Range Antiques owner Jeremy Green talks about the increasing interest in antiques. Photo: Bev Lacey / The Chronicle
Range Antiques owner Jeremy Green talks about the increasing interest in antiques. Photo: Bev Lacey / The Chronicle Bev Lacey

Reality TV shows inspire "picky" antique customers

REALITY television shows are helping to inspire a new kind of antique customer.

They are younger and driven by knowledge gained from their TV screens and internet searches.

Toowoomba business owner Jeremy Green from Range Antiques said he often had customers referencing the television show, American Pickers.

"I think the popularity of these types of shows about antique collecting started in earnest in England with the Antiques Roadshow 10 years ago," Mr Green said.

"In the last three to four years we have seen that popularity a lot more in Australia.

"I think the age group interested in American Pickers is from 25 to 45 years while the Antiques Roadshow is 45 years plus.

"The advent of these shows means they are doing more research on internet sites and they are quite well-versed in their collections.

"What it means is that it is harder to buy and the demand for good, quality antiques is quite high."

Mr Green said there was also an eco-friendly push from antique dealers, with customers responding favourably to the idea of reusing and repurposing items.

Thanks to a growing interest in reality television shows, antiques are on trend again.
Thanks to a growing interest in reality television shows, antiques are on trend again. Bev Lacey

Fellow antique dealer Sharon Kinnear from Kinnears Antiques and Interiors said she had also seen an increase in "upcycling" customers.

She was left scratching her head one day as six couples visited her Railway St store trying to source old door frames.

Mrs Kinnear later found out that reality renovating show The Block had featured a project refashioning door frames as bed heads.

"Shows like that have dramatically affected the industry," she said.

"The younger ones are looking for retro items from the 60s and 70s.

"And they are looking at them in a different light.

"They are using items in a way that was not their original purpose."

Know your reality shows

  •  American Pickers: US hosts Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz "pick" their way through the basements, junk yards, garages and barns for antique "gold".
  •  Antiques Roadshow: British appraisers travel to various regions of the United Kingdom (and occasionally abroad) to appraise guest's antiques.

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