Cordelia Bourne, co-founder at Patrick Bourne & Co.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

1 How did you get your start?

At The Fine Art Society where I worked for eight years. In retrospect I realise what a unique and special education in British art that was. The gallery’s adventurous and esoteric exhibition programme propelled many forgotten British artists back into public consciousness and established markets for them. The staff were as eclectic as the art, not to mention the clientele.

I learnt so much, laughed a lot, cried in the loo from time to time, and made friends for life and met my husband and future business partner!

2 What events do you have coming up?

We are preparing for Masterpiece and London Art Week. At the fair we are unveiling a major 1920s interior by FCB Cadell (1883-1937), on the market for the first time since the 1960s. For LAW, our showcase in our permanent rooms in St James’s focuses on two artists: David Wilkie (1785-1841) and Edwin Landseer (1802-73).


A 1920s interior by FCB Cadell (1883-1937).

3 What object would you love to get your hands on?

A large and perfectly preserved watercolour by Arthur Melville from his travels across the Middle East in the 1880s. I am also deeply moved by the work of Paul Nash, and perhaps in particular the late representations of the Wittenham Clumps when he returned to them after the First World War. To handle any of Nash’s work is always a great privilege.

4 One item you couldn’t do without?

Merlin the whippet, our one-time head of security at 6 St James’s Place but a much more dedicated gallery binman.

5 Who is someone you admire (in or out of the trade?

‘The Man in the Arena’ – I have worked with people who roll up their sleeves and others who think of a multitude of reasons an idea might be impossible to realise; I am impressed by people with a can-do attitude and a willingness to try.

In the trade specifically there are many people I admire, for various reasons, but to name just a few: Patrick Bourne, Frances Christie, Anthony Crichton-Stuart, Danny Katz, Tim and Jane Lingard, Paul Roberts and Emma Ward. These are all people I’d want to go for an espresso martini with!

If you would like to be featured in 5 Questions, please contact