1. How did you get your start?
When we came from South Africa, my family lived next to the Speelman family in St John’s Wood. While I was seeking a job in the art world, Anthony introduced me to dealer Brian Koetser, for whom I worked from 1964 until the gallery closed in 1977. At that time there was an elderly gentleman bidding-agent called Mr Betts who died and Brian suggested I take his place.
I followed in his footsteps and have loved working with nearly all the major galleries over the decades ever since.
2. One of your first great purchases?
I met Silvano Lodi in the 1980s. Our friendship was sealed when he asked to view and discuss over the phone a flower painting at Christie’s that had a very low estimate. Buy it, he said, whatever the price.
I did, with trepidation, bag it for £35,000. It was a Bernardo Strozzi canvas chopped from landscape to portrait, with the background painted white. Philip Mould wrote about it in his interesting illustrated book Sleepers, In Search of Lost Old Masters. The painting was eventually sold to Baron von Thyssen.
3. When did you move into interior design?
When asked to assist a friend decorate a large scruffy flat in Chiltern Court on Baker Street back in 2000.
4. What process do you use when working on interiors?
Find out how the client likes to live in the space, ask him or her to show us magazine interiors that illustrate the atmosphere they want to live in and then guide them towards creating comfortable, practical space, always encouraging well-hung, good art on the walls.
5. Real ale or espresso martini?
A glass of champagne any time of day.
Contact Jackie King at email@example.com or on 07815 778383.
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