1. How did you start?
My father opened our first gallery in Harrogate in 1969. I joined straight from school and after a few years took over the buying. I bought for Italian and German dealers and sent over 30 paintings a month to London auctions.
My father would select paintings from my purchases for the gallery – in 1972 Mitsukoski bought nearly half the gallery stock for their store in Japan, giving the family business a boost.
2. How has the market changed?
The auction houses have seized a lot of the market, styling themselves on the gallery model, but they will never match a dealer’s knowledge, who backs his or her judgment with their own capital.
There has been a shift towards interiors and contemporary paintings, but I predict this trend is transitory. The market will go full circle.
3. Why are you exhibiting at the Northern Antiques Fair?
We have exhibited there since 1978 and it maintains a high standard. It is local and a good opportunity to welcome existing clients and forge new connections.
This year it promises to appeal to a wider, younger audience.
4. How do you use the internet?
I use the internet to source new works. In the past I had to scour through the provincial newspapers for the auctions, and travelled over 45,000 miles a year, with many wasted journeys, but with the odd ‘touch’!
The internet has made that side of the business easier. However, I’m old school and still never buy unseen. We use our website as a shop window allowing clients to keep up to date with our recent acquisitions.
5. Real ale or espresso martini?
I’m a Yorkshireman – real ale – Theakston’s or Timothy Taylor’s bitter!
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