Antiques, so the old joke goes, there’s no future in them.
Except clearly there is.
Collecting aged objects of beauty, note or rarity is not only big business, it is a major interest for millions of people in the UK.
Today, continuing our A-Z series of hobbies which are popular in our region, Midweek Retro on Tuesday brings you these pictures of antique enthusiasts from The Star archives.
They show everything from punters browsing fairs in Buxton and Bakewell to former Antiques Roadshow host Henry Sandon holding court at Whitley Hall.
“Picking up a nice piece of old furniture is one of life’s great pleasures,” says Howard Greaves, owner of Dronfield Antiques in Abbeydale Road. “These items are so much nicer than modern rubbish. They have a tale to tell.
“They’re not production-line claptrap mass-produced by that horrible four letter word, IKEA.”
That Sheffield is an ‘antique city’ there can be no doubt.
An antiques quarter was last year created around Abbeydale Road and Heeley where six different shops compete for custom in the space of little more than half a square mile.
Several other vintage outlets, such as The Nichols Building in Shalesmoor, have been opened over the last half decade.
“The thing with antiques is they never go out of fashion,” says Howard. “Because if someone isn’t buying, they’re probably selling which means there’s always a market.
“I think they’re popular because people like to have a reminder of yesteryear. That might sound sugary but it’s true.
“Old furniture in particular is very popular with young people at the moment.
“I think a lot of them live in these flats which are all the same and they see quirky antiques as a way to make their homes more individual.”
Louise Anderson, founder of The Nichols Building, a vintage, art and crafts centre, agrees. “Vintage and shabby-chic is definitely in vogue,” she says.
“I don’t think it ever goes out of fashion but maybe because of the recession, there’s a real market for everything from old nick-nacks and paintings to furniture. If it gives these beautiful old articles another life, that’s great news.”