Ian Godfrey Appleby obituary, ATG No 2486.

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When I started in the art business in 1956, I joined Rayner MacConnal at 14 Duke Street, St James’s.

Ian Appleby was a close neighbour and I knew him quite well. I well remember Ian when I was 17 years of age. He brought a large package and asked whether I would be interested in buying some pictures by Atkinson Grimshaw.

Only having been in the art business for a matter of months, I asked him to show them to me, upon which he opened a parcel containing 27 pictures by the artist.

Not easy for a fledgling dealer to understand, I was struck by the photographic quality of the pictures and asked him how much they were.

He told me they were £7 for the small ones, £12 for the middle size and for the large ones £27 each.

The proviso was, however, that I had to buy all 27 of the pictures. I managed to get him to sell me three of them for £20, declining the rest of the group.

What I should have done was bought the whole lot, stored them and, in due course, it would have been a magnificent retirement fund! I would suggest that collection of Grimshaws would now have a value of over £12 million.

With Ian’s help some years later, I was able to mount a large exhibition at Le Gallais in St Helier (an important department store in Jersey, equivalent of Harrods).

I well remember Bing Crosby with his wife Kathryn Grant visiting the exhibition to purchase a five-figure painting by Eugene de Blaas before continuing his journey to the Rome Olympics.

All-in-all, happy memories indeed.

David L Mason OBE

MacConnal-Mason Gallery

London SW1