Bricks, Mortar & Antiques | The Carter Collection

Bricks, Mortar & Antiques | The Carter Collection

After the Second World War, Roy Carter's successful concrete business funded his passion for antiques. With a keen eye and restoration skills, he built a cherished collection over the years. Now, following his passing, the collection is up for sale in our June Fine Interiors auction, offering a glimpse into his beloved possessions.

8 June 2023

At a time after the Second World War when there was a huge demand for new homes, Carter and Ward Ltd (Karrimix) was the first company in Essex to produce ready-mixed concrete. This new-fangled material helped fund an interest in some very old objects.

Roy Carter had been a collector from childhood – first bird’s eggs, then coins and then pocket watches. The large modern house that he built for his family in 1968, became a receptacle for a burgeoning interest in antiques. He later required a large extension to house his collection. His son Lee recalls: “Dad was lucky in that the family business was doing very well. He was often able to spend large chunks of his ‘working’ week chasing antiques and then restoring them.” A carpenter and joiner by trade, in time he acquired great skills as a restorer of antiques. In the days before online catalogues, Roy would regularly visit auctions and shops he saw advertised in the local press or trade ‘bible’ Antiques Trade Gazette.

A pair of rouge marble pedestals

A pair of rouge marble pedestals, 20th century, £800-1,200

“I have many memories of family trips out in the car, when he would suddenly announce that he was going to pull over and pop into an antiques shop that he'd spotted” says Lee. “We rather suspected that quite often he'd deliberately chosen the route for that purpose. I would occasionally witness items being furtively whisked off into one of the sheds before mum could interrogate him along the lines of ‘And what have you bought now Royston!’ or ‘that’s not coming into the house!”.

An Empire-style ormolu mantel clock

An Empire-style ormolu mantel clock, late 19th century, French, £800-1,200

In time many of these pieces, bought with a ‘good eye’ and an increasing level of expertise, became much-loved family possessions. The various carved ‘Black Forest’ bear items were always popular– the hat stand a particular favourite with grandchildren who would seek to kiss the bear cub perching at the top.

A Black Forest carved wood hallstand,

A Black Forest carved wood hallstand, late 19th/early 20th century, Swiss, £1,500-2,000 

The collection now comes for sale following Roy Carter’s passing in 2016, and the recent decision to renovate and remodel the house and grounds. It will be offered as a part of our 13-14 June Fine Interiors Sale which can be viewed here.

For more information regarding the collection or full sale, please contact our Fine Interiors team at | 01279 817778




Recent News


John Cobb  |  Furniture Fit For a King

A fine commode, believed to be by John Cobb (1715-1778), arguably one of England's greatest furniture makers, comes up for sale in Dick Turpin | The Legend Lives On to be held on 25 January.

7 December 2023

Tales in Thread | The Hildegard Heygate Textiles Collection

Sworders are pleased to present a selection of antique and vintage textiles in our December Fine Interiors sale, including items from the collection of the late Hildegard Heygate.

4 December 2023

Grand Plans | Emma Barnett, Head of Homes & Interiors

It is with great pleasure that we announce that Emma Barnett has been appointed as Head of Department with responsibility for the future development of our Homes and Interiors sales – Emma has been with Sworders for some time, but as she now moves into this pivotal role, we would like to take this opportunity to introduce her to you.

30 November 2023



Get Sworders News