Entire Stock Sold – Walter Bird 1956

We’re discovering some fascinating stories about the trade as part of the research for the Antique Dealer Project – including some stories that I thought were completely apocryphal……the story of the ‘Rich American’ buying up the entire stock of a dealer, for example. Well, it seems that this did happen (how often, we’ve yet to discover).  In 1956, Walter Bird, who was then trading at 112 Kensington Church Street, London (see the image of the exterior of his shop in blog entry for April 22nd) sold his ‘entire stock’ to an American buyer. Here’s Mr and Mrs Bird, in their shop:



The Antiques Yearbook 1957-8 recorded the event; ‘It was into this shop last year that an American stranger walked and drawled “Say, Mr Bird, what will you take for the whole lot?” In no time a deal involving many thousands of pounds (and a hundred chandeliers apart from 20 years’ accumulation of china, glass, silver and furniture) was concluded, surely the most remarkable ever’ (AYB, (1957), p.130). Bird, who was then the President of the Kensington Antique Dealers’ Association, reassured his customers that he was still trading, taking an advert in AYB:






Bird managed to re-stock his shop and continued trading of course.  If anyone else knows of any other instances of entire stock of dealers being purchased in one transaction do let us know!


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