Posts tagged ‘Charles Thornton’

July 23, 2021

New Oral History Interview – David Love

The various UK Government Lockdowns and Social Distancing requirements over the past 16 months or so have severely restricted our ability to continue with our Oral History of the Antique Trade project. But as we have started to move out of various restrictions we have ‘fired up’ the Oral History project again. And we’re pleased to announce that David Love, of David Love Antiques Limited in Harrogate, generously agreed to be our latest and 43rd interviewee – we interviewed David in late June.

David Love, at his shop in Harrogate, 2021. Photograph, Antique Dealers Research Project, University of Leeds.

David is perhaps one of the most experienced antique dealers in Britain, having been in the antiques trade for more than 50 years. He started in 1969 with his first shop, which he opened at Shipston-on-Stour in Warwickshire, but David had initially begun in the trade by helping out at the shop of his mother, Araxie Love, who had established her own antique dealing business in c.1960 in Richmond, North Yorkshire, acquiring the antique shop run by the dealer Kathleen Agar.

In this very engaging oral history interview David tells us about how he relocated his antique business to Swan Road in Harrogate in the early 1970s, before occupying the premises of the well-known dealer Walter Waddingham in Royal Parade in 1975, and remaining there for 45 years. David has fond memories of Walter, and many other well-known dealers in Harrogate and York and the Yorkshire area – dealers such as Frank and Basil Shaftoe and Reg Smith of ‘Smith’s the Rink’ in Harrogate and Charles Morrison in York – and in the interview he gives a real insight into the Northern antiques trade in the period from the 1970s until the decline of the trade across the UK in the late 1990s.

David was primarily an inter-dealer trader in the 1970s and 1980s, often supplying dealers in the South and in London with antique furniture and a wide range of objects. He recalls the numerous local auction sales that kept the supply chains running, and the extensive buying trips that he would make, starting in Newcastle, Sunderland and the North East of England, and extending to Coldstream, Edinburgh, Perth, Dundee and Glasgow in Scotland, before returning to Harrogate via Carlisle, Kendal and Barnard Castle – calling in at many well-known dealers such as the Sydneys (in Newcastle), Owen Humble (in Jesmond) and Bill Beaton (in Perth and Dundee). These were ‘fun days’ as David describes them, when one would not know what would be found in the various antique shops one visited.

David also tells us of some spectacular finds that he has made over the years, including spotting a previously ‘lost’ ormolu tea urn by the great 18th century manufacturer, businessman and designer Matthew Boulton (1728-1809), which he acquired whilst in the USA. He realised it was something special and this was confirmed when he got home and looked up Nicholas Goodison’s magnificent volume on the work of Matthew Boulton (1974) to find that it was listed in the book as ‘lost’.

In this fascinating interview David also reflects on the changes to the antique trade over the past 50 years and the reasons for those changes, as well as reflecting on the what the future might hold for the antiques trade. The interview will join the rest of the Oral History interviews as part of the archive of the history of the antique trade in Britain and will be made available to the public in due course. In the meantime, we have a few more oral history interviews planned, so do keep your eye on the antique dealers research blog and the project research pages.

Mark

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