I’ve traded on and off since 1979/80 initially in Art Deco from a stall in the Lock Market, Camden Town and then from a stall opposite the entrance to Camden Market in front of a shop called After Dark. I sold Lalique, Clarice Cliff, Shelley, Susie Cooper, Carlton Ware and all that stuff. I would particularly like to acknowledge the advice I received from John Simons at this time. He introduced the Harrington jacket to England in 1965 and is one of the sleeping British giants of all things Mod and Modernism.
More latterly I am indebted to Oscar (http://www.wilsonbrothers.co.uk) and Tony Wilson.
I developed an interest in West Country Art Pottery notably the grotesque pieces by C H Brannam, Barum and Baron Ware and built up a reasonable collection which unfortunately became mosaics when the glass shelves supporting them pulled away from the wall. My aversion to DIY began then.
To safely support the remaining vases and figures I got into Arts and Crafts furniture; Liberty and Cotswold school complimented by copper artifacts from Newlyn and Keswick.
That was how I was shaping up until one day, in a bookshop in New York, I saw a generic book on design by Philippe Garner (pre TASCHEN) and in the middle of the book was a pair of Tomotom Chairs by Bernard Holdaway for Hull Traders. I had seen two similar chairs in a junk shop on a B road near Cromer so when I came back I bought them and drove them to Bonhams in my XR3i.
The drive to Chelsea nearly killed me because I couldn’t close the boot as the chairs were too big and the exhaust fumes were Mistralling though the motor, periodically choking me.
As I was checking in the giant red toilet rolls at Bonhams I saw a Neptune Stacking chair by Ernest Race (which I went on to buy no thanks to the Tomotons which brought me emphysema and a £20 profit) and the rest as they say is history.
I traded at Camden Market for 10 years selling modern design and remain indebted to Maureen Silverman at Planet Bazaar, Mike Brant and Philip Hughes (RIP) and Joops Lampens and Jan Vanassche in Belgium. Those really were the days.
Now I sell through the website, the Modern Shows at Dulwich, Haggerston and Wakefield and I have a partnership currently with Planet Bazaar.