Charles has amassed a wealth of knowledge of and become a leading global dealer in maritime items. He has boats and antiques in his blood. His grandfather ran an auction house in London on the site that is now Bonhams. He spent much of his youth in boat yards before going on to found Wick Antique…
Charles has amassed a wealth of knowledge of and become a leading global dealer in maritime items. He has boats and antiques in his blood. His grandfather ran an auction house in London on the site that is now Bonhams. He spent much of his youth in boat yards before going on to found Wick Antiques. His passion and eye for antiques shone through and he went on to supply the iconic Harrods Antiques Department for over 22 years until the department was closed in 2011. Since then, he has carved out a name for himself sourcing and selling artefacts, relics and paintings relating to all things nautical.
One of his areas of special expertise is the Royal Navy’s battles against Napoleonic France, culminating in the Battle of Trafalgar and the heroic death of Admiral Lord Nelson. The echoes of great battleships such as HMS Victory, Royal George, Bellerophon and Foudroyant can be found on this site. Wood and copper from re-fits or wrecks were made into a huge array of commemorative items; from trinket boxes to large picture frames or fund-raising shields.
At the opposite end of the scale from warfare is sailing for pleasure – and Charles is passionate about the era of ‘Big Yacht’ racing; including silver gilt trophies, half hulls of early America’s Cup boats and paintings of J-Class yachts. Lesser racing boats sailing on the Solent or the Clyde are represented in the works of the highly respected British artist, Montague Dawson.
These diverse maritime collections are augmented by a commercial section too. Large, wall-mounted shipyard or owners’ models of steamships jostle for space next to lifeboats, barometers, thermometers and ever changing celestial and terrestrial globes.
The trading reach of Britain’s navies is also celebrated in Wick Antique’s latest book ‘Britain on the High Seas: Merchants and Mariners’. It is thanks to global trade that mahogany and rosewood furniture, for example, or luxury goods such as tea and silk, found their way into wealthy Georgian and Victorian homes,