It’s all about the treasure hunt, says antiques dealer

COLLECTOR Ian Parmiter at his shop, Parmiters, in Exmouth Road, Southsea
COLLECTOR Ian Parmiter at his shop, Parmiters, in Exmouth Road, Southsea
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I’ve always loved antiques, even when I was really young I used to dig for old fashioned bottles. To me, it’s a treasure hunt.

Thinking about it takes me right back to my youth.

I can remember how my mother used to take me to jumble sales and old houses.

We used to look at them and somehow the love of old things got into my system.

One day I was fishing and found a clay pipe in the mud with a cockerel head painted on it, just by chance.

I later sold that for £50. That’s a lot of money to a 10-year-old! It’s worth a lot less now, but it had survived for so long in the mud, and was a very rare find.

It’s such a great feeling.

Oddly enough, when I was working on a building site, an opportunity came to start a career out of it.

They used to throw old doors into a skip and I used to take parts off them and sell them. That’s how it all started really. I began by selling doors and fireplaces.

Thankfully, it hasn’t changed at all really since I started my shop. I’m still just a collector, but now I sell them on to other collectors. It can be anything at all, from a sign to a suitcase.

The best bit is you never know what’s going to happen in this business.

Striking gold could happen tomorrow, never, or sometimes three times a day! I bought a vase once for just £10, simply because I liked it. Later, I sold it for £9,000 – I had no idea it was worth so much.

On that same day I bought a Ming vase. It dates all the way back to 1640. Things that are so old are amazing to me, especially in such good condition.

It’s a life time hobby, really.

Even now I have a shop, I simply buy things I’m interested in, things I like.