Dealer Oliver Brooke-Walder.

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1 How did you get your start?

I started out opening up on Saturdays for an Old Masters dealer in Chelsea and took to it like a duck to water. Soon afterwards, I sold a minor impressionist painting of a French riverside that I’d bought myself. Before I knew it, I was in six days a week and buying and selling better and better pictures for myself and the gallery. I was completely hooked.

2 What is your area of focus?

My main area of focus is Modern British paintings and works on paper, and I have a particular fondness for the Borough Group, especially Bomberg. Having said that, I’m rather like a magpie: when a work calls to me - regardless of period or style - I have to have it. I recently bought a China Trade painting of Macao (c.1820) looking down from Penha Hill.

3 What projects have your worked on recently?

While most of the artists whose works I sell have long since kicked the bucket, last year I took on sole representation of a contemporary sculptor and printmaker, David Jacobson FRSS. When we met, I was immediately drawn to his playful and curious nature which is infectious when speaking to him and emanates from all his work. In a society that bombards us with bad news, David’s sculpture brings a welcome respite and lightness.

As we speak, I am putting the finishing touches in place for my November exhibition Time Bomb: The Last Drop of Water. This exhibition will showcase 24 new sculptures with half of the profits going to support WaterAid.

4 What is one great discovery you’ve made?


Johann Gottfried Eiffel (1773-1818), Portrait of Jean-Baptiste Riche, Count of Grande-Riviere-du-Nord (1780-1847), oil on canvas c.1816-18.

An oil painting of Count Jean-Baptiste Riche (1780-1847), the sixth president of Haiti. When I first saw the painting, I was struck by its wonderfully circular composition of riders and their glistening military uniforms. I was also greatly intrigued by the group’s eye-patch-clad leader and was keen to delve deeper; I later discovered that, on the battlefield at La Crête à Pierre, during the Haitian War of Independence, Riche was struck by a projectile that left him blind in his right eye.

5 What is your favourite appearance of an antique in a film, play or book?

Early on in Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited, Charles Ryder describes his Oxford digs, and details ‘a screen, painted by Roger Fry with a Provencal landscape, which I had bought inexpensively when the Omega workshops were sold up’ – I would love to own one myself!

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