The Movers and Shakers in the Antiques Transportation Business

By: Eve Pearce, Contributing Writer • Nov 09, 2012 • 0 Comments

Dale Rogers knows a thing or two about antiques. From his exclusive store in London’s plush Pimlico he has travelled the world in search of rare and beautiful antiques that he transports back to England’s capital for general sale. His adventures have taken him to war torn Afghanistan, dangerous African nations, the Himalayas, European caves and archaeological digs all around the world, as reported in The Telegraph. Dale is an antique’s dealer with a touch of Indiana Jones about him because his antiques are the kind made by time – crystals, minerals, natural rocks and fossils. His shop window displays extraordinary natural antiques including a 50,000-year-old skeleton of a cave bear from Romania and a £45,000 block of lapis lazuli, a rare and beautifully blue semi-precious stone. While Dale’s choice of natural antiques is not exactly the norm, his life demonstrates the importance of transporting goods safely. Imagine the lengths and depths this dedicated dealer goes to just to find his style of antiques, then he has to transport them half way around the world and make sure they get to London in one piece. No mean fete.  The average collector or keeper of antiques does not face the same problems as Dale, but let us consider the logistics of moving antiques, whatever they may be.

Packing up the family home and preparing to move - antiques and all

Moving house is listed among the top five most stressful times of a person’s life, right up there alongside divorce, marriage and having a baby. The stress is further compounded when you consider how to transport your most prized possessions. Loading everyday furniture into the back on a removals truck and wrapping up contemporary ornaments is anxiety-inducing enough, so imagine the stress levels of transporting your most treasured antique collectables. Whether it is fine-art paintings, ceramics, one-off furniture pieces of furniture or fireplace mantels, getting your antiques from A to B can cause more than its fair share of nervous tension. What if that A to B means a transatlantic journey or shipment overseas?

How to pack up your antiques in the right way and ensure they stay in one piece

The long journey overseas can be complicated and expensive but paying attention to the details can save you money in the long run. Transporting antiques items requires much more finesse than the usual household objects and with more than 46 million US residents moving every year (according to the US Census Bureau), a large proportion of them are antique owners who have to consider the finer details of transporting antique items and any type of insurance that may go along with this. Imagine you have an antique grand piano and you are moving from New York to London. As anyone who owns a grand piano can testify, they are wonderful yet precious instruments which need gentle hands and slight movements – one move in the wrong direction and the delicate balance of tuning can be thrown out altogether. So the work that goes into moving this one piece is astounding and owners have to consider how to get it out of the family home, how to load it onto transport, how to pack it safely, how to keep it safe while on board, how to protect your shipment of goods and so on. A mind-boggling process that can seem slightly overwhelming at first needs some careful consideration, organisation and planning.

Choosing the right removal company for your particular needs is of paramount importance and making sure your collectables are insured could be another vital part of the process to consider because many firms do not include protection cover in case something goes wrong. A recent Wall Street Journal article details some interesting examples of companies who specialise in transporting those extra special antique items and what is involved en route. Of course, another option is the ‘do it yourself’ approach, but don’t throw caution to the wind here. Research and plan your removal journey because replacing an antique candelabra or that precious piece of antique furniture that’s been in the family for years will cause a lot more heartache, not to mention money, than their contemporary counterparts.