Posts tagged ‘Volunteer Reseachers’

April 5, 2015

New Project Volunteer Researchers – introducing Graham Panico

I forgot to mention, before I came away on this extended research trip to the USA, that we have a new project volunteer – Graham Panico. I met Graham a few weeks ago at the Dorman Museum in Middlesbrough, and he has enthusiastically stepped forward to help with the research for the project!…Thank you Graham!

By way of introduction, here is a short biography on Graham – (we hope that Graham will compose a blog entry – he mentioned something on the significance of Antique Fairs, which would be fascinating….)


‘Graham, as a young undergraduate, discovered the world of Art Deco and the associated ceramics of its British variation – at a time in the early 1980’s when the style was experiencing a renewed popularity amongst those collectors and dealers ‘in the know’ and aware of its emerging and growing market. He began to collect hand-decorated, but mass-produced, examples of pottery and other Art Deco objects that could be found in shops and at flea markets and fairs all across the North East of England and having graduated in 1985, his growing collection formed the basis of an initial opening stock as he began to deal, like many collectors before him, in 20th Century Decorative Art later that year.

Having opened his first shop within an Antiques Centre in Darlington in 1986 Graham moved to larger premises in 1987. This allowed an expansion into furniture and furnishings and a wider eventual dateline applied to the stock which traversed the Gothic Revival of the 19th Century to the post-modernism of the 1980s and was supported by a varied customer base of private collectors and trade buyers until 2005. From 2006 the skills and knowledge Graham accrued in a retail context have increasingly been applied in academic environments and he has taught on the contextual studies modules of various undergraduate programmes in the North East and in London. He considers the business of dealing in design to be a very flexible one and since the closure of his shop, Graham has continued to sell antiques, art and 20th Century design via specialist fairs, through auction and occasionally online.’

May 3, 2014

Volunteer Researcher – Chris Coles

Our response to ‘Get Involved’ in the Antique Dealer Project has it’s latest enthusiastic responder!…Chris Coles, of the Department of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum has pledged his help (and…that of his family…!)…Thanks Chris and Family for all your help so far. Only days in and already we have several Excel Spreadsheets (for Essex Trade Directories from the early 1920s) submitted for uploading to the developing interactive website…Brilliant Work!…And Chris is also helping out with Blogging…you can read his first post, on the infamous Antique Dealer Wilfred Bull, (prior post, below).

Chris send us an ‘representation’ of him (and his family) – the image, Chris tells us, represents his, and his families collecting interests….just as well…an empty decanter could indicate other ‘interests’!…


Chris Coles..and Family…(collecting interests of, that is!)

Chris also composed a short biography for the project website(s)….

Hello, my name is Chris Coles. I work at the British Museum but I live for antiques! I started with cufflinks and stickpins and those are still the mainstays of my collection but I am also passionately interested in 18th century English furniture, Chelsea and Worcester porcelains, early English carpets and needlework, glass and decorative accessories (particularly those made from Blue John).  As well as the pieces themselves I’ve always been fascinated by dealer ephemera and have stacks of old Connoisseur magazines, Grosvenor House Fair catalogues and dealer brochures. When I read about this project in the ATG I was extremely keen to get involved as it seemed like a perfect way to combine my interests and my skills and hopefully play a small part in something that will have a lasting positive impact on the trade and its reputation.  I’ve roped my parents in to help with the project too and together we’re making our way through Kelly’s trade directories. I’d encourage anyone with even a passing interest in the trade to get involved in the project – it’s extremely satisfying watching your part of the data come together.


………Many thanks Chris for all your excellent help so far!

If anyone else would like to come forward as a volunteer researcher please do email us:


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