His experience includes working in a restoration and antique frame studio in Florence, for Cabinet Turquin in Paris and for dealership John Mitchell in London for nearly 10 years.
Birtwistle says: “There is certainly no shortage of art advisers or dealers in today’s art business, but there aren’t that many people with a confident understanding on condition that can advise and find you the right specialist, be that a restorer, framer, hanger for paintings bought direct form auction or inherited.
“As more and more buyers purchase at auction online there is a greater need than ever to assist them with all the practical elements that follow the successful bid.”
In addition to supporting buyers, Birtwistle is keen to help craftspeople such as traditional framers and mount makers. These and similar trades are growing scarcer as there are fewer places for young artisans to learn the relevant skills.
He adds: “I am planning to make Apelles a ‘front of house’ for craftsmen, where they can meet with clients and have a space to collect and deposit works that is close to the big West End auction houses.”
He is based on 17 Avery Row, Mayfair, which also houses John Mitchell Fine Paintings and the antique frames dealer Paul Mitchell.