Project Advisory Board Meeting at Temple Newsam House, Leeds

We had our 2nd Advisory Board meeting at Temple Newsam House in Leeds on Friday 28th March. Thank you to our Advisory Board members (Reinhold Behringer, Georgina Gough, Martin Levy, James Lomax, Camilla Nichol, Judith Phillips, Emma Slocombe, and Christopher Wilk) for their continued support, advice and counsel for the Antique Dealers project. We thank James Lomax and Martin Levy, who did a little ‘trade tour’ of the collections at Temple Newsam House –

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Temple Newsam House

James is emeritus curator of Temple Newsam, and Martin is the director of H. Blairman and Sons and they both talked so engagingly about the decorative and fine art objects that entered the collections via the antiques trade and are on display at Temple Newsam. Indeed, Martin had many personal recollections of the acquisition stories of many of the objects on display, including a set of 4 giltwood torcheres (see below) which Martin discovered in an auction in Switzerland in 2007 and negotiated their return to Temple Newsam House – they were originally supplied to Temple Newsam by James Pascall, for the Picture Gallery, in the 1740s, but sold from the house in 1922.

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Giltwood Torcheres by James Pascall, c.1746

There were lots of fascinating anecdotes from James and Martin, stories that one never hears about – especially when one considers  the acquisition of museum objects! Some of the stories of the acquisition of objects at Temple Newsam are public knowledge – (for example, the then, in 1965, world record price of £43,050 for the Chippendale Library Table, formerly at Harewood House in Yorkshire) –

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Library Table, by Thomas Chippendale, c.1771.

But Martin also told us that his father, George Levy, who bid at auction for the table, only just managed to acquire the table on behalf of Leeds City Collections (of which Temple Newsam House is a part) – George Levy managed to persuade the consortium of philanthropists who wished to buy the table for Leeds to allow him to go just one extra bid over their suggested limit for the table…..it very nearly got away!

There were so many more fascinating stories about the acquisition of some of the objects at Temple Newsam…part of the research project is to investigate these ‘hidden histories’!

Mark

 

 

 

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