Welcome to our first Vintage Art Gallery blog post. It comes as The Gallery turns six months old and celebrates the – frankly unbelievable – milestone of 700 paintings sold. When we started our covid-born business little did we think we would find such a thriving community of vintage art lovers, but find you we did, and now you’ve only gone and asked us for a blog too…
You probably know a little bit about us by now. But if not, there’s myself (journalist by degree & copywriter by trade), my husband Dom (a furloughed event professional), two unhelpful teenage boys, two considerably more helpful rescue dogs, and A LOT of vintage paintings.
We chose to work with vintage art for two reasons really. Firstly because we had quite a collection ourselves, and we knew exactly how much pleasure those paintings gave us on a daily basis. And secondly because, being a writer, I really love a good story.
If you own anything vintage you will know that it automatically comes with a story. Whether it’s an old brown betty teapot or a ditsy 50s dance dress, it travelled in time before it became yours. With vintage, you rarely know the exact chapters of the story that came before (that sort of in depth knowledge – of history, maker and mark – is what makes something an antique, which vintage is most definitely not). Nevertheless, every vintage painting HAS hung on another wall, in another place, in another era, and has pleased other people as they’ve passed that painting by.
The REAL magic of a vintage painting though, is that its’ unknown story transforms from owner to owner. Let me explain. Just recently we sold a pretty Cornish seascape to a customer who had spotted the beachside building she first holidayed in with her (now) husband. We sold a child’s portrait to a customer that had recently moved to Australia and was missing her niece (who had just the same shade of auburn hair). And we sold a quirky still life featuring one - almost hidden - Staffordshire china dog to a gentleman whose beloved grandfather had collected them. Every one of those paintings resonated in such special ways with their new owners, but they resonated with a narrative that was never there originally. That holiday house, that niece on the other side of the world, that much missed Grandfather – they weren’t the story when those paintings were first created, but they are, very much, the story now.
Being a family that loves rescue dogs, we sometimes think of ourselves as a rescue home for art. We take paintings away from cold, empty auction salerooms and sad ‘end of an era’ house clearances. We spruce them up with a damp cloth and a new picture string. We find some interesting props to photograph them with, and before too long each forgotten piece of art is ready for rehoming. We’re art fosterers if you like - taking care of lovely old paintings whilst their new owners take the time to find them. And of course we are the safe dispatchers of our pieces too – perfectly packing and safely shipping every single one to their new homes all over the world.
Seth Godin, the famous Author, Blogger and Podcaster, said that “People do not buy goods and services, they buy stories and magic”. Well at The Vintage Art Gallery our goods and services ARE stories and magic. Our hope is that you will find a painting on our pages that tells a special story for you. And if it’s travelled the world and the decades to do so then it’s meant to be. And that really is magic.
Sign up for more Vintage Art Gallery stories and magic right here and join our community of art rehomers and rescuers.