Barley, whose business cards always sported the words “Never Boring”, traded on Fulham High Street and later from a stand at Portobello Road Market and was well-regarded across the trade.
According to a friend, he had a diverse and eclectic interest in objects from across the globe, and was “responsive to the spirit of an object more than the academic importance of it; he seemed to have a sensitivity for things”.
Barley’s career in the art and antiques trade came after a brush with rock ‘n’ roll – at Dartford Grammar school he was befriended by Mick Jagger who asked him to join his band. Later Barley switched music for protesting and became a committed member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). After leaving school, he turned his energy to the world of second-hand goods.
“Full of colour and surprises”
Now his collection of more than 500 lots of pictures, sculpture, furniture, textiles, architectural features and artefacts spanning 2000 years will be offered at auction at TW Gaze’s newly opened Waveney Room on Roydon Road, Diss.
TW Gaze’s auction manager Matthew Brand said: “Mr Barley had been a client of ours for several years and we were delighted to receive instruction to market many of the items remaining in his estate. It is bound to be an exciting event, full of colour and surprises; very much like the man himself, so hopefully a fitting tribute.”
The sale will take place on September 21 and a viewing ahead of auction is scheduled for September 20, 2-8pm.