The “Bucket man” is a kind of travelogue into the world of fake antiques, a wonderful book and an immense eye opener. Reading it felt as Mr. Neville was recounting his memoirs although I am not certain it is truly all his.
The few 100 first pages or so were a reminiscence of the author’s life in the Services very boring IMO and many times I contemplated abandoning it but as most of the time I persisted and thank goodness I did. After resigning his commission and being disowned by his father, James had to make a life for himself. He met a woman on a train and began an intrigue that led him into the world of antiques. His creative imagination enabled him to establish a unique business that later on became a highly sought model. James became what we know in America as a “Picker” and we follow his adventures through the back roads of the UK in search of the golden egg….
In time James develops the knack for hidden treasures in the most unusual places and scouring the backwoods and dirt tracks he unearth collectible relics with historical and pop culture value. Sometime he made money on the deal sometime not but one sure thing he had was a string of hard working artisans refurbishing his finds into brand new antiques ready for a trade.… Along the way he encounters a diversity of characters from the aristocracy, scrap dealers, crooked businessmen, interior designers and many others.
The book is definitely not for everyone. The author explains in minute details the world of a “picker”, the intricacies involved in the refurbishing each article and how complicated and sometimes dishonest the wheeling and dealing is. This story is well written and very informative one thing for sure after reading this book you will pause before purchasing what is sold as genuine antiques…