I hope this newsletter finds you and your families well.
With many of you in different parts of the world it is difficult to be quite specific but in general it appears at last that the first phase of this dreadful disease is slowly coming under control, the death rates are down considerably across Europe, whilst here in the UK we seem to be rapidly heading back to what will be the “new normal”.
As you read this groups of children will be going back to school today for the first time in months, car sales, markets and other non-essential business’s will reopen their doors whist using best endeavours to socially distance, a test drive in a car is going to be an interesting dilemma, does the salesman sit himself in the trunk?, whatever the industry just as long as people act responsibly we will hopefully prevent a second wave.
The new legislation also allows for Antiques shops, galleries and auction houses to reopen their doors in the coming weeks, this will hopefully promote stimulus within the trade and bring some much needed fresh goods to the market.
Whilst conversing amongst many of my peers it is very apparent that online activity has certainly been the mainstay of the last few months trading and that actually quite a few of my colleagues are enjoying the change of dynamics, the move to online sales has been increasing for sometime in most sectors, maybe this dreadful virus has simply sped up the inevitable.
The “good old fashioned antiques trade“ are usually the first to resist any form of change and understandably so, there is nothing quite like the social side of an antiques fair or a gallery open evening possibly leading to meeting new contacts or maybe an impulse purchase, the buzz of a sleeper at auction or a great find at a large trade fair is difficult to beat, and of course in many instances these events will continue albeit in a more sterile and managed format for the foreseeable future.
The one consistent that is here to stay is the opportunity to shop antiques and works of art online, and it needn’t be fraught with the dangers of old, with so much legislation in place to protect both the buyers and the sellers by shopping with accredited dealers it is usually a seamless process with an equally pleasurable experience when the goods arrive safely on your doorstep.
The highlight of our online sales in May has to be the delivery of our Mythical Japanese Fishermen Ashinaga & Tenaga to a new client in Sweden, on this occasion these often emulated characters are formed as a large pair of lacquer candlesticks, manufactured in the late Edo early Meiji period.
Remarkably the client found the Steve Sly Japanese works of art website by visiting the Instagram profile on my social media pages, now explain that to me or any antique dealer 10 years ago and we would not have the first clue what you are talking about, this is one example of the type of progress that had been resisted for so long, and is now being embraced.
With dealers from as far afield as Los Angeles and as close to home as Wiltshire expressing interest in joining 2Covet I see a very optimistic future for the art and antiques market. Especially for the dealers that are prepared to diversify and run with the changes that the “new normal” will create, ensuring that the valuable clients around the globe still get to shop the finest pieces.
Coming soon in our Ceramics section is a selection of market fresh Satsuma including these immaculate pieces by Ryozan Okamoto, this morning they are at the photographers having literally just landed from an Australian collection.
Watch this space in the coming days.