Harry Khwaja - The House of Antiques
You believe that extraordinary items are owned by extraordinary people, who live in extraordinary spaces. Do you think you have an extraordinary personality?
In our own way we are all extraordinary, we all desire unique objects or things that make us different to the outside world; it’s what gives us our identity, it’s our god given right to be unique and special. I believe that The House of Antiques offers a unique and special collection of items through uncovering objects with a twist. Personally, I’ve always been a bit left field in how I perceive life and the world around me; I try and portray this through the items I present online. I also think you have to be slightly obsessive and compulsive to survive in this industry – I can’t wait to unearth the next object. It’s also about being able to look at items with an eclectic vision – taking it and placing it somewhere where it commands its own space.
Do you think your stock represents what you are like as a character?
It must, that’s where the passion in what we do exists. If I bought items that didn’t represent my character, then I would not only be doing our customers a disservice but also myself. Following the norm, or trends in what others are doing is very easy to do and an easy trap to fall into, however we do what we love and that means believing in what we offer. Because we love the items we uncover our passion and character really comes through which is what sets us apart from your usual antique dealer.
What would shock us most, if we came to visit?
I wouldn’t be there! Actually, I’m always out trying to uncover fresh exciting and unique items, it’s hard to find good stock, day in, day out. In this business
you need to be on your toes 24/7 and more importantly know where the good stuff is, that’s why I never stand still and am always searching for the next best thing we can present in our stores.
What has been your favourite buy so far, and do you have anything you just wouldn’t part with?
It may sound clichéd, but because I buy what I love, it’s hard to separate a favourite object, however my personal favourite objects are not considered valuable in all honesty, they are simple things, folk art objects, simply designed and completely unique in form, items made with pure, self-taught craftsmanship and love. An object obtained from Germany recently depicts this in the form of a friendship plaque created in wartime between two men who became friends. A remarkable item, with a great story behind it, the story depicted in the piece is what makes it a favourite as well as a complete one-off.