1 How did you get your start?
I was the 15-year-old boy who bought the Victorian biscuit barrel for five pence at the jumble sale and sold it to the local antique shop for a shilling. I trained as a teacher but then I got my first tiny lock-up shop in Northamptonshire and started dealing full time. Later I had a large business dealing in decorative antiques from a 40-room Jacobean house, also in Northamptonshire, and then dealt from shops in the Kings Road, Pimlico Road, then Core One in Chelsea. I now sell through Brownrigg in Tetbury.
2 How has the market changed in your experience?
I have to say, I dealt in a ‘golden age’. The last 30 years of the 20th century were incredible. You could sell everything you bought. People wanted volume and knowledge was valued. If I had a lorry load back from the continent, I would have sold half of it in a week. I still love the business, but it is tough these days.
3 What is one highlight item in your stock right now?
A really amazing 1960s Spanish painted wood room divider screen that I will take to the Decorative Antiques and Textiles Fair.
4 Who do you admire in the world of art and antiques?
Call me massively old fashioned but Nancy Lancaster (1897-1994), who owned Colfax and Fowler and invented a look and style which is timeless. She understood the cocktail of ‘serious taste’ and ‘throwaway style’, a perfect combination for good decoration.
5 What do you collect?
I do not collect anything anymore. I sold the contents of my Georgian rectory at Christie’s some years ago and am decorating my slightly more minimalist barn conversion with ‘a fresh eye’ and enjoying it.
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