Tom Edwards of Abbott and Holder.

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1. How did you get your start?

Portering at Bonhams, Knightsbridge. There are quite a number of us in the trade who cut our teeth there, while Pippa Stockdale was heading up the picture department.

In the Montpelier Street saleroom I met Philip Athill (managing director of Abbott and Holder), my real break, and the rest, as they say is history.

2. Do you belong to any trade associations?

Yes, Abbott and Holder is a member of the BADA. The support and advice Mark Dodgson offers is second to none. I’d also heartily recommend The Federation of Small Businesses.

3. Do you stand at any fairs? If so, which and why?

Next year will be the first in a very long time that we will not be doing a fair.

Increasingly, we’ve found that spending time and money on stock for our monthly ‘Lists’ and exhibitions at our building in Museum Street is a more fruitful enterprise. Editorial coverage (thank you, ATG) and well-placed adverts seem to introduce us to more new people than standing at a fair.

4. What current buying trends have you noticed?

What pictures make – or do not make – at auction is ever-more baffling.

However, one dealing mistake to avoid making is paying too much attention to trends. Beautiful, rare, interesting pictures find homes… eventually.

5. Real ale or espresso martini?

Ale, every time.

Abbott and Holder’s current exhibition is Eyewitness Drawings 1955-1975 featuring the work of Feliks Topolski.

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