SOLD! Opens!

SOLD! has officially opened at The Bowes Museum thank you to everyone involved in what has been an enormously enriching and enormously enjoyable experience!

It was the preview night on Friday evening and we seemed to have a good crown of people, many of whom had made a special trip from London and the South – thank you to all that made the occasion so special. SOLD! looks fabulous, thanks to all the hard work that the teams at Bowes put in; here’s a little preview of the finished exhibition space for SOLD!….hope it whets your appetite to visit – it runs until the 5th May 2019, so there’s plenty of time to take a trip ‘Up North’, or ‘Down South’, or indeed ‘Across the Pond’ – I know that some of my colleagues from the USA are planning a trip in February!

Anyway, here’s a photograph of the ’19th century antique dealing’ side of the exhibition space for SOLD!

SOLD! Exhibition at The Bowes Museum. The ’19th century antique dealing’ side of the exhibition space.

And another view towards the ’20th century antique dealing’ side of the exhibition space of SOLD!

Corner of SOLD! 20th century antique dealing.

And of course, the famous 1850 ‘Old Curiosity Shop’ finally took shape – it looks amazing!.. a special thanks to Julia from the conservation team at Bowes for her extreme patience with me as I painstakingly (or more probably I was being a pain!) asked her to constantly reposition the objects in the shop – Julia was, quite rightly, the only person who could actually handle the objects; and she had me, like an overactive film-set director, repeatedly saying, ‘Yes, looks OK, but can we just twist the object slightly, just a touch to the left…no, to the right…no, to the left again…’ (how annoying that must have been I don’t know!). And thanks too, to Simon Spier, my 1850 Shop project research assistant, would did great work with negotiating the private lender loans for the 1850 Shop – his skills of persuasion and diplomacy are now legendary!…Anyway, here’s the finished 1850 Shop. I modelled the 1850 Shop on a real ‘Curiosity Dealer’ shop of John Coleman Isaac, who was trading in Wardour Street in London during the 1820s to 1860s; it is now full of rare and wonderful things that would have been in a curiosity dealers shop in the period just before 1850.

The 1850 Old Curiosity Shop in SOLD!

Here’s another view of the exhibition, looking across towards the 1850 Shop; we also have displays of rare antique dealer archives, catalogues and associated ephemera, to place these fascinating objects and the history of antique dealing into social and cultural contexts.

SOLD! exhibition, looking towards the 1850 shop (the bubble-wrap on the floor was removed shortly after the photo was taken!)

There are many, many people to thank, and I hope I have included everyone below!..(if not, do berate me with an email and I will give this little blog-post an edit!).  Anyway, thanks of course, to Adrian Jenkins, the Director of The Bowes Museum, for agreeing to stage SOLD! And to Jane Whittaker, Head of Collections at The Bowes Museum, for all her help with assembling the very diverse range of museum loans – it was quite a complex task! And to the exhibition team at Bowes, George Harris, Catherine Dickinson, Vin Shawcross, Jen Chapman; to Simon Spier, my 1850 Shop research assistant – thank you Simon!  and to the conservation team, Julia, Jon, Helen, Cecila, Linda, Laurie and Calum; to the curatorial team, Howard, Joanna, Katie and Bernadette; to Alison Nicholson in Fundraising, who did amazing work! and to the Marketing Team, Rachael, Alison and Leo – thanks especially to Alison and Leo who did brilliant work with the film crew on Friday and Saturday; to Rosie in Events; and Darren, in IT; to the front of house staff at The Bowes Museum – who generously put up with me; and the Education Team; and everyone in the Café at The Bowes Museum (the Welsh Rarebit is delicious!).

And of course, all of the Sponsors of SOLD! – Tomasso Brothers Fine Art; Ronald Phillips; Tennants; The Furniture History Society; The Society for the History of Collections; The Paul Mellon Centre for the Study of British Art; Jonathan Harris; The Worshipful Company of Arts Scholars; The Anthony & Elizabeth Mellows Charitable Settlement; John Beazor Antiques; The University of Leeds.

And to the many antique dealers and colleagues who helped with support for SOLD! – Lennox Cato, Apter-Fredericks, Martin Levy, Georgina Gough, Gary Baxter, Peter Finer, David Harper, Dominic Jellinek, Haughey Antiques, The Collector, Barnard Castle, Robson’s Antiques, Ingnet Antiques, Blagraves, Barnard Castle, and all of our lenders and supporters who wished to remain anonymous.

And to our fantastic museum lenders – The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, The British Museum, The National Gallery, London, The Royal Collection, The Royal Armouries, The Museum of London, The Lady Lever Art Gallery, Liverpool, Temple Newsam, Leeds, and to The Bowes Museum for allowing me free (well free-ish) rein on their objects!

And to our private lenders for loaning such a special range of objects for SOLD!

Thank You All…it has been such a privilege to work with you all on this project.  I hope that SOLD! stays in the memory for the longest time!

Mark

 

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