Sicklesmere: TV antiques expert’s new venture
17:13 22 May 2014
An antiques expert who has featured in programmes including Cash in the Attic and Bargain Hunt is setting up shop near Bury St Edmunds.
Tom Keane, who is also a valuer, auctioneer and antiques dealer, has invested hundreds of thousands of pounds in the building on the A134 at Great Whelnetham which he is transforming into an antiques centre.
The 54-year-old, from London, who also has an antiques centre in Tetsworth, Oxfordshire, said it caught his eye as he was driving along the road and thought it would lend itself to antiques.
The centre at the former Mark Elliot premises, which before that was a pub, will be run by his daughter Jaya Keane and her partner Joe Best, but Mr Keane said he would have a “hands on” involvement.
He said he felt there was a real gap in the market in the area for the centre, adding four or five dealers were already on board.
“It’s going to be what I would like to call affordable antiques. There will be things in here ranging from £30 up to £5,000. We are going to specialise in non-reproduction.”
He added: “It will definitely work here. I think it’s a good opportunity, a lovely building.”
He said the centre had already sold two pieces – an 18th Century Irish mirror and an 18th Century toilet bureau – and they had both gone back to London.
Refurbishment work has been under way at the building since last July and the centre is set to open on June 1.
Miss Keane, 28, has moved from London to take on the centre.
She said: “It’s a massive move. It’s a lovely building and we thought if it does really well it will be fantastic.”
Mr Keane, who has been in the antiques business for 25 years, has also featured in Dickinson’s Real Deal, Storage Hoarders, House Gift and Country House Sunday.