Antiques dealer

An antiques dealer buys and sells art and antiques.

Antiques dealers usually specialise in certain areas of antiques, such as furniture, ceramics, books, jewellery or art work. They buy pieces from auctions, specialist trade fairs, shops and markets and sell them to make profit. Considerable expertise is required: in-depth knowledge of their field, an excellent eye for detail and a talent for networking and negotiating.

Most antiques dealers are self-employed, have their own shops and build up their own customer network. Some are employed by antiques companies or auction houses.

Work activities

  • Purchasing objects from trade fairs, markets and auctions.
  • Selling on objects for profit.
  • Providing valuations for clients.
  • Keeping record of transactions and deals.

Work conditions

Travel: based often in a shop environment, with travel to markets, fairs and auctions.
Working hours: can vary; most antiques dealers are self-employed.
Location: mostly towns or big cities.

Entry requirements

A thorough knowledge of the past and dealing with antiques is necessary. Qualifications are not always needed, however a degree in history or the arts could be helpful. A large amount of capital is needed to set up a successful antiques business.