Tony’s life in antiques began practically at conception, as his parents ran antique shops in England and Wales.
By the age of 15, Tony Duke had shown himself to be talented in spotting items others in the trade had been missing, and his parents began to depend on him as both a buyer and seller. Today, Tony enjoys working with clients who have rare or valuable antiques, especially those who appreciate their possessions primarily for their intrinsic and not just their monetary value.
Over the years, Tony has gained an up-close-and-personal understanding of how value is attached to personal items by owners, buyers and sellers. For many years, Tony has spent a great deal of his time trying to figure out a way to help people realize that each item has a number of monetary values that are completely separate from the sentimental and historical values attached to them.
While appraisals must “end in a number”, the amount is of little consequence without the respect, passion and knowledge that the appraiser brings to the process.
Tony invests most of his time in the antique trenches, researching items, networking with other antique and personal property professionals and haunting antique shops and auction houses. He knows which antiques capture people’s interest, and who best to collaborate with to provide the best and most accurate information.
Tony Duke firmly believes that there is no modern invention that the Victorians didn’t invent first. Try him.
The historical relevance of and current interest in antiques and personal property are what Tony’s efforts are all about. His integrity and passion for teasing out an item’s (his)story provides him a wide knowledge of antiques, and an extensive network of antique experts and aficionados. Tony’s Master’s thesis explores the technological, social, and political factors that resulted in the rise of Highway Robbery in 18th and 19th Century Britain, and the mythos surrounding such nefarious characters as the legendary Dick Turpin.
Tony holds a Master of Arts degree in European History, despite the fact that he didn’t complete high school!
Before becoming an appraiser, author and consultant, Tony invested years working in a myriad of positions in the antique and education worlds: from running his own shop, to working as a French Polisher, apprenticing as an auctioneer with Artingstall and Hind and lecturing in history during his days as a grad student.