Oliver Barker participates in the Financial Times’s guest diary column. The installments produce the usual anodyne praise of colleagues and a well-balanced work and home life. But the opportunity to put down this great story is well worth the effort:
My relationship with Damien goes back to 2003. When travelling on the Number 94 bus into work, I spotted the fixtures and fittings of Pharmacy restaurant being removed and placed in storage. I couldn’t get the idea of an auction sale of the décor —all designed by Hirst and from this iconic celebrity hangout—out of my head. So I called Damien, proposed it, and the reist history. The auction made £11.1m, three times the estimate, and earned me my first “white gloves” —and auctioneer’s tradition whereby a pair of white gloves is brought to the auctioneer on the rostrum immediately aft the final hammer comes down on the last lot of a sale in which everything has sold.
Diary of a Somebody: Oliver Barker (Financial Times)