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  • The Antique Collector


This week we ask 10 questions to -

Alice from Goldcrest Antique and Vintage who is based in England and specialises in

beautiful antique, vintage and pre-owned jewellery..

1. How did you get started in the antiques trade?

When I was 18 years old, I saw an advert for a sales assistant in a jewellery shop window. I

knew almost nothing about jewellery, although my grandmother was heavily into antiques

and I had spent a lot of time with her in my younger years watching Antiques Roadshow and

Bargain Hunt. I applied for the job and got it and ended up working there for the next 9 years!

My interest for antiques only grew, along with my knowledge, until I branched out on my

own and created my own business in 2016.

2. What is the most memorable piece you’ve ever sold?

It has to be the very first piece I ever sold, not because it was a spectacular item but because

of what it meant to me at the time. It was a silver star brooch with old paste stones that I had

purchased from a scrap pile. I had opened up my Etsy shop with just 10 pieces (the minimum

number required at the time) and I had no idea whether I was going to sell anything at all so

when I saw that sales notification, I was ecstatic. It gave me the reassurance I needed that I

could be successful at running my own business. I will never forget that feeling.

3. What is the piece that got away?

A recent escapee was a Victorian brooch that I was bidding on through auction. I won't be

specific as I'm sure the brooch is floating around out there as we speak, but it was incredibly

unusual and I had my heart set on it - I needed that brooch. I ended up getting distracted at

home for a few minutes and missed the end of the auction, which happens more often than I

care to admit!

4. Have you a dream piece to own?

I would dearly love to own a specific piece of mourning jewellery that belonged to Queen

Victoria as it honours her daughter who shares my name, Alice. It's a beautifully made heart

shaped brooch in gold with black enamel, diamonds and onyx. It sold recently at Sotheby's

for over £25,000 however, so I'll be waiting a while until I can potentially get my hands on it!

5. What is the most significant piece to you in your personal collection?

My mother passed away when I was young and she left me her jewellery, so I own some

sentimental pieces which mean a lot to me. I have her gold charm bracelet which is adorned with charms she collected or was gifted over the years, some of which I can only guess as to

where they came from!

6. Have you a favourite era of antiques/vintage?

I've always been drawn to Victorian jewellery from the 1800's, whether it be bold, aesthetic

items, intriguing mourning rings or silver lockets with heavy collars. The Victorians were a

fascinating bunch and their craftsmanship was exceptional for the time. I'm particularly fond

of 'macabre' memento mori pieces and anything engraved or decorated with birds.

7. What piece of advice would you give to dealers just starting out?

Don't be afraid to ask questions. This trade is a minefield of information and knowledge so

there's no shame in not knowing something. When it comes to jewellery it can often be

difficult to find definitive answers online, and informational jewellery books can be very

expensive and hard to source. Reach out to friendly dealers and jewellers who don't mind

sharing what they know, and hopefully you can pay them back in kind one day.

8. Do you have a piece of advice to collectors looking to add to their collection?

Buy what you like. Don't get sucked into fads and trends if they don't interest you - you are

likely to get bored or tired of these pieces eventually. Curate a collection that you enjoy

looking at and wearing. That may seem obvious to say but I think it's easy in this day and age

to covet things purely because they're popular with the masses. Stick with what you know

and what you love.

9. How has the trade changed since you started your business?

Antiques are cool now! When I started working in a jewellery shop in 2008 at age 18, the

customers coming in to buy antique and vintage jewellery were mostly elderly. It wasn't

really a 'thing' for young people to wear Georgian mourning rings or long guard chains - it

was seen as old fashioned. Times have changed and I think people of my generation now

appreciate the beauty and craftsmanship in these unique pieces.

10. And finally, what do you love most about your work?

The never-ending gift of learning something new; whether it be about craftsmanship, design

or cultural significance, jewellery has such a rich and varied history that I'll never learn

everything there is to know and I love that. How could this line of work ever be boring?

Thanks so much to Alice of Goldcrest Antique and Vintage for the interview!

If any of our other lovely dealers would like the spotlight on them in the same way, please message or email

The Antique Collector team

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