Tell us a bit about the centre.
This building dates from 1494, when Henry VII was on the throne.
I own the centre and live above it. There are 12 dealers, selling English country furniture, Arts & Crafts, silver, fine art, porcelain, pottery, jewellery, glass, mirrors, rugs, clocks, garden antiques, books, vintage luggage and accessories.
I have my own English pottery showroom downstairs in the basement, operating mainly by appointment.
You go into some centres and your heart sinks when you see the modern rubbish they’re selling. Our rule here is that everything we stock dates from pre-1940.
What English pottery sells well right now?
English slipware is really buzzing. It’s the ultimately truth really – wet clay dug out of the ground, made by ordinary people, for ordinary people. It’s sculptural and looks great in a modern setting. The other strong area is English delft, made in the 17th and 18th centuries, objects that have gone past being antiques to become works of art.
Most of my business is on the internet, selling mainly to the US. Sadly, the US seems to appreciate English pottery more than we do, which is okay as I’ve ended up with a niche within a niche, really.
Are you committed to staying here and in Woodstock?
Yes. Woodstock is a great catchment area. Billy Connolly and the director Sam Mendes have bought items from us. The centre is just an hour’s drive from London if you time it right. Antique dealers plough any money we have into stock and so rarely have pension funds. This centre works as my pension in a way.
If you had an unlimited budget…?
I’d redo all the lighting and electrics and replace all 16 cabinets, which would require about £30,000. A new cabinet costs about £1000 but it would be a nightmare job. You’d have to take everything out of them!
Antiques at Heritage, 6 Market Place, Woodstock, OX20 1TA