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places Kieran and Amanda Mathewson are the new generation of dealers that run their business from home. We find out how that works, and how they started out on their adventure that has become River and Jones... PHOTOGRAPHER: Cameron Mundell (www.cameronmundell.co.uk) ALMOST 12 YEARS AGO, as a young man, Kieran Mathewson started up his antiques business. He took inspiration from everything he loved about life, his childhood adventures in Africa and his rural life in England. He began by buying interesting items that reflected his personality, and it soon became apparent that others were drawn to these items too! Selling them on with the help of his childhood sweetheart, business partner and wife, Amanda, they were soon providing a modest living for their young family. As time went by, the business grew, as did the family, and today, little has changed. The family still run their business from their beautiful home in the countryside, enjoy family life, whilst still finding time to go on buying trips to far flung places... for them, life continues to be one big adventure!

TWO’S COMPANY ve Is everything in your lovely home ‘for sale’ or is there something within these pages that you just couldn’t bear to part with? Everything in the house is for sale apart from the Antonin Petrof piano, which is an antique from 1901. We bought it for one of our sons for Christmas and he absolutely loves it. He is a great little musician and I can see him definitely growing old with it!

ve Is there an item you have sold that you wish you’d kept and if so, what was it and why? This is a very good question, and also one of the only things Amanda and I don’t quite see eye to eye on. I would happily keep everything if I could, I buy things I’m drawn to and enjoy, and when we sell something I often get that ‘I should have kept that’ feeling. Amanda on the other hand is ruthless, she’s practical and thinks with a business head on, everything has a price. Having her around keeps us in business! There is something I sold recently that I genuinely struggled to part with. It was a stunning 17th century hand carved wooden Corpus still on its original cross and base. The colour and patina was just incredible, flaking black and white paint that had cracked and worn away over the years. It was just a beautiful thing, steeped in history. The 1961 Triumph Tiger Cub motorcycle was pretty sexy too... I could go on. The one thing Amanda was sad to see go was a large old Spanish Amphora, we picked it up in Spain and getting it back was a bit tricky. Amanda stuck it straight in the house and I was convinced she was going to keep it... it eventually went to a good client in LA... but Amanda still talks about it! 28 / December-January 2018 / ve

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ve What’s the weirdest item you’ve ever bought? I have bought some interesting items in the past, but the weirdest items must have been some of the tribal pieces I have picked up along the way. I remember the first time I bought a Nkondi from the Kongo people of Central Africa, about 10 years ago, and thinking: this is weird. A Nkondi is a carved figure depicting a man or hunter. The figure is then taken to a shaman called a Nganga, and is adorned with magical potions and objects which becomes the home of the Spirit that inhabits the figure. The Nganga then hammers nails into the figure, to awaken the spirit and activate the Nkondi’s powers. The end result is a figure covered in nails that resembles a voodoo doll, but the purpose of the Nkondi is to protect the village or a person, by warding off evil spirits. I’ve had quite a few over the years and I now see them in a completely different light. They have quite an interesting cultural purpose, which fascinates me. ve Given the opportunity to time travel, where would you go, and why? There are so many periods in history that would be fascinating to experience. Tudor England would be very interesting; I’d have a small plot of land in a rural village with loads of kids... not too dissimilar to our life now really! However in those days I’d be more likely to get my head chopped off for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. I suppose I’m best suited to the early 20th century, perhaps the 1920s around the time Tutankhamen’s tomb was discovered, when travel and adventure became exciting and you could drive a Rolls Royce through the desert or join an exciting expedition. ve What has been your biggest buying mistake? Amanda is whipping her list out as we speak... I’m sure she has an ‘I told you so’ book somewhere with all my mistakes neatly labelled! I’ve been doing this for nearly 30 / December-January 2018 / ve

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12 years and used to beat myself up about bad buys. The saying, ‘don’t make the same mistake twice’ must have been written by an antique dealer, but I’ve never been good at taking advice. Mistakes are a just part of the job, and a great way to learn. I suppose my everyday mistakes tend to be paying too much money for something that I just had to have, without taking into consideration the fact that I need to sell it on. Amanda has always been great though, she trusts my instincts and knows that when I get it right, I really get it right, and that outweighs the mistakes tenfold.

ve If you weren’t doing this for a job – what would you be doing? I would like to think I’d be doing archeology or something to do with hands on history, or the opportunity to discover something really exciting. The world is filled with hidden treasures and lost cities... that’s where I’d be heading. Amanda used to own a bridal shop, however I convinced her to leave it all behind and have some ‘fun’ working with me. I’m sure on days when she’s lugging furniture and digging around in dirty barns, she closes her eyes and still thinks about the Champagne and pretty dresses. Having said that, Amanda wanted to join the RAF’s Search and Rescue before we met, and I can honestly see her doing that, jumping out of helicopters and pulling people out of a stormy ocean... she’s tough and has an inner strength, she’s also incredibly kind and caring, so she’d be an asset to them. ve If you could sum up your style in three words, what would they be? We are inspired by adventure, travel and exploration, but love old rustic farmhouse furniture too. So summing it up into three words is a little tricky. Lets go for: Adventure, inspired and interiors!ve www.vintagexplorer.co.uk

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Vintage Dealers River & Jones  

Kieran and Amanda Mathewson are the new generation of dealers that run their business from home. We find out how that works, and how they st...

Vintage Dealers River & Jones  

Kieran and Amanda Mathewson are the new generation of dealers that run their business from home. We find out how that works, and how they st...

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