Helen Sutcliffe of Sutcliffe Galleries.

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1. How did you get your start?

I was born into a long-established family firm of antique dealers and even before leaving school I went to local auctions, travelling by bus before I could drive, and I worked Saturdays in the shop.

After school, I continued working in the family business. However, marriage saw me transfer from antique furniture to paintings, when I joined my husband in his family fine art-dealing business in Harrogate.

2. Which trade associations do you belong to?

Sutcliffe Galleries has been a member of the BADA for nearly 40 years, and I was the vice chairman from 2006-07 and the northern regional representative from 1996-2012.

One of the advantages of being a member of a good trade association is instilling confidence in new clients that our business adheres to the strict code of practice of the association.

We are also members of LAPADA and both associations work hard on behalf of their members, lobbying the government, and are always on hand to answer dealers’ questions.

3. One dealing mistake to avoid?

Buying unseen from photographs. A good dealer needs to view in person.

4. One current buying trend?

The rise of the interior designer, more people interested in decorative antiques and the unusual.

Contemporary art is increasingly popular among the younger collectors and the auction houses are keen to promote this area – particularly with the lack of fine-quality antiques on the market.

5. Real ale or espresso martini?

Neither – a good Chablis or Sancerre.

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