1 How did you get your start?
My dad, Lawrence Gould, used to trade at Portobello and I went with him from the age of about 12. When I was 15 I started dealing independently in perfume bottles and got into portrait miniatures when I was around 18. We worked together then, but he’s retired now, and I’ve taken over the other parts of the business, including Bilston and Battersea enamels and objects of vertu.
2 How has the trade changed since you started out?
That was in the 1980s when there were lots of collectors and loads of clients. Today, money is generally spent on flats, properties and holidays and there is not such a market for collectables. The fashion is for statement pieces. But objects like scent bottles are still desirable. They’re quite decorative and look lovely in the light grouped together.
3 What is one question you wish people would ask before buying?
Where to store their items to conserve them. Items such as miniatures can be affected by light and heat and should not be kept, for example, above a radiator. I try to tell people that before they buy.
4 Who do you admire?
Dr Bodo Hofstetter, author of several books on portrait miniatures. He’s just fantastic with unfathomable knowledge and always happy to share. We’ve known each other for many years.
5 One object you couldn’t do without?
A jeweller’s loupe, preferably high magnification with a light.