1 How did you get your start?
My obsession started very early on and I was dealing as a pre-teen. I set up my first proper business in the 1990s and opened Jamb in 2001. Prior to that I was a runner back before the internet when we were the arteries of the antiques world, trafficking goods around.
2 How would you describe your shop?
We’re country house dealers but with a twist – we also have workshops where we have a highly skilled force creating carefully crafted replicas. I found that I was spending more and more time out searching for the perfect piece. The replica side is a chance for us to provide idealised but historically correct products.
3 How’s business?
The antiques side is on the ascent. Our buying network and client base is growing and we’re buying better things. As the market has thinned out it has allowed space for other people to move up and fill that space, so it’s positive times for acquisitions and selling. It’s not common to have young customers with informed taste but we do have some, which is encouraging. At the end of the day you must buy the right thing. After that it’s all about the people.
4 What is one great object of stock you have at the moment?
I’m involved in a passionate love affair with a table – a Kentian piece from the estate of Hugh Hefner. He bought the Clermont Club in the 1970s and the first thing he did was take this table, probably put there by John Fowler in the ‘50s, back to the Playboy mansion. It’s heavenly and I love the history. The top is this big slab of marble. It’s the ultimate romantic piece of furniture.
5 Who is one person you admire in the world of antiques?
The great and late Christopher Gibbs, the doyenne of the country house world. Everything he did, his grasp and control of putting together objects, was uncontrived and flawless, though his interests were broad. He oozed aesthetic ability and charm.