Antique Dealing in Scotland – Rosehaugh auction 1954

I’m on holiday in Scotland, but still thinking about ‘Antique Dealers’! – we are staying in  small cottage, a converted ‘powerhouse’ c.1900 which was formerly part of the enormous late 19th century house ‘Rosehaugh’, on the Black Isle, near Avoch – anyway whilst whiling away the hours in this beautiful place, I came across a little booklet in the cottage on the history of Rosehaugh (Rosehaugh, a house of its time, John Mills, Hilda Hesling, Magdalene MacLean and Kathleen MacLean, 1996). And antique dealers appear quite prominently in the story of the house – inevitably I would suggest!

The ‘big house’ no longer exists, it was extensively remodelled and extended in the 1890s by the architect William Flockhart, and was demolished in 1959.

Rosehaugh House remodelling by W Flockhart 1883

William Flockhart’s presentation drawing for the proposed remodelling of Rosehuagh, 1893. Image copyright Avoch Heritage Association.


the demolition 1959 view from west

The demolition of Rosehaugh, 1959. Image copyright Avoch HA.

Both during the assembly and dismantling of Rosehaugh, prominent antique dealers played their role; during the construction of the house, J J Duveen supplied much of the historic panelling to the rooms, including this (seemingly) 18th century boiserie for the Drawing Room.

drawing room Duveen

The Drawing Room, Rosehaugh, c.1900. Panelling supplied by Duveen. Image copyright Avoch HA.

It’s probably no coincidence that William Flockhart, the architect of the remodelling at Rosehaugh, also designed the interiors of the New Bond Street showroom of Duveen. And according to the Rosehaugh booklet, Duveen also supplied some Boucher tapestries for the Drawing Room.

The dispersal auction sale also involved the antique trade; the auction was organised and conducted Thomas Love & Sons, Perth, the well-known antique dealers, house furnishers and, obviously, auctioneers, and took place in 1954. Love’s had consigned most of the more valuable contents to sale in London before conducting the auction on site at Rosehaugh – Love & Sons had been established in 1869, as auctioneers and general house furnishers, but also had a large antiques department as part of their business (the business closed in 2009).

the sale 1954 Tho Love and sons

The auction sale at Rosehaugh, 1954. Image copyright Avoch HA.

At the auction sale, which took place over 8 days in late August and early September 1954, a number of antique dealers made significant purchases. A dealer named John Beadle, from Hounslow, London, bought the French panelling that had been supplied by Duveen, paying £400 for the room and lighting fitments. Another object sold, although not known if it was bought by the trade, was a rare Sevres porcelain and ormolu mounted clock by ‘Kinable’ (lot 572, sold with a pair of pastel burners, for £310).

sale cat French clock by Kinable lot 572

Lot 572 in the Rosehaugh auction sale of 1954. ‘A clock by Kinable’. Image copyright Avoch HA.

Dieudonne Kinable (active c.1780-1825) was one of the most prominent clockmakers in Paris in the period, and examples of this ‘lyre’ model of Sevres clock are in several major museum collections, including the V&A, The Royal Collections, The Louvre and The Walters Art Museum in the USA.

Anyway, I thought it was interesting, if as I say perhaps inevitable, that the antique trade played such a central role in both the assembly and dispersal of what must have been a very significant collection of antiques.






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