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1. How did you get your start?

Out of university I got my foot in the auction house door at Phillips Oxford in 1996. After a spot of general valuations I specialised in paintings and moved to the Christie’s Old Master department in 2000.

In 2007 I joined up with Edward Strachan, a British collector of Russian art with a voracious appetite for Old Masters, so we built a new gallery, Sphinx Fine Art, which was open for business in 2008 – just in time for the financial crash.

2. What are your hopes for 2018?

After nearly 20 years as an Old Master specialist I’m excited to see our area being taken up by new markets such as China and with young collectors. I’d like to see the Leonardo Salvator Mundi sale put Old Masters back on the front pages more regularly.

3. What is a current buying trend?

Less of a trend than an everlasting principle in my market: quality, quality, quality.

4. Describe an exhibition you would love to stage?

Up until this year it would have been the art collection of Charles I – I’ve always wanted to see that reunited in one place, but I was pipped to the post by the Royal Academy. So I’ll settle for a new retrospective of Henry Fuseli (1741-1825) and William Blake (1757-1827).

5. Real ale or espresso martini?

In my experience the latter inevitably follows too many of the former.


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