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1. How did you get your start?

I used to run an au pair agency and from time to time helped my husband in his antiques shop in Kensington Church Street. When he died I continued and expanded the business as my love and fascination for 19th century European porcelain grew.

That was 40 years ago and I feel so lucky to have such an exciting and fulfilling profession.

2. Something you always have with you?

When my son was six, he found a little trinket jug in the playground of his school, thinking it was antique.

He excitedly gave it to me and it goes with me everywhere as my good-luck charm.

3. Biggest threat to the trade?

High increase of rates and rents which are not in proportion to the business volume.

Also, in the case of Portobello Road, a creeping increase of low-end goods. Portobello Road should have special protection from the council as it is a world-renowned market.

4. Predictions for 2017?

A slow downturn has already been noticed, but while there is probably less business from UK and European customers, there is an increased interest from China and the Far East.

5. Real ale or espresso martini?

Krug Champagne, please

Alexandra Alfandary offers porcelain objects such as this c.1880 Meissen vase, 2ft (61cm) painted on both sides with summer flowers. It is priced in the region of £6000.

If you would like to be featured in 5 Questions, please contact francesallitt@auctiontechnologygroup.com