Expert Connoisseur

I’ve always been highly suspicious of anyone who is described, or describes him- or herself, as a connoisseur. It’s a term you frequently hear bandied around in art and antiques circles. But what does it mean? According to the artist and critic Jonathan Richardson in his book Two Discourses, published in 1719, connoisseurship has three … More Expert Connoisseur

A good week

Readers of the Random Treasure blog will know that I spend much – ok, too much – of my time wandering around charity shops in search of – well, in search of random treasure. More often or not, it’s a fruitless pursuit, and I return empty-handed and frustrated from my local rounds, or sometimes from … More A good week

The Joy of Jugs

The Random Treasure Blog is making a second guest appearance on the Talking Antiques blog with a new piece entitled The Joy of Jugs. You can read it here. The piece is about jugs. I bet you could tell that from the title.   

Selling Flags

There was a period of a couple of years after I retired from full-time work and before I started writing my book Random Treasure when I became a semi-serious antique dealer. Which is to say that I trawled the house for possessions that I could live without, and started selling them off fairly systematically. And … More Selling Flags

Pua Kumbu

One day in the summer of 1969 my late brother Philip drove home in his latest second-hand car. It was a dark blue 1964 Triumph Herald 1200 convertible like the one in the picture on the left below. I was envious. He had a regular job but I was an impoverished student. My truly dreadful … More Pua Kumbu

Outmoded but not quite forgotten

I never buy nineteenth century engravings. Don’t even like them much. Especially those dark, dreary, ponderous reproductions of high Victorian narrative/historical/romantic paintings. My tastes in wall art are more modern, more colourful, more abstract. You see these things all the time in low-end auctions. No-one collects them. More often than not they are left unsold, … More Outmoded but not quite forgotten