Alison Davey formed AD Antiques in 1997. Alison's background is not in the fine arts; she graduated from Edinburgh University in 1995 with an MA and thereafter practiced in the field of Criminal Justice. Her last appointment was at Edinburgh prison where she undertook risk assessments and therapeutic intervention programmes with long term prisoners.
Throughout her training and employment she developed an interest in the decorative arts, and during this time she began "trading" at car boot sales. This quickly developed into a passion or obsession, and for several years used her annual leave to attend and exhibit at show-ground antiques fairs throughout the UK. In 2000 Alison decided that she had to get the dealing bug out of her system once and for all; she resigned her job, moved to Staffordshire and began trading full time.
During the early years, the business retailed all manner of decorative arts including glass, metals, jewellery from the Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau Movements. However Alison developed a particular interest in British Art Pottery. The appeal comes as much from the social and political dimension that inspired the manufacturers, as to the aesthetic quality and originality of the ceramics.
The designers and factories of the era were pushing the boundaries of creativity, chemistry and design. Many of these studios were actively rebuking the machine age and supporting the social philosophers of the day who were proposing the return to local crafts, the dignity of the worker and the movement away from elaborate ornamentation to simpler lines and design.
In business Alison too was pushing her own boundaries; she stepped up from the Showground Fairs and embarked on the Vetted Fair Circuit. These Fairs were predominantly traditional Antiques Shows with no history of the more "contemporary" British Art Pottery. However over the years she established herself and her client base. During one year AD antiques exhibited at 37 antiques fairs across the length and breadth of the UK! Simultaneously she developed a website and was able to keep in touch with clients and showcase her stock on line.
Items regularly stocked include artists and factories such as Martin Brothers, William de Morgan, William Moorcroft, Doulton Lambeth, Pilkington’s Royal Lancastrian, Ruskin and Wedgwood. In addition she sources examples of small studio factories such as Della Robbia, Compton and Morrisware that, along with their larger contemporaries, made important contributions to the British Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau and Art Deco Movements.
Over the years, Alison has vetted at some of the country's' leading Antique Fairs, offered specialist advice to major Auction Houses and Museums and has consulted on numerous media projects including television programmes such as the Antiques Roadshow and publications such as American Vogue. She is regular features contributor for Antique Collecting Magazine. Alison became an elected member of the BADA in 2009 and is part of the team of assessors who considers the applications from prospective members. More recently Alison has also diversified into Contemporary Ceramic Design and founded the Company Signed and Designed; the work of the exceptional Ceramicists she represents is showcased on the website www.signedanddesigned.com