The Curator’s Eye recently spoke with Sue McGovern-Huffman of Sands of Time Antiquities, based in Washington, D.C., about her use of the technology provided by The Curator’s Eye (http://www.CuratorsEye.com/) to expand her client base and increase her sales.
McGovern-Huffman, who began her career as a professional dealer twenty years ago in Sydney, Australia, has been at the helm of Sands of Time Antiquities in Georgetown, D.C., for the past eight years. She has been active in e-commerce for over a decade, after combining her experience in information technology with her personal passion for ancient art.
“The Ancients Had a Good Aesthetic Eye”
Currently, the gallery features ancient Egyptian, Greek, Near Eastern, and Roman items that begin from very early neolithic times, about 4500 BC up to 500 AD, with some medieval items thrown in the mix as well. McGovern-Huffman says she “has always loved antiquities.” She is still moved by the “extraordinary experience” it is “to hold something somebody made over 2000 years ago. Some things are utilitarian, but for others the ancients had a good aesthetic eye.” She points out, “they made pieces to express their piety, and for commerce, and that hasn’t changed.”
“Process is Extremely Simple: The Rep Does Everything Else”
To get her ancient items on to The Curator’s Eye for display online, McGovern-Huffman reports she “just emails her dealer representative with a writeup and photos and the rep does everything else.” Indeed, she says the “process is extremely simple, as it is designed for dealers to get information out there. It is no different to advertising in a magazine, but you get a much larger, more specialized audience than you would get with a magazine.”
“Amazed by the Advertising Going On”
This audience comes to the site through extensive, highly targeted online advertising across the web, and McGovern-Huffman is “amazed by the advertising going on.” She says she sees ads for objects on The Curator’s Eye everywhere, especially “while reading news articles on art.” By allowing The Curator’s Eye to place these ads for them, individual dealers like McGovern-Huffman can vastly extend their online reach without having to take the time to master the complex world of online advertising.
“A Ten to Fifteen Percent Increase in New Sales Thanks to The Curator’s Eye.”
According to McGovern-Huffman, Sands of Time Antiquities has seen “a ten to fifteen percent increase in new sales thanks to The Curator’s Eye.” She likens the browsing experience on the site to “walking through a museum, where people browse, learn and enjoy. But these are objects that can be theirs. This sets them to inquire about this or something else.” She also finds that listing her items on the site “is a very economical way of being able to present what her gallery represents, give people a taste of the professionalism of our gallery, what we do and have.”
Most Popular Item: Middle Assyrian Bull Pendant
The item garnering the most attention for Sands of Time on The Curator’s Eye is a Middle Assyrian bull pendant made from of agate and wrapped in gold. According to McGovern-Huffman, this extraordinary piece “would have come out of a chieftan’s grave,” as similar published item was found in an important burial of a warrior. The bull was a symbol of strength and virility and such a significant amulet would only have been worn by person of importance. Nothing has really changed in 4000 years, people remain interested in power and beauty.”
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