Trade Talks – Amanda Allinson

Amanda Allison of Allison Duke Antiques Founder of Allinson Duke, Amanda Allinson, describes herself as a modern day antique dealer. Running a family business in Darlington, Co. Durham, she specialises in sourcing and selling original, rare and unusual antique furniture and interior pieces. Here she shares her expertise on the current market for antiques and art.

What areas/items are selling well?

I would describe myself mainly as a country house dealer, I sell many items that would sit perfectly well in a country house, and or if you are trying to create the ‘country house look’. I am selling a lot of what I like to call ‘’Grandad Chairs’’ which are your big comfy arm chairs of all eras, they transfer well in to any An antique Grandad chairroom and take up a lot less space than a large bulky sofa. Persian, Turkish and Kilim rugs with bold patterns and colours are selling well. Portrait oil paintings are having a moment – the uglier the better!! And also the odd Mid Century Modern item.

What do you think are the current ‘good investment’ items for 2017 – ones to watch?

Regency pieces I feel are most defiantly ones to watch, not only are they stunning in design they are also very delicate and transfer very well in to anyone’s home.

Persian/Turkish/Kilim rugs are everywhere now, you don’t have to spend an obscene amount of money to pick up an interesting rug, they are bang on trend as well as timeless they again can transfer well into anyone’s home.

What antiques do you have at home?

An antique interior settingThe answer – too much!! I started collecting from a very young age, my home is full of items from many different eras, ranging from the 17th century all the way through to the 20th century, I like to believe they compliment each other very well in away that creates my own unique (hate that word) look!!

What do you think will be the antiques of the future?

I always believed Mid Century Modern items would be the antiques of the future, I guess we are already there. Beautiful handcrafted bespoke pieces and furniture, pottery and artwork of course will still be around to see our Great-Grandchildren.

How is the industry change – areas for optimism?

People have change how they buy, buyers are much more savvy than they use to be, which means dealers also need to change. Also the size of our homes have changed over the years, we don’t have the space for large piece of furniture anymore. I strongly believe that people are still as keen on antiques as they have always been, its just the way they purchase them and their styles are evolving.

Tell us some trade secrets – what are your top tips for buying antiques?

An antique interior settingI purely only buy what I love, I buy with my heart and not my head, which might not always be the best option, but how could I possibly sell an item that I didn’t like.

What antiques/artwork would you buy if money was no object?

There are some many items on my wish list, here’s a few – A 19th century taxidermy mounted Giraffe, would sit perfectly on my large staircase wall, I have been a big fan of Artist Chloe Holt for a while now and would love to own one of her pieces – Selene or Giardini I and Giardini II. I love Regency pieces and would fill the house full to the brim if given half the chance.

You’re down to your last £50 what antiques/artwork would you buy?

An antique chairI’d probably head to a car boot sale and pick up as many pieces as possible, maybe a bold piece of contemporary artwork – possibly something oil based, maybe a Persian/Turkish rugs, or even a worn out 19th century armchair in need of some TLC.

Where are your favourite antique hunting destinations?

I can’t possibly give away such top secret information, but what I can say is, where ever I am going I am always looking, you are guarantee to find your best pieces when you least expect to find them.

What are some of the biggest mistakes that buyers make?

Buying something they don’t love or appreciate. Following the latest trends to a tee, six months down the line you need to change your whole look and you probably realised you didn’t particularly like it to begin with.

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