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Fine art and antiques appraiser If you love nothing more than staying in to binge-watch back-to-back episodes of Antiques Roadshow while your friends hit the clubs, then perhaps put your passion to work by becoming a fine art and antiques appraiser? The perfect job for vintage store hounds and lovers of all things from other eras, working as an expert appraiser of fine art and antiques is a solid career choice that could lead to many magical places (the set of Antiques Roadshow being just one of them). There is no magic bullet to becoming an expert in the valuation of art and antiques, but there are some tried and true ways to get there. Many leaders in the field chose to study Art History at university, and while this isn’t essential, studying something you love for a few years does sound good. Others rise to the top of the field by working in antiques stores and auction houses, where they are taught the tricks of the trade by more senior antiques dealers and appraisers. With many expert appraisers choosing to specialise in one particular niche or period of history, this profession allows you to indulge your own obsessions and make money from it. In the world of fine art and antiques, no niche is too small to fill, with many collectors possessing an eccentric mania for certain items, artists or periods in history. From pre-Victorian miniature furniture to jewellery from the Art Nouveau period, antique firearms from the Civil War era and 18th century Swiss clocks, drilling down into one – or a few – specialist areas means that you’ll give yourself the best chance at becoming the absolute authority on that chosen item or time period (and a red hot go at being asked to appear on Antiques Roadshow). Whichever way you choose to go, becoming an expert appraiser allows you to explore many interesting career avenues. You can

choose to work in a salaried role at a large auction house, such as Christie’s, Sotheby’s or Bonhams. Or you could set up your own antiques and fine art dealership and enjoy the flexibility and autonomy that comes with running your own business. Alternatively, you could become a consultant and market yourself as a gun-forhire, available for anything from curating to valuing at fine art fairs, museums and other cultural institutions. Many experts also end up writing books on their specialist subject, lecturing at universities and giving talks at events. A life immersed in antiques and fine art may sound less than thrilling for some, but this type of work returns very valuable dividends for arts and antiques lovers. Essentially, apart from earning a living, you’ll spend your days surrounded by works of rare and immense creativity. From the brushstrokes of Georgia O’Keeffe to the pen of Tolstoy and the detailed craftsmanship of Swiss watchmaker Patek Philippe, this career gives you access to some of the greatest works of art and literature in the world. If your pulse quickens at the thought of handling a signed, first edition copy of Gone with the Wind or organising the auction of a Ming vase valued at 53 million dollars, then this is absolutely the life for you.

The lowdown

Education or qualifications: Tertiary qualifications in art history are helpful, although not mandatory. Experience required: Many fine art and antiques experts gain on-the-job experience working in entry-level positions in antiques dealerships, museums and auction houses. Training: Many fine art institutions, museums and auction houses offer graduate programs and internships for recent graduates looking to enter the industry. Apprenticing under a more experienced antiques or fine art dealer is another way to gain on-the-job training. Restrictions: None.

I can get paid for that?  

NOTE: This e-gallery is for press purposes only. No images or other copyrighted materials seen here may be reproduced. Contact patrick@smi...

I can get paid for that?  

NOTE: This e-gallery is for press purposes only. No images or other copyrighted materials seen here may be reproduced. Contact patrick@smi...

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