Antiques dealer Charles Wallrock has been in business at Wick Antiques for 40 years. Over the decades he and his wife, Caroline, have amassed a vast and diverse collection of exceptional items, supplying the iconic Fine Art and An...
Antiques dealer Charles Wallrock has been in business at Wick Antiques for 40 years. Over the decades he and his wife, Caroline, have amassed a vast and diverse collection of exceptional items, supplying the iconic Fine Art and Antiques department at Harrods, national and international museums, Christies, Sotheby’s, Bonham’s and myriad of private collectors. What they do is not about show or salesmanship – it’s about knowledge, acquired over decades in the industry at the highest level.This knowledge spans the centuries from the early 18th century (Georgian period) to the middle of the 20th century. (Charlie is on the dealer board and the 19th century vetting committee for the LAPADA shows.) Nevertheless that does not stop him investing in outstanding earlier pieces, such as a rare table cabinet from 1620 and Caroline has one of the largest collections of mid-20th century cloisonné vases in the UK. Their main collections feature furniture and works of art, both European and Japanese. However, Charlie’s passion for all things nautical, fostered by this father, a WWII naval commander, is evident in the large maritime wing of the business and culminated this year in a curated 120-page, full colour, hard back catalogue entitled ‘Britain on the High Seas from Nelson to Churchill’.Antiques are in Charles’s blood. His grandfather, Samuel Wallrock, owned an auction house in the early 1900s,that site is now Bonhams in Bond Street. Caroline, after a Persian degree, went on to study the Christies Fine Art Course and then joined Sotheby’s specializing in Islamic and Japanese works of art, as well as taking the occasional auction.“My grandfather was one of the first men to introduce a tea room into the auction house because he realised that it was the ladies who made the buying decisions! So I was brought up with it all, it is my life and passion. I just love hunting out pieces.” says Charles.“I started when I was 22 years old spending long days on the road, as was the way then. A typical week would be Monday and Tuesday travelling the West Country ferreting out the best I could afford. Then I would sell on the Wednesday to local dealers who in turn would trade the stock to the ever hungry American and Australia markets. The second half of the week I would head to the Midlands and the North and repeat the process.”“Then came my lucky break. I stumbled upon an Exhibition quality side cabinet, which I sold to Harrods. They subsequently came down to Lymington to see the stock I had built up in my shed. They bought everything and it was the start of 25 amazing years. I ended up supplying them with unusual and rare pieces, until the sale of the store when they closed their antiques department in 2010.”The demise of the Harrods department coincided with the general retreat of antiques shops from the high street so Charlie embraced the internet whole heartedly and now relies on his website and high-end fairs like Masterpiece and LAPADA, in London, and will be exhibiting at the prestigious New York Winter Show in January to generate sales and introduce him to new clients.Wick Antiques works closely with Lymington Restoration. The team of highly skilled artisans can transform any piece and bring it back to life, from gilding and cabinet making to upholstery. No project is too big. Over the years they have worked with top interior and yacht designers to adapt pieces to fit certain spaces or create some cracking one-off custom pieces.
Unit 2 Riverside Business ParkGosport StreetLymington, Hampshire , SO41 9BBUnited Kingdom