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George
Johnson

My name is George and I am addicted to old stuff

‘My name is George & I am addicted to old Stuff!’ It has taken me many years to realise but being an antique dealer is an addiction.

I suppose it’s only because of the addictive nature of the trade that some of us still do it, as the antiques trade can be a wicked mistress. How many of us have been soaked to the skin while we tramp around fairs or boot sales looking for those hidden gems ,most of us involved in the trade work far too many hours every week (I suppose if we had a union we would have all gone on strike many years ago) but it must be one of the only jobs in the world where you are never off duty, many of us have been on a day out with the family and ended up coming home with a boot full of purchases that we just happened to stumble upon.

I was asked the other day about how do you become an antique dealer and this got me thinking, I don’t think many of us has ever thought about how we got into the trade as most people just fall into it either as a hobby that progressed or like myself a family connection to the trade, I was brought up surrounded by antiques and spent most of my younger years being dragged around shops and fairs. But if someone does decide to join us and become a vivadiere of vintage items, we should encourage them with our arms wide open.

Over the last few months or so I have experienced firsthand how strange the life of an antique dealer can get. I have always tried to promote this wonderful trade in various ways, because deep in my heart I don’t do what I do because of the money, it is and has always been because of my love of the items and people that I get to meet every day. I had the honour of being invited to a meeting to discuss the next National Antiques Week at the wonderful Core One Antiques in London by Gail McLeod recently, it was amazing to be sat around a table with so many people who share my love for the trade and some great ideas were discussed and I have great hope for the next National Antiques week because of this.

Another little adventure that I have been on is the Channel 4 Secret Removers, I was asked if I would come on board as an onscreen expert/presenter on this brand new channel four show. I am always keen to try something new so I jumped at the chance. Well what a ride it was I got to meet some wonderful people including Alison Cork who enjoys fine food and wine as much as me so obviously we hit it off straight away over this shared passion. My role on the show is to talk about any objects we find during the make-over as well as how to make collectables etc fit within a modern home. But I seemed to also develop another role which I found the most fun and this was to give my thoughts on some of Alison’s make-over ideas, this area of the show I found very fun and easy as all I have to do is be myself and tell her what I really think. Sometimes this can be very easy especially when it comes to things like a tartan panel made up from cut up wallpaper, but I am very glad to be able to call Alison a good friend and it is because of this that I think she lets me away with my criticisms.

I also filmed an episode with Claire Smith which was very fun, so hopefully we will get to do some more together in the future.

So what next? Well they are a few things in the pipeline that could be very interesting, but I must say I have really enjoyed being able to get back to doing what I really love over the last couple of weeks and that is buying and selling old stuff.... I fear I am too far addicted to get out but on the other hand why would I want to :-)