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Mark Prentice at a Norfolk showground antiques fair.

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1 What is exciting about the market right now?

Antiques fairs and street markets are making a huge comeback. I have noticed that they are becoming increasingly better attended by the public (of all ages) and at the Black Dog event at Glemham Hall last September my stall was mobbed.

This is exciting for me because fairs are at the heart of my business – and what I most love about what I do. This is where I meet new clients and catch up with existing ones – where we can all share our passion for art and learn from each other.

What’s particularly rewarding for me is not only sharing a picture’s story with someone, but also hearing the often moving reason they feel a connection with it.

2 What is one great discovery you have made?

When I was a student in my early 20s I bought a pile of prints at the Cambridge Victorian Fair for a few pounds. Among them I’d spotted what I thought was an amazingly powerful image. After research it turned out to be the rare 1777 print etching and engraving A Horse Affrighted by a Lion by the famous horse painter George Stubbs – one of the first he made after his own paintings.

A recent discovery was a stunning, graceful pen and ink line drawing by one of the iconic artists of the 1920s, Dame Laura Knight. Only when I got it home did I realise it depicted another 1920s icon – prima ballerina Anna Pavlova.

3 Is there currently an undervalued area of collecting?

Most forms of printmaking in my opinion are still undervalued given the skill involved and their often powerful imagery. Although woodcuts and linocuts are popular now they are still extremely good value for money. But I feel lithographs and drypoint etchings – particularly by well-listed artists between 1910-70 – are very undervalued.

4 One object you couldn’t do without?

My pocket illuminated magnifying glass.

5 Real ale or espresso martini?

Real ale every time (my local Adnams preferred).


Instagram: @newgateartgallerybeccles

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