Oral History Interviews – Kath’s Button Box

We’ve started the oral history interviews for the Antique Dealers project.  This week I interviewed Kathleen Skin, about her time at Portobello Road antiques market during the 1950s and 1960s; and her time at Grays Antiques market in the 1980s. Kathleen is 93 years old, and has absolutely fascinating memories about buying and selling a whole range of things. Here’s Kathleen, in her home at Cambridge.

Kathleen Skin May 2014

Kathleen Skin, 2014

Kathleen told us about life on Portobello Road, antique dealing for ‘fun’, and some extraordinary things she bought – including a silver belt with Wedgwood ‘Jasperware’ plaques and a rare 18th century doll (which she sold to the Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood now the V&A Museum of Childhood). Kathleen began to specialize in buttons, (she still loves buttons!), and continued her trading at Grays Antiques Market in the 1980s, as ‘Kath’s Button Box’. Here’s some of the shops and stalls in Portobello Road in the mid 1970s……

Portobello Road in the 1970s

Portobello Road in the 1970s

All of the project interviews we are collecting , including the interview with Kathleen, will be archived and made available via the project website as the project develops.


4 Comments to “Oral History Interviews – Kath’s Button Box”

  1. This is a brilliant interview with a fascinating lady. When so much of the internet is filled with vacuous nonsense, we have a wonderful life story that so deserved to be shared. Thankyou so much for this. Valerie Brideau, Canada

  2. I tried to phone Miss Skin from Australia but she appears to be deaf. Need to ask her qn about painting she sold thru Sotheby’s about 1968. I tis shown onmy website eurekaresearch.com.au as Christiana Jane Blomfield. can you ask her how she came by it and phone me, please? Urgently. Then I know we will become acquainted and I shall make you very welcome inOz

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