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Antique connoisseur and auctioneer of Belgravia Auction Gallery, Joseph Sammut, loves a vintage piece with a story. Today, he’s sitting down with us to talk all things We Are Not A Shop. Find out what he selected from our online store, below.

Joseph, we’re so glad you’ve joined us! Could you tell us why you picked the items you selected today?

Of course. My first choice was this joke box – it’s a no-brainer for me. I’m quite the practical joker, so this was right up my street. My wife always says that, one day, I’ll be clobbered for being a fool. It hasn’t happened to me yet… but there’s still time.

This copper coin also piqued my interest. It’s something that has travelled through different people’s hands and pockets for over 200 years, so it carries a lot of history and that’s amazing.

This alabaster bust is wonderful, too. It’s beautifully finished and very well-rendered. I wasn’t even aware they made sculptures like this!

I’m also fascinated by cartography, so this early 19th century map instantly caught my eye. It’s unbelievable to think that somebody managed to draw, measure, walk, and ride, around Malta’s coastal perimeter and accurately put all their findings into a map like this – it’s quite amazing.

Finally, I went for this silver-plated-on-copper, pumpkin-shaped tea set. The quality of the set is superb. The finish, the indent of the pumpkin body, and the copper sheen are all very impressive. I assume it dates back to the 1900s and was made in Sheffield (known for their silver-plated-on-copper pieces). I’d happily have it on display in my home.

Great selection, Joseph. Did you pick any of your items with someone specific in mind?

I didn’t, actually. But I did ask my wife and daughter to pick some items for themselves! No room for error that way, you see. In fact, my wife chose this unique hedgehog thimble – she loves hedgehogs; they’re very dear to her heart.

Now we know this is a tricky question, but do you have a favourite item?

The joke box, definitely. If my granddaughter Beatrice was a bit older, I would have given it to her. But until then, I’ll keep it for myself…

How would you describe We Are Not A Shop to someone who doesn’t know about it?

Well, it’s the perfect way to get some Christmas shopping done without having to step into the shops! But apart from that, there’s a great selection of items on the website so you’re always bound to find something. It’s great fun!

Now, what do you like about the We Are Not A Shop concept?

The effort that’s put into the whole operation. I admire everyone involved because it’s a major commitment and it’s all for a good cause. The name is catchy, too!

Would you recommend We Are Not A Shop to a friend?


For a wide selection of timeless antique pieces, visit Belgravia Auction Gallery in person or online.

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