Ever wonder why are we so drawn to antiques? Perhaps, antiques are relics that have withstood the past and the test of time; and we borrow them to either remind us of a small piece of history or they give us a sense of meaning that an item newly manufactured could not offer. These objects are mute and they require interpretation to voice their reliquary role. That brings us to one of the reasons why the Art & Antiques Show is so successful year after year. The success stems from longstanding relationships with knowledgeable dealers such as Mr. David Lindquist from Whitehall Antiques. We were able to pull David away from his busy life, based in Chapel Hill, NC, to discuss why he returns to the Jacksonville show year after year.
When did your relationship with the Art & Antiques Show begin? How has the show and your involvement in it evolved over the years?
Whitehall Antiques has been there each year since the 2nd year of the Show, making Whitehall one of the longest standing dealers exhibiting for 35 years and counting.
The first show we ever did was so fun, getting to know people such as Mrs. Cavert and her sister. She had bought a big breakfront from me and every time we see each other, she reminds me that she bought it from me. It is relationships like this that keep us returning year after year.
I used to lecture for the show, I gave tours and also did some television promotions. Now it has been fun working with the Young Collectors and getting involved with the young people.
2012 was the inaugural year of the Young Collectors Booth and Whitehall Antiques was its very first collaborator. How did this partnership affect your show experience?
Last year the Young Collectors borrowed some inexpensive furniture and items from us for their booth. It was fun and exciting to work with them. We had lots of sales to lots of people rather than a few large sales to a few people.
David encourages young collectors to work hard to find good things of value for your money with both vintage and antique items. An item with great quality is better than a reproduction item.
What trends do you see in the type of items Young Collectors are drawn to?
We find that there is still a trend for silver. Items like silver trays, goblets, stemware are still in trend as well as furniture. The painted furniture look, to me, is about at its peak. What I call the “Atlanta look”, everything that looks like the gray/white era is peaking.
I like to blend both contemporary and the antique look together with the best of the 1950’s, 60’s, 70’s mid-century modern with the 18th century design.
We keep a keen interest in good designs like Italian leather on steel frames; the best of today’s design is important. It doesn’t matter when the item was made as long as it was made well.
How has working with your daughter, Elizabeth, changed the way you collect?
Elizabeth is keenly aware of quality and price points, and those are important to her mentally. She has helped guide us through the storm of the financial times where it is difficult to do business. Elizabeth does not dummy-down like the competition, when the economy is bad.
We go to places like England and France and search for hard bargains where they aren’t denegrating the good and you can still find great items for a good price. In this industry, we all realize that we need to work together to sell and trade. The English have been far more adaptive to this than the French, but they too are coming around.
What is your advice for those Young Collectors purchasing their first antiques?
l would convince the young collectors to not waste their money on purchasing everything new. Invest in some vintage items and antiques with enduring value. Items that have been lived in and loved on.
What is the most important question a buyer should ask of a dealer before they purchase an antique or work of art?
Always buy the best that you can afford. Take the time to look into the items that you are thinking about purchasing. Great dealers carefully select the items they are selling and they will back up what they are offering the buyer. Come to the dealer and ask questions, such as: are there any conditions? For example, a condition may be a replacement on the piece, something that has been altered, or perhaps the hardware has been changed at some point in time in the past. By that we are tracing the history of the item. Many times a piece will be adjusted, to keep up with the modern era. –ABY
It was such a pleasure chatting with Mr. David Lindquist about his plethora of experience and knowledge in the industry of design and antiques. I encourage you to take the opportunity to visit the Whitehall Antiques booth while you are at the Art & Antiques Show. For these physical relics that David and Elizabeth have carefully selected to show you remain directly available to our senses for enjoyment and perhaps as a keepsake to your collection.
Also please visit their location in Chapel Hill, NC if you are in the area or take a sneak preview of their represented items on their website at www.whitehallantiques.com and visit their monthly blog.