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The letter in ATG No 2483 reminiscing about working in the auction world in the 1960s.

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I too spent a year working at Knight, Frank and Rutley, starting in the autumn of 1961, but I don’t think our paths crossed.

At that time, I was one of three ‘student porters’, a euphemism which was not lost on the older porters, among whom we were known as ‘The Three Stooges’.

Yard duties

One of the main regular tasks of the porters at that time was to assemble in the yard, just inside the Bond Street entrance, to await the arrival of the pantechnicons which delivered the furniture, paintings etc to be sold at auction.

I recall one occasion when we three ‘student porters’ discovered to our surprise that we were alone in the yard, with no sign of our co-workers. It was not until the substantial vehicle arrived that our innocent eyes were opened.

And of course, French furniture, especially if antique, tends to be marble topped.

This proved to be back-breaking work and it was not until it had been completed that our shrewder, erstwhile fellow-workers emerged from their sanctuary.

Furthermore, I too, like Mr Waters, used to eat my lunch – a cheese roll and a brown ale – at The Coach and Horses and made my first auction purchase of porcelain… at Puttick and Simpson.

Simon Spero

London