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Antiques News Blog

IACF talk to their fair exhibitors Liz & Michael Flatter

Antiques News & Fairs - Grant Nicholas (IACF) speaks to Liz & Michael Flatter

Michael & Liz Flatter are regular exhibitors at IACF events and Grant Nicholas of IACF sat down with the couple to ask a few questions about their work and their experiences.

Michael and Liz started in the antiques trade 8 years ago, after Liz's mother, a dealer in Victorian and early C20th handbags, retired.  The couple took on the task of selling her remaining stock, and enjoyed the experience so much that they chose to continue working in general antiques and collectables. 

For the last 2 years, they have specialised in antique and collectable glass - a genre in which they realised the most sales.  They also buy and sell ceramics, focusing primarily on makers like Dresden, Meissen and Royal Dux.

When exhibiting at events, they try to bring a varied mix of old and new, with pieces from contemporary makers such as Adam Aaronson (for whom they are an authorised retail agent), older works and exotic items from locations around the world.


Antiques News & Fairs - Grant Nicholas (IACF) speaks to Liz & Michael Flatter 

1.    What is your specialist area?

 Antique and contemporary glass from all over the world. 

2.    What kind of items, from which eras, are collected? 

We buy and sell mostly vases, as they adapt to any home or work environment; but we also have dishes, bowls, paperweights, and drinking glasses which are very popular at the moment. We recently had hollow stemmed French champagne glasses which we did not keep for very long as they sold almost immediately. We will buy anything that we think would suit the rest of our glass that we have acquired. Glass is a fantastic medium, and changes with what ever light or surroundings it is in.

Antiques News & Fairs - Grant Nicholas (IACF) speaks to Liz & Michael Flatter 

3.    What are the types of object that might appeal to the entry-level collector? 

It really depends on your pocket, as with most things which are collected, the prices vary greatly. We have items from about £40, but depending on what the object is the price will rise. Our most expensive item is a rare piece of Chinese glass. There were only 75 made and we have number 49, so for collectors this piece is a rare thing. The cost also depends on the price that we have to pay, but we try to turn over our stock, rather than have a large mark up, so that our regular customers can see new stock when ever they visit the fairs that we attend.

4.    Are there useful publications/websites/public collections that you can recommend? 

We highly recommend the Cambridge Glass Fair held at Knebworth House and The National Glass Fair held at the National Motorcycle Museum. Glass dealers from all over the country exhibit, and the choice and quality is stunning. This is a good place to meet the glass blowers too who exhibit. We also attend all IACF fairs in Newbury & Alexandra Palace.

Antiques News & Fairs - Grant Nicholas (IACF) speaks to Liz & Michael Flatter 

5.    Can you give some idea of the range of prices that collectors in this area might expect to pay?  

From £40 upwards, depending on what you like and whether you collect a certain glass blower. Some highly regarded blowers do charge a premium price for their work; we try to buy pieces at reasonable cost so that we can retail them on likewise. 

6.    Starting out, should would-be collectors go to fairs, auctions, specialist dealers - or take their chances online? 

As we have said before, the Specialist Glass Fairs are well worth a visit, so too are general fairs as you can be lucky and pick up a bargain. Online is a bit more tricky, as we firmly believe that to buy glass, you have to touch, feel and see the item for yourself. 

7.    Are there traps and pitfalls? Are fakers at work in this area? 

Yes, unfortunately there are fakes out there. Always be aware that like some other things today, glass is being copied in other parts of the world, and although they might look like the real thing, there are tell-tale warnings that would prevent one from buying. Remember that most glass is mouth blown, if glass claims to be mouth blown, and it has seams, or looks moulded, it is just that, and not mouth blown. That is why being up close & personal when buying is the best solution. Touching, feeling, and judging for yourself if there is the right quality present.

8.    Do you have a personal favourite era, or style, or individual maker? What makes them unique?

Since we started in the business we have changed our stock from general antiques and collectables to glass sellers. We just love the way it looks. We always try to have an eclectic mix of old & new glass to suit most tastes; our motto is if we would put it in our home, we buy it to sell on, then we can enthuse about it. We currently retail the glass by a glass blower called Adam Aaronson, who we met at a C20th fair. After some discussion we agreed to sell his glass, and it has proved to be very popular with our customers. But we buy most artists' work, it just has to be the right price and wonderful to look at.

Antiques News & Fairs - Grant Nicholas (IACF) speaks to Liz & Michael Flatter 

Liz & Michael will be exhibiting their glassware at Newbury Antiques & Collectors Fair on 4-5 August 2017. For more information, visit IACF.

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Antiques News Blog

IACF talk to their fair exhibitors Liz & Michael Flatter

Antiques News & Fairs - Grant Nicholas (IACF) speaks to Liz & Michael Flatter

Michael & Liz Flatter are regular exhibitors at IACF events and Grant Nicholas of IACF sat down with the couple to ask a few questions about their work and their experiences.

Michael and Liz started in the antiques trade 8 years ago, after Liz's mother, a dealer in Victorian and early C20th handbags, retired.  The couple took on the task of selling her remaining stock, and enjoyed the experience so much that they chose to continue working in general antiques and collectables. 

For the last 2 years, they have specialised in antique and collectable glass - a genre in which they realised the most sales.  They also buy and sell ceramics, focusing primarily on makers like Dresden, Meissen and Royal Dux.

When exhibiting at events, they try to bring a varied mix of old and new, with pieces from contemporary makers such as Adam Aaronson (for whom they are an authorised retail agent), older works and exotic items from locations around the world.


Antiques News & Fairs - Grant Nicholas (IACF) speaks to Liz & Michael Flatter 

1.    What is your specialist area?

 Antique and contemporary glass from all over the world. 

2.    What kind of items, from which eras, are collected? 

We buy and sell mostly vases, as they adapt to any home or work environment; but we also have dishes, bowls, paperweights, and drinking glasses which are very popular at the moment. We recently had hollow stemmed French champagne glasses which we did not keep for very long as they sold almost immediately. We will buy anything that we think would suit the rest of our glass that we have acquired. Glass is a fantastic medium, and changes with what ever light or surroundings it is in.

Antiques News & Fairs - Grant Nicholas (IACF) speaks to Liz & Michael Flatter 

3.    What are the types of object that might appeal to the entry-level collector? 

It really depends on your pocket, as with most things which are collected, the prices vary greatly. We have items from about £40, but depending on what the object is the price will rise. Our most expensive item is a rare piece of Chinese glass. There were only 75 made and we have number 49, so for collectors this piece is a rare thing. The cost also depends on the price that we have to pay, but we try to turn over our stock, rather than have a large mark up, so that our regular customers can see new stock when ever they visit the fairs that we attend.

4.    Are there useful publications/websites/public collections that you can recommend? 

We highly recommend the Cambridge Glass Fair held at Knebworth House and The National Glass Fair held at the National Motorcycle Museum. Glass dealers from all over the country exhibit, and the choice and quality is stunning. This is a good place to meet the glass blowers too who exhibit. We also attend all IACF fairs in Newbury & Alexandra Palace.

Antiques News & Fairs - Grant Nicholas (IACF) speaks to Liz & Michael Flatter 

5.    Can you give some idea of the range of prices that collectors in this area might expect to pay?  

From £40 upwards, depending on what you like and whether you collect a certain glass blower. Some highly regarded blowers do charge a premium price for their work; we try to buy pieces at reasonable cost so that we can retail them on likewise. 

6.    Starting out, should would-be collectors go to fairs, auctions, specialist dealers - or take their chances online? 

As we have said before, the Specialist Glass Fairs are well worth a visit, so too are general fairs as you can be lucky and pick up a bargain. Online is a bit more tricky, as we firmly believe that to buy glass, you have to touch, feel and see the item for yourself. 

7.    Are there traps and pitfalls? Are fakers at work in this area? 

Yes, unfortunately there are fakes out there. Always be aware that like some other things today, glass is being copied in other parts of the world, and although they might look like the real thing, there are tell-tale warnings that would prevent one from buying. Remember that most glass is mouth blown, if glass claims to be mouth blown, and it has seams, or looks moulded, it is just that, and not mouth blown. That is why being up close & personal when buying is the best solution. Touching, feeling, and judging for yourself if there is the right quality present.

8.    Do you have a personal favourite era, or style, or individual maker? What makes them unique?

Since we started in the business we have changed our stock from general antiques and collectables to glass sellers. We just love the way it looks. We always try to have an eclectic mix of old & new glass to suit most tastes; our motto is if we would put it in our home, we buy it to sell on, then we can enthuse about it. We currently retail the glass by a glass blower called Adam Aaronson, who we met at a C20th fair. After some discussion we agreed to sell his glass, and it has proved to be very popular with our customers. But we buy most artists' work, it just has to be the right price and wonderful to look at.

Antiques News & Fairs - Grant Nicholas (IACF) speaks to Liz & Michael Flatter 

Liz & Michael will be exhibiting their glassware at Newbury Antiques & Collectors Fair on 4-5 August 2017. For more information, visit IACF.

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