Archive for June, 2015

June 27, 2015

Publicity for the Project

We’ve had some great publicity for the project in the last week or so, following the launch of the project interactive website on 15th June – thanks again to Gareth and the Press Team at University of Leeds, and Peter and the Press Team at the University of Southampton, and to Ivan Macquisten at Antiques Trade Gazette, and to Christopher Wilk at the V&A, Mark Dodgson at BADA, and Chris Jussel…..

Here are some of the avenues through which the project was disseminated – (as Director of Impact in our School at the University of Leeds it’s always good practice to capture who is saying what about our research!)….and so, in no particular order…

We made FRONT PAGE of the University of Leeds on 15th June:

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We made FRONT PAGE of the University of Southampton website on 25th June:

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We made PAGE 3 of the Antiques Trade Gazette on 16th June:

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We made FRONT PAGE of the AHRC website on 15th June:

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We made PAGE 3 of the Yorkshire Post on 16th June:

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We made FRONT PAGE of the School of Fine Art, History of Art & Cultural Studies at University of Leeds on 20th June:

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We made the BLOG PAGE of Patrick Sandberg Antiques website on 16th June:

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We made the BLOG PAGE of Pieces of Time website on 16th June:

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We were also mentioned on BBC Radio Leeds on 20th June, by auctioneer Gary Don in an interview on the Nick Ahad Show – ‘Leeds is at the centre of the antiques trade again’, as they said…

As well as various Tweets and ReTweets into the ether!…

Thank you all for raising awareness of the project!


June 15, 2015

Project Interactive Website Launched

The project Interactive Website has finally been officially launched!

On Monday 15th June, with a major publicity push from the University of Leeds and the University of Southampton, the two collaborating universities involved in the Antique Dealers project, and with a forthcoming announcement in the Antiques Trade Gazette – we’ve made the interactive website available to the wider public. You can read the University of Leeds Press Release here – Mapping%20the%20history%20of%20antiques%20dealers%20FINAL Thanks to Gareth Dant, Press Officer at University of Leeds for composing the Press Release.

And the University of Southampton Press Release here –Mapping%20the%FINAL SOTON

The Interactive website is one of the 3 main outputs of the AHRC funded Antique Dealers research project – the other outputs will be an edited book (edited by Westgarth, Quince and Jamieson), and the end of project Conference, (and for which we thank again the support from Leeds Museums & Galleries), which will take place next Spring at Temple Newsam House, Leeds (keep your eye on the blog for more details on the conference).

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Screen Shot of the Interactive Website. Copyright, University of Leeds 2015.

The website has been long in development and thanks to Mark Wales (‘Sparky’) of Small Hadron Collider, who has been working on the software programming for the site for the past 18 months, we now have an amazing research database, and research resource, for future investigations into the history of the Antique Trade in Britain, in the 20th century.

Using the search engine embedded within the site, or clicking on the DOTS on the map, you can find information on Antique Dealers trading in the 20th century. Below is a screen grab for a dealer trading in Southampton (see little red dot on the map) – Thomas Rohan, who was trading at 105 High Street, Southampton in the period c.1903-1918.slide700-3

The interactive website is still in development, and we’ve launched it as BETA version (i.e. we are testing it for feedback and suggestions on functionality and ease of use etc). At present, at least, there’s not that much data in the site…only c.2,100 entries…and we reckon there should be, eventually, about 100,000 entries in the site.  But we hope that the site will give people a sense of the amazing possibilities that emerge when one thinks about what it COULD do.

We eventually hope that each Dealership will  have a mini-biography, such as that in the Rohan entry already in the site – see below:



The site uses GPS (Google Maps) technology to track the changing locations of Antique Dealers, based in Britain, over the period 1900-2000 – but it is more, much more, than just a geographical mapping site.  We have built a temporal-spacial tracking system in the site that will trace the genealogy of not just Antique Dealers, but also the objects that they sold, and which, at the same time, establishes a whole series of spacial-temporal networks and relationships between, people, things, and ideas – this, we think, is the uniqueness of the website resource!…

We’ve had fantastic support from various people and organisations as we have developed the project and the interactive website; here are just a few examples of messages of support:

Project Advisory Board member, Christopher Wilk, Keeper of Furniture, Textiles and Fashion at The Victoria & Albert Museum, said “This is an important and innovative project which points the way towards a serious consideration of modern antique dealing. The methodology of the project is innovative, not least in its mixture of oral history, archival research and cultural geography.”

And Chris Jussel, an interviewee of the Oral History part of the Antique Dealer project (see earlier posts) and formerly of the major international antique dealers, Verney & Jussel, and well-known as a former Presenter for the US version of the Antiques Roadshow, said: “Throughout most of the 20th century the British Antiques Trade was the driving force in presenting what were originally termed ‘old things’ to the public. Collectively the appreciation for, the collection of, the scholarship and knowledge of antiques largely emanated from the trade. That was where the expertise resided. No major private or museum collection of antiques was formed without the trade. This long overdue academic study is a testament to that era.”

And finally, Mark Dodgson, Secretary General of The British Antique Dealers’ Association, said: “The concept of an interactive website charting the historical locations of antiques shops and the movement of beautiful objects from collectors to dealers and into museum collections should prove fascinating for anyone interested in the history of the decorative arts.
“The UK has always been one of the world’s most significant locations for the trade in antiques, whether English furniture or Chinese ceramics. It is therefore fitting that a British university should have undertaken a study into this important aspect of our national life.
“I know that antiques dealers are often keen to check the historical ownership of important items they sell – referred to in the trade as the “provenance” – to back up their own judgements about the age and origin of pieces. The new website will provide them with an excellent tool for checking where and when dealers were trading in the past, so adding to the information they can provide to antique collectors about their purchases.”

We hope that you will enjoy using the Interactive Website – (click HERE to go to the site)

Do send us feedback on what you think about the site, and any teething problems.



June 5, 2015

Busy two weeks for Oral History interviews!

As part of this packed week or so of oral history interviews (see previous blog posts) we managed to track down Christopher Payne and he very generously gave us some time out of his own very busy schedule. Lizzy Jamieson, our Project Research Fellow interviewed Christopher in London a couple of weeks ago. As you probably know, Christopher has been a regular presenter on the BBC Antiques Roadshow since 1985 – our project can now boast two Antiques Roadshow presenters…Chris Jussel, who we interviewed in March (see earlier blog post), also fronted the USA version of the Antiques Roadshow for many years!

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Christopher Payne. 2015. Photo EJ Antique Dealer Project.

In an absolutely fascinating interview, Christopher told us about his grandfather’s Antiques and Modern furniture business, which began in the 19th century, and by the 1960s was employing 100 people. The business was continued by Christopher’s father, Tony Payne, who in 1968, decided to close the furniture-making and retail business and concentrate on the antiques side of the business, focused at ‘Wylton Antiques’ in Melton Mowbray.


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Wylton Antiques, Melton Mowbray, late 1960s. Photograph courtesy of Christopher Payne. Copyright Christopher Payne.


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Wylton Antiques, Melton Mowbray, shop interior, late 1960s. Photograph courtesy of Christopher Payne. Copyright Christopher Payne.

Christopher also told us about his own history; his first job at Sotheby’s in 1970, and had some fascinating observations on the auction world more generally, and on insights into the ‘vetting’ processes whilst he sat on the vetting committees of many of the major antique fairs.  As you also may know, Christopher is author of the definitive book on the furniture designer and maker Linke. The interview provides us with a very rich series of memories, illustrative of more than 50 years of experience in the ‘world of antiques’.


Home Subjects

a working group dedicated to the display of art in the private interior, c. 1715-1914

The Period Room: Museum, Material, Experience

An International Conference hosted by The Bowes Museum and The University of Leeds

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A research project investigating the history of the antiques trade in Britain in the 19th & 20th centuries

Museum Studies Now?

'Museum Studies Now?' is an event which aims to discuss and debate museum and heritage studies education provision.

The Burlington Magazine Index Blog

art writing * art works * art market

East India Company at Home, 1757-1857

A research project investigating the history of the antiques trade in Britain in the 19th & 20th centuries