More on Connell & Sons, Glasgow – and BADA

We’ve discovered a bit more about James Connell & Sons (the ‘Art Dealers’) in Glasgow (see earlier blog post on Connell).  Thanks to Mark Dodgson, Secretary General, and Riley Grant, membership Secretary, at The British Antique Dealers’ Association (BADA) who very kindly emailed us a PDF copy of the full catalogue for the ‘Art Treasures Exhibition 1932’. The exhibition, ‘under the auspices of The British Antique Dealers’ Association’, was held at Christie’s auction rooms in King Street, London, October 12th to November 5th, 1932.

There are lots of fascinating things in the catalogue itself, not least the kind of stock that antique dealers sold in the 1930s – but there’s too much to outline here in a short blog post! However, amongst the exhibitors was our friend ‘James Connell & Sons’ – at this date trading at 26 Old Bond Street, London, and also at 75 Vincent Street, Glasgow.

As readers of this Blog will know, we regularly highlight the overlapping trading practices of the ‘Antique Trade’, and drew attention to the fact that James Connell & Sons, were, conventionally at least, classified as ‘Picture Dealers’ – and you’ll know that we disrupted the smoothness of such classificatory parameters in our earlier Blog post on an exhibition catalogue of ‘A Few Examples of Old Furniture of Fine Character and Quality’ that Connell & Sons staged at their Glasgow gallery in c.1915 (see earlier blog post).

In the ‘Art Treasures’ exhibition of 1932 Connell also exhibited objects…but again, not paintings, but ‘antiques’ – including ‘A George II stool c.1745’; See image here – sorry about the poor quality- connell

They also exhibited ‘A George II mahogany chest of drawers, c.1755’, and ‘A Balloon bracket clock, c.1790’ – and despite there being a small section at the exhibition devoted to pictures, Connell & Sons did not contribute to that section of the exhibition. So, it seems, on this evidence at least, that Connell & Sons continued to trade in antique furniture from at least c.1915, up to the 1930s, and whilst all the time classified at ‘art dealers’.

This is not to say of course that other ‘picture dealers’ did not also sell ‘antiques’, nor of course that ‘antique dealers’ did not sell pictures….but maybe it points towards a more complex network of overlapping practices that are not captured by the trading classifications of ‘art dealer’, ‘antique dealer’ and etc…and, as you know, part of the objective of the current research project is to explore these shades of grey (there’s an up to date allusion for you!) –  the umbra, penumbra and antumbra of the antique trade…



6 Comments to “More on Connell & Sons, Glasgow – and BADA”

  1. I have a picture with a sticker on the reverse stating”James Connell and Sons Ltd. Fine art & Publishers. 56 Conduit St W1. and at 75 St Vincent Street Glasgow it has a hand written date of 29/11/35.

  2. I also have a picture with James connell & sons with 31 Retfors street crossed out and 75 St Vincent st put in. as Kames Connell was only at this address from 35 – 37 does this mean the picture I have was sold at this time. Also how do I find a list of sales of James Donnell ^ sons as I am trying to get provenance for my picture which was by someone called Karl Schmidt Rotluff.

    • Hello Jonathan,
      sorry for the delayed response!…it’s been a very busy few weeks. I’m afraid I don’t know of any lists of sales or archives for Connell – there may be some, but I’m not aware of any? It looks like the label you have does indicate a recent change of address, so one could assume that the painting passed through Connell’s hands at the time you suggest.
      Sorry I can’t help much more…
      Thanks for the note though!
      Happy New Year!

  3. I have been trying to find something about an etching/drypoint print I have, signed in pencil ‘Beith McAlister’ . On the back of the frame is a printed label of ‘James Connell & Sons, Fine Art Dealers & Publishers, 31 Renfield Street, Glasgow’ – also ‘established 1862’. On the label is also typed ‘The Loire, Original Etching, Beith McAlister’.

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