Posts tagged ‘Christopher Claxton Stevens’

May 24, 2015

More Oral History Interviews

Our oral history interviews are gathering pace – we’ve completed 4 more interviews in the last few weeks….and we’ll post details of all of the interviews in the next few days…but in the meantime, one of our latest interviews was with Christopher Claxton Stevens, late of the leading dealers in Antique English Furniture, Norman Adams, of Hans Road in London. Christopher was interviewed by our Research Fellow, Lizzy Jamieson.

Christopher Claxton Stevens photo 1

Christopher Claxton Stevens. Photograph courtesy of Christopher Claxton Stevens.

Christopher joined Norman Adams Antiques in 1981, after beginning his career at Christie’s – and joined Stewart Whittington in running the business, which was then, unusually, a trust, following the death of Norman Adams in 1979.  Norman Adams (established in 1923) was well known for his ‘eye’ for colour and the patina of antique furniture, and this concentration on the aesthetic, over the privileging of provenance or history of antique furniture, placed Norman Adams in a particular tradition of dealers – and it was pleasing to hear that this particular tradition was continued by Christopher and Stuart.

Our interview with Christopher provided a personal insight into the history of the firm and included a fascinating range of first person perspectives on the business, including Christopher’s role in the sale of the famous ‘Murray Cabinet’ to Temple Newsam House, Leeds, in 1986 – the Murray Cabinet had already been through the hands of Norman Adams in 1950, when it was sold by Adams to the collector Arthur Ball; it was then re-purchased by the firm following the death of Ball and was subsequently sold by the firm to Temple Newsam House – here is the magnificent cabinet, still on display in Leeds:


The Murray Cabinet, Temple Newsam House. Courtesy of Leeds Museums & Galleries.

Our interview with Christopher is part of a fascinating series of interviews with antique dealers, all of which will soon be available via the project websites – so do watch this space for updates!


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