Nicholas Lury of Cambridge Fine Art.

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1. How did you get your start?

I bought my first picture when I was nine and steadily built up a collection joining my father in the business when I left university in 1985.

2. How has the market changed?

In the 1980s the market was very much dealer-led. Prices were increasing steadily, giving everyone confidence and creating a boom-time.

In the 30 years since, we have seen a number of economic hiccups and a decline in the numbers of antiques shops and dealers in general, leaving the market more auction house-led.

Perceived value has moved from being the fully restored and researched gallery retail price to an unrestored wholesale price at auction. As a dealer you have to be much more price-conscious, flexible and careful with valuations.

3. How do you use the internet?

We increasingly sell via the internet, especially to North America earlier this year when the pound was relatively weak.

People are surfing at all times, day and night – it’s always exciting to wake up on a Monday morning and see what enquiries we’ve had over the weekend.

4. What value does personal interaction with a dealer provide?

You can buy a Turner from £50,000 to £50m and as dealers, we welcome people spending time chatting to us about what makes some items of stock more special than others.

5. Real ale or espresso martini?

A good pint of Woodforde’s Wherry, please. I also enjoy espressos and martinis, but together…?

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