Robert Souch in his gallery with two old English paintings that he is about to research – a 17th century oil of King Charles I and a 19th century watercolour of Marple Hall by Peter De Wint.

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1 How did you get your start?

It was by accident! I owned a rural real estate business and was left in charge of a second-hand shop by owners who decamped to Australia. I went searching for new stock (eg farm gates, motor mowers); however, I ended up at the wrong address in Auckland. It was a top antique auction and I started from that day.

2 What challenges are facing the trade in the coming months?

Trying to maintain and improve a real live presence in the midst of the internet tidal wave, so that people can enjoy the ambience and stimulation of a shop with items of character and real people of character in an increasingly grey world.

3 What is one great discovery you’ve made?

I purchased a large unsigned oil in early 2000 at a general auction for a very modest sum which (thanks to advice from Christie’s) was identified as a 1795 work of India by English landscape painter Thomas Daniel (1749-1840).

We later sold it in London for £60,000. And to top it off, at the time it was nearly 4 to 1 NZ$ to the pound so we were very happy campers.


Robert Souch has been in the art and antiques business for over 30 years.

4 What is one object you couldn’t do without?

A magnifying glass that ATG delivered to me in New Zealand.

5 Real ale or espresso martini?

Tangy Nelson, South Island cider.

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