Dealer Claire Penhallurick.

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1 What is one little-known fact about your field?

There is still a surprising amount of people, children of the 60s and 70s, who regard furniture from this era as ‘dated’ and ‘second-hand’. I used to myself but walking through the salerooms at Bonhams for over 20 years sparked an interest in me. It is a great moment to sell a ‘non-believer’ such a piece; to hear them say that previously they would not have considered furniture of that vintage. It’s like a blindfold has been taken off. It’s definitely true that most things come back into fashion if one lives long enough.

2 What is exciting about the art and antiques market this year?

People have spent a lot of time in their homes over the past year and have taken a closer look at their surroundings. For many still, home is also the place of work, so how it looks as well as how it functions has become more important. In the past year, online auctions have been strong, even though in most cases there has been no public viewing. Many private people have turned to buying online, swapping time previously spent wandering around antiques shops to online auctions and dealer websites.

We are expecting a very good turnout at the Petworth fair as it will be one of the first major antiques events to take place this year, with renewed interest from locals and those coming from further afield who can combine a day away with antiques hunting.


A pair of Austrian red ‘Gothic-form’ no 38 side chairs by Thonet, c.1880 – £2600 from BEAR Petworth.

3 What is the best exhibition you have visited recently?

Lucian Freud: The Self Portraits at The Royal Academy. I had never been a fan of his work, perhaps finding some of his subject matters unappealing. I was totally spellbound and had to go back twice.

4 One question it is important for people to ask before buying?

Is it beautiful and functional?

5 One object you couldn’t do without?

My Nespresso machine.

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