1 How did you get your start?
I joined my mother’s thriving antiques business, and I loved visiting markets and bringing back stock for busy weekends of selling when visitors used to pile into the shop. This was around 1985 and antiques were very popular – everyone aspired to own them.
I stayed there until 2000 when I took two years out and did a fine and decorative art diploma at The Study Centre. In those days, lots of dealers used to get that diploma, which was affiliated with Philips and the V&A.
2 How did you choose your focus?
We assumed that after the year 2000 people would get more and more interested in antiques, but instead of looking back, people started looking forward.
Minimalism had started to come in and buyers were no longer filling their houses. But Art Deco and 1950s pieces fit that look. Today there’s still a real interest in the 20th century and it’s steadily broadening to an international market.
3 Who do you admire in the world of art and antiques?
Lanto Synge, who ran Mallet years ago. He was decisive, knew when he saw something beautiful and was always a pleasure to do business with.
4 What do you collect yourself?
I’m so busy collecting for other people I don’t really have the time to collect for myself. My interest is definitely 1960s and ‘70s British sculptures, artists such as Lynn Chadwick, though prices today are very high. I also like Emmanuel Fremiet. His romantic realism is not fashionable at the moment but he was always an artist I collected.
5 Real ale or espresso martini?
Espresso martini – although I do prefer a vodka martini straight up every time.