Dealer Catalogues – S. Richards, Antique Dealer, Nottingham c.1900

As some of the older blog posts have highlighted, antique dealers have been producing catalogues of stock since the late 19th century  (see blog posts).  We have been gathering various examples as part of the research project;  amongst the most interesting are those produced by the dealer S. Richards in the late 19th and early 20th century. S. Richards traded in Nottingham in the period c.1880-1920 and his catalogues, published monthly, offer a fascinating insight into the taste, classifications, descriptions, and prices for antiques in the period. Richards seems to have produced these hand-drawn catalogues from the 1880s up until the end of the First World War, posting them out to collectors. He sold a very wide range of antiques and ‘curios’ and the pages illustrate what remain as standard ‘antique’ collectable objects.

Here are a few examples of Richards’ catalogues – in this one, (below) dated August 1913, Richards has hand-drawn objects from his stock and provided descriptions and prices for his customers.  (top left in the catalogue) is a drawing ‘No.1’ of what Richards describes as ‘a pair of figures of a king and queen in flowing robes, finely carved in wood…..Early 17th century.’ they were priced at £12.10.0. Below those are ‘a pair of candlesticks, well modelled in Bronze….Good patina. Italian workmanship of the early 17th century’, and priced at £7.0.0. ‘No.5’ is an interesting carved wooden box, which Richards states is made by ‘Bayarre (?) of Nancy’, and priced at £10.0.0. He also illustrates some Battersea enamel candlesticks (£8.0.0.), a Battersea enamel box, ‘slightly repaired’ (£7.10.0.) and a carved and silver-mounted coconut shell £3.10.0.

S. Richards catalogue 1913

S. Richards catalogue 1913

Below is the title page from an earlier issue of August 1893, showing his shop in Friar Lane, Nottingham.

S. Richards catalogue, 1893; private collection.

S. Richards catalogue, 1893. Private Collection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The catalogues appear to of a regular and similar format – small objects on the opening pages, followed by larger objects and furniture towards the end. There are some very interesting examples of the antique furniture – here is a page, again from a catalogue issued in 1913. The ‘Chest of Drawers’, (No.24), described as ‘walnut wood’ with ‘the top inlaid with pieces of ivory’ was priced at £18.10.0. – although I’m not sure it would  pass the current standards for authenticity!

S. Richards catalogue April/May 1913; private collection.

S. Richards catalogue April/May 1913. Private collection.

What is equally interesting (I think!) is that the other shop that Richards occupied in c.1900, located at 77 Houndgate, Nottingham, looks almost exactly the same as it did when he sketched it for his catalogues. Here’s Richards’ hand-drawn image from 1891. –

S. Richards catalogue 1891; private collection.

S. Richards catalogue 1891. Private collection.

And here’s my photograph of the shop in Houndgate (now the Castle Public House) in June 2014.

Houndgate, Nottingham, 2014

Houndgate, Nottingham 2014. Photograph MW.

Mark

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