Lennox Cato on his love of antiques
We chat to the BBC Antiques Roadshow specialist and dealer Lennox Cato about his career
I was adopted when I was two months old and my adoptive parents were involved in the antiques business in Brighton during the ’70s antiques ‘boom period’. It was an ‘old school’ time: one man’s word was his bond and there was real etiquette to dealing.
Since 2004 I’ve been working with the Antiques Roadshow as a furniture specialist, as my passion is 18th-century English furniture. I also help to identify miscellaneous items.
In 2020 I was appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant of Kent and this year I have become a panellist on the National Heritage Memorial Fund which is a huge honour.
I have an antiques shop in Edenbridge, Kent, which specialises in 18th and 19th-century English furniture and decorative items. We have pieces ranging from as little as £25 up to £60,000, so there is something for everyone! To me, the condition of a piece is always paramount. I only buy items that are perfect.
In the antiques trade, every day is different. I love going to work because I never know who I’m going to meet or what I’m going to buy. I know that if my adoptive parents were still alive they would be very proud of me – I’m living my dream.
I recently sold a walnut side table that I’d lived with for 20 years in my home. It was 17th-century William & Mary period and eventually I decided to sell it. While it was on display in the shop people used to home in on it. It had a presence and I was sad to see it go.
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Watch the new series of Antiques Roadshow on BBC1 every Sunday at 8pm.
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