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Name
Marc Allum, BBC Antiques Roadshow Expert
  1. Can you tell us a bit about your background and what drives your passion for the industry?

    I was a child collector, constantly intrigued by the world around me, both in its natural and man-made form, and fascinated by the sense of being able to discover and divine history through objects. That sense has never waned; in fact it has become more and more acute over the years. I have an auctioneering background but have been a freelance consultant, author and lecturer for some 12 years. This allows me to pursue the various strands of my involvement in the market and the media.

     

  2. What area(s) of art and antiques do you specialise in?

    I’ve never specialised. I’m what’s commonly called a generalist and prefer to dip my toe into most aspects of the market. Of course, I have my favourites but my ‘jack of all trades’ experience allows me to be multi-faceted and versatile.

     

  3. What has been your most memorable discovery?

    To be frank, there are too many, but this is not a value based judgment for me. Yes, I did discover a Leica camera on the Roadshow that made over $600,000 but a Wedgwood vase sitting on my hall table, most likely touched by the great man himself, has always enthralled me.

     

  4. BBC Antiques Roadshow has been reported to having significantly higher viewing figures than TV shows like Top Gear – why do you think there has been such a surge in nationwide interest in antiques?

    The Antiques Roadshow is by far still the best antiques show. It strikes a chord with the nation and our inherent love of nostalgia and history. Of course, there is also a value element but it provides continuity, a comfort that many people – sitting on their sofas - can identify with, because – despite the high-hitters – you could have one similar residing at home too! 

     

  5. What top tips do you have for buying art and antiques in the current market, for both the seasoned and the new collector?

    This is quite hard to convey because experience counts for a lot, particularly when the markets are volatile. They have been very volatile in recent years, yet apart from the obvious advice of buying what you like my take has always been quite esoteric. The problem is, you have to have a certain type of personality to live with some of the objects; otherwise your selection has to be a little more mainstream!

     

  6. What advice do you have for making the most out of an art and antiques fair such as Antiques for Everyone?

    There are lots of very experienced dealers there, so use their knowledge. Don’t be afraid to ask. Dealers are usually passionate and also collectors too, so they like to convey their enthusiasm. Haggle politely to secure a good deal!

     

  7. What sets Antiques for Everyone apart from other fairs?

    It’s very eclectic. A superb cross section of material with varying price points to suits all pockets. It’s a good looking fair and very user friendly.

     

  8. Do you have any final words of wisdom you wish to add?

    Soak up the congenial atmosphere. It’s a social occasion too, so make the most of the lively and ethusiastic dealers that populate the fair. And, if you happen to bump into a Roadshow expert – like me – who looks like they might be at a loose end, ask for some advice….it might be an interesting experience!

     

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