SOLD! the first objects are installed

The installation of SOLD! has continued apace the last couple of days – the exhibition is really beginning to take shape.  Viv and Ant completed the build of The 1850 ‘Old Curiosity Shop’ – it looks very smart, even before it gets a final paint finish and signboard.

The 1850 ‘Old Curiosity Shop’ completed build, in SOLD!

Vin quickly set about painting the signboard, ready for Catherine to put up the lettering for the Shop – you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see what the sign says….the name over the shop is of a real ‘curiosity dealer’ and will be familiar to some people…but wait and see.

Vin painting the signboard of the 1850 shop; with Jen inside the shop cleaning the windows.

George, Simon and Vin (with a little bit of help from me) also began fixing the image panels and text panels for the interpretation for SOLD! – it’s crucial that the interpretation helps to place the disparate range of ‘antiques’ into a coherent narrative, and I hope that the image and text panels will do that for the visitors.  Anyway, here’s one of the image-text conjunctions.  I’ve tried to make the interpretation of SOLD! like a ‘shopping for antiques’ narrative, with a constant rhythm of exterior images of antique shops, followed by an interior image…as if the visitor is walking down Wardour Street, or Bond Street, and popping into an antique shop….let’s see if that works for the visitor?

Image Panel and Text Panel in SOLD! – this from the section on ‘Antique Dealing in 1870s to 1910s.

The most exciting part of the installation of SOLD! so far was when the first of the museum objects were installed.  Julia and Calum, from the Conservation Team at The Bowes Museum, were on hand to carefully place the first of the objects – a pair of Chelsea porcelain candlesticks of the 1760s, which had been SOLD! by the ‘Dealers in Old Old English Pottery & Porcelain’ Stoner & Evans in 1918.

Julia, from Conservation at The Bowes Museum, installing the first of the museum objects in SOLD!

The ‘Stoner & Evans’ look very good in their glass case –

Stoner & Evans in their glass case in SOLD!

– there’s another glass shelf to be inserted into the case, which will then hold a copy of the Exhibition catalogue issued by Stoner & Evans for their ‘Old English Porcelain’ exhibition of 1909 at their galleries in King Street, London – just to give the wonderful pair of Chelsea candlesticks an appropriate ‘antique dealer’ context.

The first pieces of ‘antique furniture’ were also installed – one of the first objects in the exhibition is an 18th-century Sevres Porcelain-mounted table, associated with one of the most famous ‘antique dealers’ of the early 19th century, Edward Holmes Baldock (1777-1845) and was SOLD! in the 1830s. The table comes from the collections at The Bowes Museum (in fact all of the initial objects being installed yesterday were from the collections at Bowes).  Here’s the ‘E.H. Baldock’ on it’s trolley, ready for careful positioning in the exhibition.

‘E.H. Baldock’ table ready for final installation in SOLD!

Another piece of ‘antique furniture’ was also installed yesterday – the famous ‘Eleanor Bowes Botanical Specimen Cabinet’ of c.1775-1785, and which had originally been in the collections of the Bowes family before it was sold in the 1920s, and then became a ‘museum piece’ in 1961, when it was SOLD! to the Bowes Museum by the well-known antique dealer Temple Williams. Here’s the ‘Temple Williams’ installed into it’s place in the section of SOLD! devoted to antique dealing in the period 1950s to 1970s.

‘Temple Williams’ cabinet, SOLD! in 1961 to The Bowes Museum.

The installation of SOLD! continues tomorrow and Wednesday, when we start filling the 1850 ‘Old Curiosity Shop’…it’s going to be quite a task, but with the help of Simon, Julia, Callum, Catherine, George, Vin, Jen and Howard, I’m sure we will get it done!

Mark

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