A quietly paced, nostalgic story of an East Anglian antiques dealer from his poverty-stricken start in the 1890's to a crisis involving his son during the affluent 1920's, this should provide most readers with a welcome breather from war and problem novels. A Chelsea figurine bought from him by his future rival, Clemming, provides young orphan Ted Burling with the needed spurt to start in the game of antiques hunting and selling. Marriage to Jenny, daughter of Yarmouth's largest dealer, adds incentive to Ted's work in his little village shop that is soon a going concern. Several bouts with conscience, in which Ted comes out on top, prove to customers and fellow dealers that though a ""warm"" man in the business, he is fair. Recurrent clashes at auctions with a ""ring"" headed by old enemy Clemming, culminate in a near tragic accident for Ted and the loss of Jenny's second child. Firmly grounded in time and background and without excessive involvement in the intricacies of antiques, this has much of the flavor of an Arnold Bennett or Dickens.