Beardsley Theobalds brokers sale of Exeter antiques business

Beardsley Theobalds – the business and corporate transfer specialist agency – has announced that they have brokered a sale of Fagin’s Antiques Showrooms & Reclamation Yard, located at The Old Whiteways Cider Factory at Hele, near Exeter.

Over the years Fagin’s built up an excellent reputation and has been described as the largest business of its kind in the South West. It regularly attracted trade from throughout the U.K. as well as from around the world and in particular from Japan. In addition, it frequently appeared on television programmes such as Antiques Road Trip, Celebrity Antiques Road Trip and Salvage Hunters and was often used by such as The National Trust and film production companies etc. for sourcing specialist items.

The new owner, London Fine Ltd., who took over the reins in May 2019, has immediately started to implement plans to ensure that the four acre site and its various buildings (which is fairly adjacent to and highly visible from the M5) remains a go-to destination for the trade and public for the foreseeable future. The business has been renamed and is now trading as The Antique Village, which has been busy signing up dealers to rent space within the main showrooms (approx. 22,000 sq.ft. over 4 floors) – either cabinet space, floor space, wall space or dealer mini-shops as well as outdoor opportunities.

In addition, skilled crafts people are being attracted, e.g. furniture upholsterers, French polishers etc., to set up their businesses here and a café is planned to open in a few months’ time. This is all the brainchild of Clive and Ian – founders and directors of London Fine Ltd. which has successfully traded as London Fine Antiques for many years and proudly boasts a worldwide client base which they intend to further expand at The Antique Village – who have been friends for over 40 years and are now in the throes of moving their wives and children to Devon.

The former owner, Chris Strong, who is now looking forward to a well-earned retirement, commented on the sale as follows:-

“Out with the old and in with the new” is a saying which is almost unheard of in the antique business but in the case of Fagin’s Antiques it seems very apt.

After 30 years of business at The Old Whiteways Cider Factory and having met thousands of people both local and foreign and dispensing to most of them a great restored and recycled product, it is with great sadness that it has all come to an end (mainly brought on by the huge increase in overheads especially the dreaded Business Rates).

Having cleared the decks through a massive three day auction in April I have now struck my colours and handed ‘the ship’ over to the new kids on the block who will navigate their own style through the aptly named ‘Antique Village’.

I would like to thank Roger Mundy of Beardsley Theobalds, Exeter for piloting me towards the calm waters of transition and also to ‘the crew’ who have worked tirelessly to have made Fagin’s the ‘iconic business’ that many of our great customers hopefully will remember in years to come.