Michael Raymond Bing (March 17, 1958-March 17, 2019) was born in Bedford Hospital and grew up with his younger sister and parents in St Albans. He was a clever, funny and imaginative boy, making up elaborate stories for his younger sister Julia.
A lifelong fan of St Albans City Football Club (his father having been the club secretary in the 1960s), Michael was posted on the door to sell programmes during home games as a boy.
He followed their results and seasonal fortunes his whole life with the anxious attention of a vigilant and nervous parent; happiest when they were towards the top of their given league, but not at the top, where the only way was down…
Michael went to St Albans School and later University College London, where a contact and friend during his undergraduate studies in art history there led to an interview at Sotheby’s and a 40-year career as a specialist, auctioneer and director both in London and Zurich.
His long and successful professional life reflected only a small part of his interests and talents. Michael was endlessly curious, irreverent, charismatic and funny.
Along with non-league football, he loved paintings, tribal rugs, foreign supermarkets, walking in Wales, England and anything old and interesting. He read biographies, history and was obsessive and focused when he was interested in a subject: it made him an excellent expert professionally but a wonderful and knowledgeable companion personally.
Of all of the things he loved, Michael loved his family and daughters best. He was endlessly generous with his time, money, attention and support in raising them. He will be missed but never forgotten by his family.
Michael’s family have asked that any donations be sent to Princess Alice Hospice in Esher.