Mark Lock - Marchand Antiques
You started out in antiques as a runner, how long were you doing that, and when did you realise it was time to start out on your own?
Like a lot of dealers, I got into antiques by accident. I was a car dealer and bought antiques for myself, and through buying pieces for home I got to know a few dealers as friends and started going on buying trips with them to France and Belgium. I started to acquire more than I could use myself, so I literally looked through all the high end magazines, looked at who had similar stock and off I went with an estate car loaded up and high hopes. I was surprisingly successful, but because it was successful it meant I could buy more and ended up needing a retail outlet, so I took a stand in Alfie’s Antique Market in London, and spent the next 24 years there!
A lot of very successful dealers started life at Alfie’s, and having spent so long there yourself, it must have worked for you?
Yes, Alfie’s was a great nursery for many a successful dealer. We started there in 1994 in their smallest stand, which was £20 per week, we then moved throughout the building and then eventually outgrew it after a few years and had a small independent shop opposite, at 14 Church Street, probably the smallest shop on the street, until we moved to 43 Church Street and stayed there until 2017. Alfie’s was like a university for antiques dealing, as there were dealers in all branches of the trade and you got to learn from them all – there were some fantastic characters, which you don’t seem to see in the trade these days. I think business was easy to come by and dealers had a very relaxed attitude to the trade as clients were plentiful.
Read more in Issue 47