Antiques Loft 9
By YP Contributor

A Passion for Old Things

As far back as he can remember, Peter Andros has loved old objects. While completing a bachelor of arts degree at Concordia University, he collected jewellery and small antique objects that he would accumulate, exchange or sell.

After working in the restaurant business for many years, he became increasingly distracted by his passion and finally decided to devote himself to it entirely by opening Antiques Loft 9 in the Mile End.

Each object has a story, it's fascinating. You never get tired of that. I could do that seven days a week, 24 hours a day. It's a disease! - Peter Andros, owner 
The interior of Antiques Loft 9, an antique shop located in Mile End.

Becoming a Good Antiquarian

To be a successful antiques dealer, a person must be driven by the desire to know the history and to have an intimate relationship with everyday objects of the past, and want to learn the old ways of making furniture, stained glass, and ancient pottery.

"Every object has a story, it's fascinating. You never get tired of that. I could do that seven days a week, 24 hours a day. It's a disease!" Peter confesses with a grin.

With the same breath, he says, "One becomes an antiquarian to be surrounded by people who share the same interest. You have to have the nose for antiques, the curiosity to know how, for example, was jewellery hand-carved 200 years ago."

A display of antique jewellery, on sale at Antiques Loft 9.

The Collectors

The collectors are business people, politicians, artists and students, all with the same passion for antiques. Experienced antiquarians recognize the originality of an object by its patina, the way it is assembled, the materials used and by its signature.

Collectors are always on the lookout for a new, sweet find, an unknown piece with a rare signature. They combine aesthetics and history and hope to unearth a remarkable object because of its origin, the quality of its construction or a single flaw that adds its uniqueness to the beauty of a room.

Many collectors come from Toronto, Halifax, Vancouver or the United States. "There are a lot of objects in Montreal because of the mix of cultures. The immigrants brought over some real treasures. Montreal is the city of choice for acquiring beautiful things," says Peter.

But the owner also connects to a broader customer base, since Antiques 9 Loft doesn't just sell antiques. "I also sell retro and vintage objects. I like to see those clients, often young, start with something small from the '80s that fascinates them."

A piece featuring Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, on sale at antiques Loft 9.

Determining Authenticity

Peter is in constant contact with trusted colleagues, some of whom are connected with the famous Christie's in London. If he doubts the originality of an object, he will send pictures and wait for their opinion before informing his client of the true value of an object.

Peter says it's preferable to buy a piece in a shop run by a recognized antique dealer rather than an individual, since the antiquarian guarantees the authenticity and value of the item he sells.

Among the pieces he recently had in store, Peter especially liked Ganesh, the 13th century Indian god with an elephant head, a set of stained glass windows by Italian artist Guido Nincheri made in 1890, a 17th century Buddha head from Thailand and an oil painting on panels by 20th century British painter Alexander Mackenzie.

A signed Riopelle painting, on sale at Antiques Loft 9.

A Good Investment

While most collectors don't have profit as their primary motivation, the fact remains that antiques are a very good investment.

"Canadian art especially, like Riopelle and Pellan," says Peter. "The evolution in price on some items is astronomical. Amber, in recent years, is almost more expensive than gold."

One of the many antique vases on offer at Antiques Loft 9.
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