Ronald and Elaine Clewes are regular stallholders at the Bingley Hall Antiques Fair held at the Staffordshire Showground. Bingley Hall has recently been taken over by iacf and Grant Nicholas spoke to Ronald about their specialist area: Moorcroft Pottery.
Tell us a bit about your business
We are Ronald and Elaine Clewes, trading as Lane End Antiques, and have exhibited at antiques fairs, including Antiques fir Everyone at the NEC, since 2004.
Both being born and bred in Stoke-on-Trent, it is not surprising that our main interest has always been in ceramics. From quite early on we acquired a passion for Moorcroft Pottery, which led us to specialise in this high-quality, hand-made art-ware. Our stock always includes pieces designed by William Moorcroft, who started in 1897, right through to recent designs still produced in the original factory.
These are complemented by items from the Arts and Crafts period, including pewter and copper items by designers such as Archibald Knox and Christopher Dresser.
How did you start in the trade?
Before becoming dealers, we collected Shelley China and always enjoyed visiting antiques fairs looking for pieces to add to our collection. The time arrived for a change in career and selling at a stand in a fair appealed to us. We decided to give it a go and have never regretted it since.
How has the market changed since you’ve been trading?
The biggest changes have happened through the media of television and the internet. The television programmes about antiques and collectables have inspired many of the public to buy at auction houses. This has led to steady increases in commission rates and with VAT on top, it often results in buyers paying more for something than they would at an antiques fair. Buying on internet sites has also become popular. However, our customers tell us that they would rather buy face to face with a dealer they trust, knowing that if there was a problem with a purchase, they could return for it to be put right.
Which areas are you seeing interest in?
Currently, collectors have a keen interest in items relating to the Arts and Crafts/Art Nouveau designs of the late 19th and early 20th Century.
If you would like to contact Ronald, email: email@example.com or call mob: 07800 962 992
The remaining Bingley Hall Fairs for 2018 are: Fri 10th – Sun 12th Aug; Fri 19th – Sun 21st Oct; Fri 7th – Sun 9th Dec.