Volunteer Researcher – Chris Coles

Our response to ‘Get Involved’ in the Antique Dealer Project has it’s latest enthusiastic responder!…Chris Coles, of the Department of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum has pledged his help (and…that of his family…!)…Thanks Chris and Family for all your help so far. Only days in and already we have several Excel Spreadsheets (for Essex Trade Directories from the early 1920s) submitted for uploading to the developing interactive website…Brilliant Work!…And Chris is also helping out with Blogging…you can read his first post, on the infamous Antique Dealer Wilfred Bull, (prior post, below).

Chris send us an ‘representation’ of him (and his family) – the image, Chris tells us, represents his, and his families collecting interests….just as well…an empty decanter could indicate other ‘interests’!…


Chris Coles..and Family…(collecting interests of, that is!)

Chris also composed a short biography for the project website(s)….

Hello, my name is Chris Coles. I work at the British Museum but I live for antiques! I started with cufflinks and stickpins and those are still the mainstays of my collection but I am also passionately interested in 18th century English furniture, Chelsea and Worcester porcelains, early English carpets and needlework, glass and decorative accessories (particularly those made from Blue John).  As well as the pieces themselves I’ve always been fascinated by dealer ephemera and have stacks of old Connoisseur magazines, Grosvenor House Fair catalogues and dealer brochures. When I read about this project in the ATG I was extremely keen to get involved as it seemed like a perfect way to combine my interests and my skills and hopefully play a small part in something that will have a lasting positive impact on the trade and its reputation.  I’ve roped my parents in to help with the project too and together we’re making our way through Kelly’s trade directories. I’d encourage anyone with even a passing interest in the trade to get involved in the project – it’s extremely satisfying watching your part of the data come together.


………Many thanks Chris for all your excellent help so far!

If anyone else would like to come forward as a volunteer researcher please do email us: antiquedealers@leeds.ac.uk


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