Dealer Gary Wallis.

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1. How did you get your start?

I started in the business at a very early age having been an avid childhood collector of anything from Dinky toys and lead soldiers to marbles and records (l love music).

Antiques and interiors has been my world now for more than 25 years.

The first significant sale I made was a David Bowie LP, The Man Who sold the World, with the controversial dress cover.

I bought it for £2 at a garage sale and sold to the trade at £200.

2. Three rules for dealing?

Buy the best you can afford, buy and appreciate quality and don’t be afraid to mix the old with modern design.

3. Fairs vs shops?

I have traded in many ways, from market stall to emporium and currently a 4000 sq ft warehouse in Henley-on-Thames.

Shops I simply outgrew – for a while I ran two at once but the overheads, which are always the enemy, were too high.

I enjoy interaction with the private buyer and love to get my teeth into an interior or garden project. Sourcing is bliss and, like most, I enjoy buying at trade fairs.

But you can’t beat the buzz of an auction either for buying or selling which is why I am working towards my own auction company… watch this space.

4. Biggest threat to the market?

It would be a shame to lose too many more shops and emporiums but the market is constantly evolving and this change, I fear, is inevitable.

5. Real ale or espresso martini?

Several real ales followed by several espresso martinis – obviously!

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