Danker's new antiques shop with a silver lining


OPENING a major new shop in the current economic environment is a remarkable vote of confidence in the future. One of Dublin’s best-known family-run antiques businesses, Danker Antiques, has moved into new premises in Royal Hibernian Way off Dawson Street after 60 years on nearby South Anne Street.

The window display sparkles with a glittering selection of the large stock of antique Irish and English silver and jewellery. Proprietor Joy Danker has noticed a significant increase in footfall since the move and the new premises offers plenty of space for customers to walk around and browse in a bright and modern environment, she says.

Danker Antiques has traditionally had a strong niche catering to the enduring market for smart christening, wedding, anniversary and retirement gifts and also sources pieces for specialist collectors of the work of 18th and 19th century silversmiths. Ms Danker says that American tourists are especially interested in Irish silver dish rings – which were used as decorative stands for bowls of potatoes in the 18th century – and are now often used as table centre pieces.

After 30 years in the business, she is alert to changing tastes and has noticed an increased demand among younger customers for art deco jewellery and a resurgence of men wearing cufflinks. Older clients still, though, prefer the Victorian style with diamond crescent and circular cluster brooches particularly sought-after.

And her tip for valuable antiques of the future? She says the Irish Celtic revival period for silver has become very desirable, appeals to young people and the Irish living overseas. Examples in stock include early 20th century replicas of the Tara Brooch.