THE life of an antique valuer has never been busier, according to Alan Landis.
The well-known Sydney dealer made his third visit to town on Tuesday, when the Muswellbrook Red Cross invited him to assess residents’ precious pieces at the St Albans Church Hall in Hunter Terrace.
And, for one of Australia’s foremost authorities on English ceramics (1750-1950) and Australian decorative arts, there are no signs of things slowing down either.
“Appraising items is very popular these days, thanks to a number of television shows,” Mr Landis said.
“We’ve got Antiques Roadshow, Bargain Hunt and Antiques Road Trip, to name a few.
“Even today, I’ve looked at an accordion, movie camera, tureen, cutlery, jewellery, silverware and much more – it’s extremely interesting.
“There are three main reasons why people come to these events.
“Firstly, they’re curious about the history; secondly, they want to know what the pieces/items are worth; and, finally, how to look after them.
“For when they pass them down to their children.”
Mr Landis said he loved the opportunity to tour regional centres.
“People in the country really appreciate it,” he explained.
“This is my third time here [in Muswellbrook].
“I visited in 2005 and again in 2010.
“I’ve seen between 50 and 60 pieces [today], from $20 to $3000-$4000.
“And, some were wonderful.”
With more than four decades of experience behind him, Mr Landis is a Life Fellow of the Powerhouse Museum, honorary curator to the National Trust of NSW and advisor to the Historic Houses Trust and Australiana Fund.
He’s lectured several times to the Wedgwood International Seminar in the USA and has published numerous original articles for local and international magazines.
He is an ADFAS lecturer and has organised frequent Valuation Days for the National Trust, the Red Cross and the Salvation Army.
As a registered valuer under the Cultural Gifts Program, Mr Landis has valued the contents of Vaucluse House, Elizabeth Bay House, Rouse Hill, as well as the Sydney Town Hall collections.
He is a past president of the Antique Dealers Association of NSW, the Wedgwood Society of NSW, vice-president of the Ceramic Collectors Society, as well as a past committee member of the Australiana Society.