Archive for October 10th, 2015

October 10, 2015

Yet More Oral History Interviews! – Martin Levy, of H. Blairman & Sons

Our oral history research is really gathering pace now – yet another one ‘in the bag’ – this time with Martin Levy, of the old established antique dealers H. Blairman & Sons (established 1884) – very well known to those interested in the history of the antique trade.

M Levy

Martin Levy, 2015. Image copyright H. Blairman & Sons.

During a fabulously interesting interview Martin outlined the early history of H. Blairman & Sons, from their beginnings in a shop in Llandudno, where, as Martin recently discovered, the business also sold contemporary ceramics alongside antiques – this 19th century cup and saucer, with a back-stamp indicating that it was retailed by H. Blairman is a testament to those trading practices (see our earlier blog entry on these practices too – blog entry for MAY 2014 – and Blairman & Sons website H.Blairman & Sons Limited.

Photograph copyright, Blairman & Sons, London.

Photograph copyright, Blairman & Sons, London.


Photograph copyright Blairman & Sons, London

Photograph copyright Blairman & Sons, London

The Blairman family were originally emigres from Poland in the late 19th century, and initially Harris Blairman (Martin Levy’s great-grandfather) entered into a partnership with a dealer in Birmingham, before establishing the business in Llandudno. For some further detail on the history of H. Blairman & Sons do look at the history of Blairman, composed by Martin, on the Blairman website.

Martin also told us of his interest in 19th century and early 20th century designed objects – in which he has also been something of a pioneer in more recent times – and his memories of working with his father, George Levy (who joined the firm in 1949), as well as Martin’s memories of his own early days after joining the business in the mid 1970s.  Martin also has some wonderfully engaging reflections on the changing taste in antiques, on people that influenced his development as a dealer, and on his passion for objects and their history.

The interview will be soon be made available via the project websites – once we get it edited and etc.


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

H. Blairman & Sons Ltd

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