Some rules of the antique dealer’s modus operandi
Giving for granted the professional preparation which constitutes our background, the work at our art and antique gallery starts from customers’ requests.
To Antichità Giglio, the client, but first, must find the correct reply to his needs. Here follows a brief interview with Lino Giglio, an art dealer who boasts beyond 40 years of experience, owner of Antichità Giglio.
Which are then the needs of your customers and the most frequently asked questions?
L.G.: I get many calls and e-mails during the day and the requests can vary. From the simple request of valuation of ancient paintings or single objects to the need of emptying a whole house and, inside this wide range, a record of more or less demanding cases.
Your first reply?
L.G.: My first reply is the request to see some pictures of the objects or to be able to make an inspection, according to the clarity with which the situation has been described to me and according to my immediate possibility of organising an inspection.
Supposing we already have a clear idea of the situation, explain to us the modality of the inspection.
L.G. The experience of many years as an antique dealer taught me some fundamental rules. Firstly, there surely is the “Permission”. I never forget that we are “invited” to visit a house. It is necessary to always remember that the house is not only a physical place but a container of affections. We know that every piece of furniture, every painting represents a sum of stories of an entire family sometimes handed down through generations. For this reason, it is necessary to enter asking for a symbolical (but also real) “permission”, with due respect.
And when the door opens show are empathy and professionality reconciled?
L.G. This is one of the most difficult moments. It is about giving a scrupulous opinion, professional and commercially satisfying to a piece of art, to an antique piece of furniture or design which is though invested of an affective dignity or handed over through time with attributions or provenances to be verified. Therefore, you watch the pieces with care, the quality of execution, the conservational state and the eventual documentation is verified. Sometimes the surprise is positive but sometimes it is not. The professionality of a good art dealer, and thus of Antichità Giglio, is in giving a motivation to the valuations, always drafted in line with the market which can thus be a pleasant surprise, a confirmation, but unfortunately, sometimes, a delusion.
Are you always capable of satisfying the client?
L.G. The reply is always immediate and I boast to be able to say “Yes always!”. First of all, by practice, Antichità Giglio always gives a reply, may it be by telephone or e-mail. We never leave outstanding replies. We manage to buy a good percentage of furniture and paintings which are offered to us. Clearly, not everything that is proposed to us interests our Gallery but in our replies, to those who ask for help, we send contacts and suggestions to find other selling options. As said in the opening, the client is always put first, and his questions must have a resolution. Many positive comments left on our job represent the best price for me.