Antique dealers? Romantic? Would you believe it? One of the most charming and not hugely expensive items I sold recently was to a Hollywood filmmaker. A framed 19th-century Valentine's card.

It’s always worth looking through the ephemera section. What's ephemera? To quote the dictionary: “Collectible items that were originally expected to have only short-term usefulness or popularity.”

There’s always a little crop of gift buyers around the beginning of February; make no bones about it, the strangest was a skeleton!

Anyway, as Valentine's Day approaches I’ve met with Yasmin Thornber of Evoke Erotes. I think it’s fair to say she sells antiques and vintage items some might consider saucy. 

I first met Yasmin at Bath Decorative Fair when she purchased some art from me, she’s incredibly knowledgable and thoroughly engaging with a bubbly personality full of positivism about the things she sells. I asked Yasmine whether she saw herself as a romantic.

Barrhead News: Andrew Blackall Andrew Blackall (Image: Andrew Blackall)

She said: “I’d say I’m a massive romantic. I love love. Romance can be displayed and received in so many forms. That’s why I called the business what it is, after the Greek gods of love - The Erotes!

"I can’t say any of the items (I sell) are weird, because they’re all fabulous. Everyone has different needs, interests and cravings so whilst they might be niche, they’re never weird, But certainly, one of the best pieces I’ve sold consists of dildos that are over 100 years old, Soho lighting to illuminate a home and Victorian vibrators.”

I’m not sure what my great aunts would have made of this but her stock sells to people of all ages and from all walks of life.

She said: “I’ve not sold to film companies but I have bought from them! I don’t kiss and tell as clients' privacy is very important, but my clients are incredibly special to me and I have had the absolute honour of crossing paths with very notable individuals.”

Yasmin believes that when it comes to prudishness, that times are changing. “We all have sex, we all have a craving, a kink or hunger for something - for some reason people just aren’t quite comfortable enough to talk about it. We’ll get there!”

You’ll find her business Evoke Erotes on Instagram as evoke_erotes as we chat it’s impossible not to smile. Yasmin momentarily pauses then breaks the silence.

Barrhead News: Antique Valentine's Day card and Yasmin Thornber owner of Evoke Erotes

“I specialise in the world of provocative antiques and collectables," she said. 

"As a result, I sell all kinds of naughty and curious items that are curated to thrill, excite and raise eyebrows. This includes, but is not limited to - impact tools, restraints, erotic literature, naughty signage and anything that could cater towards the fantasies of others.”

If you’re looking to buy your loved one something a little more thoughtful than chocolates and flowers this Valentine’s Day, I’m sure Yasmin has seeded our collective imagination with something a little more flirtatious!