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In those good old days during the season at least 10 sales a week took place.

If memory serves me right, Mondays and Tuesdays were for books and manuscripts, Wednesdays for paintings, drawings or prints, Thursdays silver and jewellery or European works of art and Fridays furniture, carpets and textiles.

In addition to all that there were regular sales of pottery, porcelain and glass, Chinese and Japanese works, antiquities, musical instruments, coins and medals and in due course collector’s sales such as toys and dolls, photographs, sporting guns, veteran and vintage cars – and I’m sure there were others I have forgotten.

Buzzing with activity

The whole building buzzed with activity, most of the older experts were generous with their knowledge, passing it on to younger colleagues, and Peter Wilson, the legendary chairman, would wander in and out of departments discussing the works of art that had come in and chatting to the staff.

It felt like working in a constantly changing museum and although we were badly paid we worked hard and we had fun.

Fiona Ford

Brora, Sutherland