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Harry Thomson, who trades as Richmond Antiques in the North Yorkshire town of Bargate, is the subject of Emma Wesley's (b. 1979) acrylic on board, which is among 54 works featured in the BP Portrait Award.

Illustrated right, it depicts Mr Thomson, who, incidentally, is an avid Antiques Trade Gazette reader, in his shop examining a Mason's ironstone jug and surrounded by his reference books. The artist, who although self-taught works full-time as a portrait painter, is particularly interested in painting people in their working environment.

The postcard of a merchant by the 16th century Flemish artist Jan Gossaert pinned to the back wall of the Thomson portrait makes reference to the tradition of portraiture in which she is working.

Ms Wesley tells me Mr Thomson has been her local antiques dealer for as long as she can remember and believes he was a policeman, who set up his shop upon retirement from the force.

If any other dealers fancy becoming immortalised via Emma Wesley's brushwork, they can contact her at 53 Frenchgate, Richmond, North Yorkshire DL10 7AE (tel: 01748 824048).

As for the BP Portrait Award itself, this year's winner of the £25,000 first prize is Stephen Shankland (b. 1971), who hails from Aberdeenshire, with Paul Harris (b. 1967), Fergus Mayhew (b. 1963) and Sare Shamma (b. 1975) all runners-up.

Darvish Fakhr, having received the £4000 BP Travel Award, will visit Iran to paint portraits of local people in the old Persian bazaars.