Writing for VE has been a real privilege. I am fortunate enough to have the freedom to choose the dealers that I’d like to interview, and can say, or ask whatever I like, with no restrictions or editing. This carte blanche can go either way when talking to some of the trades biggest personalities, and after easing my way into this writing gig over the past few issues, I thought it would be a good time to chat to the trade’s most controversial dealer. Drew Pritchard is a man whose name echoes through antiques shops, fairs and living rooms all over the world. Everyone in the trade knows of him, and all seem to have formed their own opinions – some dealers are utterly inspired by his achievements, others find him obnoxious! Having never spoken to Drew before, I wanted the opportunity to form my own opinion, one based on my own experience and gut instinct rather than what I’d heard on the grapevine.

It all started with a simple email, asking Drew if he’d be interested in chatting to me for VE Magazine. His reply: “Call me, I’ll give you an honest interview”, was brief and to the point, it offered no hint of his personality or anything to suggest he was looking forward to talking to me at all. So, with my rather comfortable position ‘on the fence’, I called him! As I waited for Drew to answer, the ring, ring, ring conjured up preconceived thoughts that I didn’t realise I had. Perhaps Drew would see me as a mere ‘ankle biter’, just one of the trades many young dealers trying to get a slice of him. After a few more rings he answered and I was prepared to be chewed up and spat out! There was no need.

The hour-long conversation was natural, as if he were just catching up with an old friend. He answered my questions openly and honestly, occasionally interrupting the conversation, by saying things like “Hey, Tiger!” when his son walked in, or “Wow, look at that!” as he spotted maker’s marks on a club fender that was being photographed. Drew was simply doing what he does on a day to day basis, while squeezing in a chat with me at the same time. There were moments where he joked, showing a real raw sense of humour, as well as moments that suggested he had a softer side, perhaps even a vulnerability caused by being under the constant scrutiny of a trade that he’s loved since he was a boy.

The sceptics could say it was a well-rehearsed act, to ensure he came across in the correct way for the interview... perhaps they were right! Or maybe Drew was simply being himself, no strings attached and with nothing to hide. Either way, the phone call knocked me off the fence, and left me feeling very pleased I’d finally gotten to speak with him.

Find out what exactly what we chatted about in Issue 42 of VE Magazine - available to buy here.

Website: Instagram: @riverandjones.

Screen Shot 2018-09-24 at 16.35.59.png
Drew Pritchard
Screen Shot 2018-09-24 at 16.40.14.png
Screen Shot 2018-09-24 at 16.39.40.png