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The picture restorer - Charles Daggett
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The picture restorer - Charles DaggettSpecialising in the restoration of paintings, Charles Daggett is also one of the few dedicated antique frame dealers in Britain.

Charles Daggett's gallery is the epitome of Portobello charm. The peeling pink paintwork on the exterior adds to the vibrant atmosphere synonymous with one of the world's most celebrated antiques markets.

The gallery specialises in cleaning and restoring 18th and 19th century frames and pictures. Originally an art dealer by trade, Charles Daggett is one of just five or six antique frame dealers in England. He is often called upon to provide expert knowledge on his subject and has clients all over the world. The gallery is perched slightly incongruously above a shop selling bags and pashminas at the entrance of the Admiral Vernon Antiques Market. It is housed on the first and second floors of the building, and from the outside you can just see the outline of frame after frame leaning against the darkened windows. With approximately 600 frames on the premises, the inside is a bit like an Aladdin's cave brimming with picture frames of all styles and sizes. The business has been on Portobello Road since 1965. Clients of the previous owner, Charles Daggett and his wife took over the business in 1991.

We have all sorts of requests," says Daggett, who was recently commissioned to build a series of custom-made frames in the manner of the mid 19th century, and then flew them off to the Middle East in a private plane.

Daggett explains that much craftsmanship went into the making of early frames "there's now a lot more museum and intellectual interest in frames, they are seen as an important asset to a painting.

"The goal is always to create something not that you personally think is perfect, but that the client thinks is what they would really feel happy living with. That's the most important thing."

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