'The Antiques Roadshow' expert, John Bly is an antique dealer specialising in old furniture and silver. He has written a number of books on both and presented his own series called 'Heirloom' for ITV.
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The Bly family have been dealers in Tring since the early 19th century. An ancient letterhead proclaimed ‘John Bly – antiques dealers since the reign of William IV’. But it was the grandfather of the present John Bly who first showed a serious love and appreciation of old furniture and established his own business in the centre of Tring in 1891. The present John Bly worked for four years at Sotheby’s before joining the family firm. In 1991, the firm’s 100th year, John Bly opened showrooms in Bury Street, St. James’s, London. The business is still operated from Tring with showrooms and extensive workshops. John Bly provides the same services that his grandfather established: fine antiques bought and sold, full valuations, and cabinet making and restoration of the highest order.
He is a regular contributor to 'The Antiques Roadshow' and 'The Great Antiques Hunt' and has presented his own series for ITV called 'Heirloom'. He has written a number of books including 'Discovering English Furniture', 'Discovering Hallmarks on English Silver' and 'Miller’s Silver & Sheffield Plate Marks'. He was editor of and contributor to 'Is It Genuine?' republished as 'Antiques: A Guide for the Collector' and he is chief consultant to the editor to the Antique Directory of Furniture and contributing editor to Readers' Digest 'Treasures in the Home'.
John Bly’s lectures are understandably popular and they have taken him around Britain, North America and Europe. Sample topics are:
• The Other Side of the Roadshow. A witty look at the Antiques Roadshow.
• The Englishman’s Home in the 18th century. A illustrated talk on the design and manufacture of English furniture during the 18th century.
• The English Regency. The origins and influences of High Style Regency 1784-1850.
• Discovering English Silver. The history of the hallmarking system, design and manufacture, and tips on care and maintenance.
• English Furniture – Fakes and Forgeries. How to spot fakes and alterations, and care and maintenance in the home.
John Bly is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths.