Archive for April, 2020

April 20, 2020

Lockdown Quiz – Answers!

Looks like the Lockdown Quiz was rather too daunting and appears to have defeated everyone! We didn’t get one completed or even semi completed response to the quiz. The Christie’s Christmas Quiz from 1978 was indeed a fiendish beast, and if I’m honest, I don’t think, even with the help of Google it was possible to answer many of the questions.  There certainly were some really perplexing questions; who knew, for example that Augustus John and King George V were the only British Army Officers that were allowed to keep their beards in World War One (Question 23)? Or the answer to question 84 – ‘If James Yates is 5338, who is 2341’?….the numbers are pewterers numbers, so, obviously, 2341 is Robert Hitchman!….of course!…

There were some rather standard empirical art history questions, which I guess many people would be able to answer quite easily – Question 26, for example, which asked to match up the ‘ism’ to the artist; or question 14, which asked to name the artist who painted particular paintings – such questions seemed pretty easy to deal with, especially with the help of Google – but many other questions seemed to be rather obtuse – I particularly liked question 16 – ‘L.S.D. stands for what?’….no, it was not acid (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide), but ‘Librae. Solidi. Denarii.’

Some of the questions were too obviously time specific – question 22, for example ‘What is the record for an ‘elephant’ – one needed to know that an ‘elephant’ is a folio size, and that the record at auction in 1978 was £216,393; or question 61, ‘Which proved more expensive: vultures, bantam cocks or cocatoos’ – (they are all birds modelled by the Meissen porcelain factory, and hence, it’s Vultures….of course!).

Anyway, I know you will all be waiting to see the answers to the quiz, to see how you did – so here are the answers!….Hope you did well, even if you didn’t submit your answers for the prize!

Answers 1-40:

Answers 41-100:

They were really hard, weren’t they!


April 13, 2020

Lockdown Art and Antiques Quiz – Christie’s Christmas Quiz 1978

In these challenging days of ‘Lockdown’ we all need distractions – so how about an art history and antique collecting quiz, from back in the day – from 1978 to be precise, and a fiendishly difficult one too!  The Christie’s (auctioneers) ‘Christmas Quiz 1978’, which is a real mind boggler!

1978 – think Space Invaders, think Grease and Saturday Night Fever at the cinema, Charlie’s Angels and Love Boat on TV, boogie woogie disco clothes, and public services strikes in the UK – so what on earth was the state of knowledge in the art and antique markets in Britain at the time – well, exceptionally wide and very extensive if we go by the standard of the questions in the Christie’s 1978 Quiz!……here’s just one example to perplex you!…Question 33 – ‘What do Bawbee, Merk and Plack have in common?’….what on earth?…..and there are much more difficult questions!
The quiz has 100 questions, all related to art, antiques and collecting, with a few questions on wine too (as one might expect in a cultural quiz!).

There’s a prize for the winner – a print copy of the recently published SOLD! Great British Antiques Story exhibition catalogue will be posted to the winner (anywhere in the world!) – you have ONE WEEK (so the quiz deadline is Monday 20th April – 12.00pm UK time) to complete the quiz (I’d be very surprised if anyone managed to get all 100 questions correct!).  Email your answers to the project email address:

The winner will be announced here on the project blog on Monday 20th April at 5.00pm – GOOD LUCK! – I have all of the answers to the quiz of course and will publish them on here on Monday 20th April – I’m guessing people will try to google some of the answers, but I’d be surprised if all of the questions can be googled!

Anyway, here you go…here’s all the questions, in each of the pages from the 1978 quiz

Questions 1-13


Questions 14-30

Questions 31-42

Questions 43-57

Questions 58-72

Questions 73-87

Questions 88-100




April 5, 2020

SOLD! Exhibition Catalogue

The SOLD! exhibition catalogue is now published –

and thanks to the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, and the AHRC (Arts & Humanities Research Council) we are able to make the digital E-Version of the SOLD! catalogue free for everyone – you can download the PDF version (9Mb at 72dpi) – here’s the PDF below; Enjoy!

SOLD Catalogue – WEB 72dpi revised

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