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1 What is your focus?

I deal in 18th-early 20th century British drawings, watercolours, oils on paper and paintings, which I have worked with since the early 1980s. I have always particularly enjoyed what used to be called ‘topographical pictures’ – work of historic interest from all over the world and especially the Ottoman Empire. The research is consistently fascinating and has taken me into uncharted areas.

2 What’s exciting about the market at the moment?

There are tremendous opportunities in the field of early British art right now. The fashion for contemporary art means that wonderful older works of great quality can be obtained for quite reasonable prices.

3 What is one of your recent discoveries?

A terrific group of Anglo-French watercolours. They belonged to an early 19th century French banker whose descendants had left them loosely interleaved in a large leather album. I travelled a long way to see them.

Their condition was quite exceptional with vivid colours and sharp detail.

4 What makes a good collection?

Collections can be done in many different ways, but the best examples always reflect a discipline which makes them more than a group of things acquired haphazardly. I am currently offering drawings from a collection formed with the guiding hand of the much-missed Andrew Wyld. These show the wisdom of consulting a good dealer. Internet purchasing can make it very easy to buy but it is important to buy selectively.

5 What is the best exhibition you’ve seen recently?

Gainsborough’s Family Album exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery was a delight. The range of Gainsborough, one of my favourite artists, never ceases to amaze me.


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