Unfortunately, there comes a time in any antiques career where one must leave the light of the shop and delve into the dark obscurity of the storeroom, what is there… well who knows?
Wading through the congestion, what is first to hit you is the amount of perfectly good stuff that has been condemned to an unseen room only because of the space it occupies or its time of purchase. On one side is a Jacobean wardrobe, the other a perfectly agreeable Edwardian card table. Of course there are the speculative objects that reside, shelved away in the backrooms probably never to be sold again. But frequently the sad reality is that most of these items are not lacking in quality, they are simply too big.
The Antique Storeroom is a curious thing. However much organisation you can bring to proceedings it is inevitably betrayed by the accumulation of more stock.
A storeroom is the foundation of any business dealing in commodities; it is like a barn or a granary and determines what your future deals in.
In an ideal world nothing should be in a storeroom. The stuff, which is desirable enough to sell (even if the fashions are against it) and the rest would be elsewhere.
Searching the storeroom, I find an owl, wearing a mortarboard hat, carrying a book whilst perched on a ledger. It certainly puts across the idea that owls are wise and learned. But it also says that at some point, someone made this, they designed it, and they invested time and money in the notion that it would be a worthwhile venture. Occupying an obscure space in an unseen storeroom suggests otherwise, but there is something that is charming in its strangeness.
And this is why antiques are so interesting in the first place. Antiques in essence are how ideas from a certain time and place are put into a physical vessel. How someone has, to the best of their judgment sought to capture the sentiments of a time and place in order to make money.
Naturally sometimes it works better than other times. And the money often reflects that. But it isn’t just the money, there’s something bigger then that.
Personal preferences encroach on any design. And even though someone has thought ‘what will make me money?’ they have also thought, perhaps subconsciously, ‘what reflects my interests and character?’ ‘How will I leave my mark?”
So with all antiques, whether it is a priceless vase, or a strange plate depicting The Tiddlywinks Association’s triumph over their archrivals, there is a story to tell. And ultimately, history, like Antiques, isn’t just a collection of impeccably fashioned marks; it is a curious marbling of flaws and oddities. It is how, against all the odds, someone, somewhere, has unveiled their wacky vision to the world and it has remained!