1 How did you get your start as a dealer?
Going to proper country house sales held in the years after the war (before any buyer’s premium) – Queen Anne furniture mixed in with lawn mowers and second-hand chicken wire… seeking opening bids of ten bob.
2 What is your area of focus?
We buy only a tiny fraction of what we are offered – whatever catches our eye: unusual, unrestored period furniture, and decorative, quirky objects. Leslie Russell Butchart-Maas began collecting during the late 1920s in the Far East, setting in motion our taste for Chinoiserie.
3 What is one great discovery you’ve made?
We used to unearth great things in Norman Grosvenor’s old disused school building, outside Leek in Staffs, very early on a Friday morning as the tinkers’ vans from Ireland were unloaded.
4 Who do you admire in the art/ antiques world (in or outside the trade)?
The late Monty Sainsbury of Bath – his encyclopaedic knowledge of the antiques trade was extraordinary, as is Axel Vervoordt’s taste.
5 Real ale or espresso martini?
A large single malt please.
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