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Buying Art

Antiques are now rising in popularity thanks partly to the increase in the need for sustainability and the demise of the short-lived, throw away culture. A study by Carbon Clear found that antique furniture is likely to have a carbon footprint 16 times lower than modern furniture

Here are some top tips from Mary Claire Boyd, Summer Art & Antiques fair director.

Explore antiques and art fairs

To train your eye and discover your own style, it is worth visiting art and antiques fairs, as well as museums and national galleries to discover what you are drawn to. At top London fairs like The Summer Art & Antiques Fair at London’s Olympia there is an extraordinary variety, with works ranging from Matisse to Meissen, Gillow to Archibald and Lalique to Warhol.

Buy what you love with a little added knowledge

All antiques dealers will say to buy what you love. But you can certainly follow a few rules to increase your chances of profitability, if buying for investment. It is a case of using your head and your heart when it comes to decision making.

For anyone apprehensive about a lack of knowledge of the market, buying from dealers is the way forward. It’s a very word of mouth trade so take recommendations from people you trust and build up your confidence by buying from so called ‘vetted’ fairs. This means that every piece for sale has been checked by a team of experts before opening to ensure the quality is good. 


Do a little research before you set off for some background knowledge then really talk to dealers. Ask questions. The likelihood is they’ve been studying that subject for many years. One of the sheer delights in shopping for and owning antiques is learning their stories, their journey, and their history. It is worth measuring spaces at home before a buying spree. Many dealers will let you try a piece at home to see if it works before committing. Some are even interior designers as well and will help you style a room or house.

Go for it

Don’t be afraid to mix old and new. They can complement each other. For example, 16th century dark oak furniture looks fantastic with large abstract paintings above it or contemporary glass on top of it. Interior designers and seasoned collectors understand that antiques give a house soul and texture as well as a very individual style.

The Art & Antiques Fair Olympia takes place at the Olympia Grand, London, W14 8UX.

For more information and to purchase tickets please visit olympia-art-antiques.com