1 How did you get your start?
I went to an auction at Bonhams in 1961, old man Leonard Bonham in the chair. That hooked me. I put a notice in the BADA journal and got a job at Newmans of Duke Street, starting on January 1, 1962, at £7 a week. I have always specialised in the unjustly forgotten. That has taken me through the pre-Raphaelites, the Symbolists, Kitchen Sink, French Naïf painters of the mid-20th century by way of FN Souza (1924-2004) and of course John Bratby (1928-92).
2 What events do you have coming up?
In May I am holding an exhibition at the Maas Gallery in Duke Street, St James’s, of French Naïf artists and introducing the Japanese/French painter Foussa Itaya (b.1919). It will coincide with the coronation so I will also show The English Patient by Hew Locke.
3 What is one thing you couldn’t do without?
Access to the many sites that list forthcoming auctions. They have been a death sentence to the runners but an essential for me. I now know about all the artists who interest me when they are coming for sale in the most obscure auctions.
4 Do you collect anything yourself?
No – I am a dealer. I have had a large family and I need to make a living. Had I kept just one Pre-Raphaelite I would be a rich man.
5 What is your favourite appearance of an antique in film?
The [John] Bratbys which Alec Guinness ‘painted’ in the film The Horse’s Mouth, 1958.
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