Antiques Young Guns Honour Their Antiques Heavy Artillery Mentors Olympia International Art & Antiques Fair – 23 June 2015

The founders of Antiques Young Guns (AYG) Ltd, working with their sponsors BADA, LAPADA, Clarion Events Ltd and The Antiques Diva & Co Ltd, are excited to announce that they will be honouring the twelve Antiques Heavy Artillery (AHA) mentors who freely gave their time and expertise to mentor the lucky finalists in the AYG of the Year Awards 2014, at a ceremony to be held at the prestigious Olympia International Art & Antiques Fair, on Tuesday 23 June 2015.
Director of the fair Mary Claire Boyd said: “We are delighted to host this awards event which honours some of our past and present exhibitors and encourages some who will hopefully be with us in the future. The idea of a mentoring scheme in the antiques trade is a new one and one that we are very happy to support.”

“The AYGs prove to be a timely shot in the arm to the wonderfully interesting but slightly sleepy world of antiques... The AYGs already have representatives established across the glitzy world of television, in top auction houses...and now as part of the AHA mentoring scheme, in some of the more dazzling antiques showrooms in the UK.” James Gooch (yours truly), current AYG of the Year.

Teaming twelve antiques trade grandees with twelve up and coming Antiques Young Guns was a groundbreaking initiative from the founders of AYG Ltd, the fast moving alliance which promotes and fosters the interests of young people 39 and under, working in the antiques trade across all sectors.

The founders of AYG dubbed this group of estimable trade personalities Antiques Heavy Artillery (AHA)and set about pairing the right AYG finalists in the 2014 Antiques Young Gun of the Year with
the most suitable AHA, looking for a good marriage of personality to bring out the best in the winning entrants.

The mentoring scheme has been an outstanding success and on Tuesday 23 June and there will be two main awards presented:
AYG Founders’ Award for the most outstanding and ongoing contribution and The Antiques Diva Award for the most innovative contribution. There will be 2 awards for runners up.
Co founder of AYG Ltd Mark Hill said: ““We were determined to have a diverse group of mentors for our budding entrepreneurs, not just from a range of professional sectors but also from a broad spectrum of personalities. Experience in the antiques trade brings so much more than an academic knowledge – it is a trade peopled by big personalities who have so much to impart and we believe that personality is a key element in the success of so many of our antiques trade rock stars! “

The AHA mentoring scheme has given the winning AYGs unique insider access to some of the most prestigious antiques empires in the UK.
Internationally renowned folk art dealer, Robert Young, paired with Swedish finalist Daniel Larsson: “ I think this initiative has the potential to help introduce and recommend young dealers to the top professional antique dealers associations and trade fairs ... my experience with Daniel and Cristina has been really interesting, huge fun and mutually beneficial.”

Leading decorative antiques dealer, Spencer Swaffer paired with Paul Jones: "In what can be a cynical trade the Antique Young Guns shine out with youth and enthusiasm. After 43 years in my own shop on Arundel High Street they are teaching me a thing or two and I can show them things, which is why I was pleased to be a part of the AYG mentorship programme.

Some of the mentorship activity so far:

Spencer Swaffer gave Paul Jones a self contained pop up shop at his famous Arundel shop during one of the busiest trading weeks of the year during the Arundel Festival, Robert Young hosted a weekend of academic mentoring with Swedish finalist Daniel Larsson who flew over for the experience, which also included an evening of both trade insider knowledge and society conversation late into the night in the company of one of the trustees of the Chelsea Arts Club and then followed this up with a joint buying trip in Sweden. Ashley Gray of Gray Modern & Contemporary Art took Lily Trunfull behind the scenes at their sell out fashion drawing exhibition Drawing on Style in Duke St, St James where Lily met Zandra Rhodes and other luminaries from the 60s fashion scene. Jason Clarke joined BBC Antiques Roadshow furniture expert Lennox Cato at one of the country’s most prestigious antiques fairs, LAPADA London, where he learned about styling the stand and presenting exquisite Georgian furniture to its best advantage. Mark Goodger of Hampton Antiques gave finalist Jon Irvine a master class in restoration of a tea caddy at his workshops in Northampton, followed up by a day behind the scenes at another prestigious antiques fair. Fontaine Decorative took their lucky mentee Robyn Alston across the channel to meet some of their secret sources in France. Lorfords Antiques, the stylish collective of over 30 top decorative dealers in the Cotswolds provided a free showcase which was shared by 10 finalists in rotation .

The guests include CEO of U.S. Antique Shows, Dan Darby who will fly over for the awards. U.S. Antique Shows run AYG in the USA under licence from AYG UK.