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1. How did you get your start?

An interest in late 19th and early 20th century firearms prompted me to apply for a firearms dealer’s licence. Nautical instruments, including chronometers and barometers, have always featured in my stock too – they are complementary to firearms in so many ways, blending technology and engineering.

2. Fairs vs shops?

There is no easy or right answer to this. Certainly the antiques trade is evolving away from the high street for many reasons including cost. Fairs have an increasingly vital position in the trading circle: they are, for many, the only opportunity to meet and see our clients face to face. We need good fairs but ones that are substantially more economic to take part in.

3. You have a particular passion for aneroid barometers – what’s the attraction?

It was the perfection of the aneroid barometer by Lucien Vidi in the mid 19th century that enabled the measurement of height relative to sea level. The work took place around 100 years. John Harrison succeeded in defining longitude by building a sea clock accurate enough to properly fix the position of a ship on the ocean and I believe that Vidi’s invention is as significant.

4. What is one object you would love to find?

A multi-tube Bourdon barometer – or really any early Bourdon.

5. Real ale or espresso martini?

Just lots of very strong coffee.


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