues for an original red and white candystriped Georgian ‘dipping flask’ once used to dispense waters from the Chalybeate Spring on The Pantiles. There’s an example in the town’s museum, and the excitement will be palpable if one were to come to market ! Obviously there are entirely pragmatic reasons to obtain antiques – we make no bones about the fact that many pieces now on sale at The Pantiles Arcade should be deemed ‘investment grade’, in that their value will increase with the passage of time. It is surely better, though – even if your aim

is just to make money – to acquire pieces which are not only a sound investment but which look good and have an interesting provenance or back-story, too. This is the area where Art Deco works can excel. They were made with an innate sense of ‘user friendliness’ as opposed to being rather staid creations, bound by enduring preconceptions of what should be considered ‘high art’. The old cliches were swept away by a new broom of vigorous almost effervescent creativity, and we find that traditional techniques such as bronze-casting and glassmaking were used to generate striking, liberated items which exemplified the optimism and joi de vivre of the 1920’s and early 30’s.

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