1 How do you define the field you trade in/your area of expertise?
Being an ‘Anglo’ dealer in this field is not as unusual as it once was. Oriental carpets were once regarded as the preserve of the East and something of a closed shop among the general antique trade.
Access and mystic were chipped away by some very innovative exhibitions in the 1970s and 1980s by national art galleries. These shows made Oriental carpets fashionable, raising appreciation to the level of an art form, which is well and truly deserved.
2 What is one little known fact about your field?
Not so much a fact but the reputation of a certain cunning among Oriental carpet dealers, as defined by the expressions ‘carpet baggers’ and ‘marchand de tapis’.
3 One great discovery you’ve made?
My first really valuable antique Oriental carpet was an 18th century Caucasian large rug that had been used as a motorcycle tarpaulin in a scrap metal yard.
4 What is encouraging about the art/antiques market this year?
Not very much, as dealing in carpets and textiles is hands-on, which 2020 has robbed us of. On the positive side, being able to do research work in lockdown.
5 One object you couldn’t do without?
A small Khotan sitting rug given to me from a Patiala city palace in the Indian Punjab.
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