Antique markets in corona, crisis: London Antiques dealer hope on the restart

"for Three months I made nothing and sold nothing," says the young shop owner, sighing, while the metal grating to your business on the Portobello Road unlock

Antique markets in corona, crisis: London Antiques dealer hope on the restart

"for Three months I made nothing and sold nothing," says the young shop owner, sighing, while the metal grating to your business on the Portobello Road unlocks. Now it should go off after the forced Corona break. Most of the traders are here, back in London, the largest Antiques market in the world at the end of June.

Philip Plickert

economic correspondent based in London.

F. A. Z.

Like in a ant nest by pulling the narrow aisles, the rows of houses, the Portobello Road Market. Huge amounts of silver, Victorian gold jewelry, cut glass and porcelain, sculptures, furniture, rugs, walking sticks, charts and maps to provide the stalls and shops for sale. The prices start at a few pounds and climbing high up to a few thousand pounds.

but What is missing are customers. "In the past, of 60,000, 80,000 or even 100,000 visitors went a single Saturday morning through the streets – and now?" a dealer, in whose Store the silver vessels, furniture, vases and weapons from the Middle East are asking. Now no longer stroll than a few hundred people on Portobello Road. Especially the earlier usual masses lack to tourists. They remained to stand, and bought a trifle, a piece of jewelry or a graphic before you visited the street market with food, clothes and Souvenirs below.

"I should sit here, actually,"

Up to a thousand traders should have sold before the Corona regularly your goods on Portobello – now there are a few hundred. "If we can make this year a quarter of the previous year's sales, then we are happy", says a seller of silver vessels, and inlaid wooden boxes from the 18th century. and 19. Century. The majority of its customers are international collectors and dealers, of whom few would now. After all, he and his brother are the owners of this narrow house. You rent the business apartment, the gives a bit of income. Many other reports of acute financial distress.

In the district of Islington used to be in Camden, a small, thriving antique market Passage. He is only a shadow of its former self. Most of the shops are closed and barred. An old man sits in his cramped Store, from art Nouveau vases and silver surround. "I take so little that I can only pay the electricity bill. For the rent it is not enough,“ he says while he scribbles in his Ledger. "I should sit here, actually, I'm 86 years old." Then he tells of his cancer. In the Background classical music radio is running.

Bright and cheerful Grays Market, located a few steps from the U-Bahn-Station Bond Street presents meanwhile. Of the hundreds of independent traders have rented booths. The visitor to the rich offer, especially to sparkling diamond and gold jewelry, to precious stones of all colors and shapes overwhelmed, of bracelets from Tiffany, and Cartier. A saleswoman shows earrings with Citrines and amethysts from the late 18th century. Century, the time of king George III, another has gold, aggregate cameos in the offer. Since the end of the lock downs in mid-June, the first customers to come back, but the number is considerably smaller than before.

Updated Date: 12 July 2020, 18:19

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