Antiques dealers, as a breed, do not make very good businessmen. US dealer Ben Everett, who has died at the age of 67, was the opposite of that rule. He set himself the schedule of a man three decades younger, each day filled by buying and selling, preferably both.
With his death the English trade has lost one of its greatest supporters. When he wasn’t promoting his own business, Acquisitions, based in Raleigh, North Carolina, he would tirelessly promote all things English.
With his frequent visits to England there can scarcely be a wayside antiques shop that Ben, and his partner Ross Spain, did not visit at any one time or another. Once on ‘the itinerary’ you were there for life. And if Ben brought his customers with him, which he often did, he’d bring them to you.
Wherever he went he needed a good chair to sit on and a good table on which to write up his methodically neat and accurate purchase orders.
Once the paperwork was complete, the stickers and tags fixed, Ben would sit back in that chair and ask to be told ‘all the news’. He loved to hear all the tales and scandals of the trade. Other tables, and other chairs, were always at the ready in his three stores throughout North Carolina.
Everyone would be encouraged to draw up a chair and Ben would listen and try to put things right.
Each year would begin with the gift show in Atlanta, move swiftly on to High Point furniture market where Acquisitions had a significant presence in Market Square.
English buying trip
An English buying trip would always follow, and another soon after, buying for the Fall Furniture Market.
Ever restless, Ben noticed summers were quieter and opened a pop-up shop at Atlantic Beach where he set up his table and his chair and did business each day.
The moment the autumn market was over, Ben and Ross would head for England again.
He was a man who could give off a mean scowl if he was displeased, but when he smiled, as he so often did, it was a smile that lit up the room.
Ben passed away unexpectedly following a heart attack on September 12. He was the son of the late William Benjamin Everett Snr and Mrs Annie Louise Taylor Everett of Robersonville NC. After graduating from The University of NC at Chapel Hill in 1972, he enjoyed an early career as a home and commercial builder as William B Everett Construction in Greenville.
But his love of antiques and all things British led Ben to a second career when he started Acquisitions in the early 1990s with his partner in business and in life, Ross, who will continue Acquisitions at the same hectic pace.