Art dealer Andy Shield.

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1 How did you get your start?

I’ve always been fascinated by history and grew up surrounded by antiques, but I came to the trade a little differently, primarily as a researcher and writer.

2 What is one great discovery you have made?

We discovered a significant portrait that was subsequently sold at Sotheby’s for £370,000. This enabled us to build a team including a researcher, conservator, frame restorer and driver who now work tirelessly for our clients.

However, the greatest discoveries are those which relate to accomplished artists who are lost to time, whereby we search the archives to tell their story. One that particularly resonates is Joseph Thraves (1805-51). We acquired a charming portrait without an attribution that had an incorrect label on the reverse.

But when we examined the piece closely, we found a small signature that led us to this Derbyshire painter. Via our research, we discovered his dates, family records and press clippings.


Joseph Thraves, Portrait of a Scholar, 1835, offered for £1295 from Brave Fine Art.

3 One item you couldn’t do without?

Our library bookcase is a fabulous source of information. Many of the antique books contain vital snippets of wisdom that you can’t find anywhere else. It’s also rather stylish and dates to the 1940s.

4 Who is someone you admire?

David Olusoga. I admire his passion to make history relatable via the stories of real people. His show, A House Through Time, is brilliantly done. We’re hoping to collaborate on a project at some point in the future. David, if you’re reading this, you know how to find us.

5 Real ale or espresso martini?

Both! Real ale after a long country walk. Espresso martini to get the night started.

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