Antique dealers buy and sell antique objects and collectors' items. They may deal in a wide range of antiques or specialise in a particular field such as jewellery, glass, furniture or china.
Antique dealing involves acquiring items from salesrooms, auctions, markets and trade fairs, and selling them to the general public from shops or from stalls in antique centres. Some antique specialist dealers may work from home, buying and selling to order. With usage of the internet increasing many dealers now buy and sell some items online. Minor antique restoration work may be necessary.
An important part of the work is researching the identity and potential value of objects. As antiques have no fixed price, dealers must be able to negotiate purchases and sales on an individual basis. They may also advise owners on the value of their antiques for insurance or sales purposes.
There are no set hours of work. Antique dealers have to be prepared to work long and unsocial hours, including weekends and evenings.
A driving licence is essential as the work may involve a fair amount of travelling. Nights away from home may be necessary.
The work may also involve lifting and carrying.
To be an antique dealer, you should:
Though there are no set requirements for getting into this line of work, knowledge of antiques, the market and having funds to get started will provide a good foundation for you.
There are some paths your can take to get a foot in the door. You could:
There are opportunities to become a specialist dealer, valuer or auctioneer with enough experience as an antique dealer.
If you would like to learn more about becoming an antique dealer that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.
British Antique Dealers' Association (BADA)
20 Rutland Gate
Tel: 020 7589 4128
London and Provincial Antique Dealers Association (LAPADA)
535 King's Road
Tel: 020 7823 3511