Our correspondent wonders whether younger buyers often lack charm by making ludicrous offers for antique items.

Image: Thoroughlyreviewed 

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I have been working in the antiques industry for over 25 years and a little negotiation when selling antiques has always been part of the fun and colour of this field.

It used to be akin to a dance of mating peacocks, a ritual of time and letter exchanges – a real process and a pleasure.

However, as I get older I notice the younger buyers often lack the charm I used to encounter. Now, graceless and barefaced, they throw out ludicrous purposeless offers and are dumbfounded when rejected.

Recently, a young tech entrepreneur contacted me saying he loved collecting antique Chinese jades… fantastic, come right in young sir, let’s begin…

On offering me 200 quid for a £1200 beautiful Chinese antique white jade, he was totally aghast as to why I wouldn’t concede.

Now, as an old hand in this game, I was of course very charming, but deep in my heart I very much wanted to pose him the question: “When you go to work with your chai pea flower soya latte in hand, and sit or rather stand, at your sleek modular desk, does your boss say to you ‘I like that fact you work here, but today you must reduce your daily rate from £1200 to £200 for no reason at all’.”

Doubtful. If Etsy had a door I would have said “oh, and close it on your way out…”

Christiane Pearl

Cambridge Collector