Christopher Payne's 45-year career in the Decorative Arts spans both the commercial and the academic worlds coupled with a deep knowledge and understanding of the practical side of furniture making and conservation. After reading law, Christopher started his career at Sotheby's where he stayed for 25 years, becoming a Senior Auctioneer and a Director of the Furniture Department with responsibilities for furniture, works of art, clocks and sculpture. At Sotheby's Christopher was working at the very center of the art world, advising international collectors on both buying and selling, building up collections, giving restoration advice and insurance valuations as well as teaching post-graduate students at the Sotheby's Institute. Private clients have enjoyed his lectures at the Buccleuch Studies and tours of many of Great Britain's country houses. He personally helped the late Earl of Carnarvon furnish part of Highclere Castle, the location for the highly acclaimed ITV television series Downton Abbey and has been a member of the BBC's Antiques Roadshow team for over thirty years. He continues his work as an independent consultant advising top-level private clients and lecturing both in the United Kingdom and internationally, including China.