Oral History Interviews – Lennox Cato

We did another of our growing corpus of antique dealer project Oral History interviews the other week – and with another ‘BBC Antiques Roadshow‘ presenter – this time with Lennox Cato of Lennox Cato Antiques in Edenbridge, Kent.

Lennox cato 1

Lennox Cato. Photograph courtesy and copyright of Lennox Cato Antiques, 2015.

In a fascinating and wide-ranging interview, recorded at his antique galleries in Edenbridge, Lennox told us of his very early introduction to the antiques trade – he was adopted at an early age by the well-known Brighton based antique dealer ‘Dicky’ Compton and his wife – as well as the history of his own time in the business since he opened his first shop in The Lanes, Brighton, in 1978.

As many of you will know, Lennox has become a regular expert (especially on antique furniture) on the popular BBC programme ‘Antiques Roadshow’, as well as being a very active member of the British Antique Dealers’ Association.

Lennox Cato

Lennox Cato in investigative mood. Photograph courtesy and copyright of Lennox Cato Antiques, 2015.

In our interview Lennox reflected on his 35+ years in the trade, and had some enlightening observations of the structure of the antique trade and his perspectives on being one of the very few (the only?) Black ethnic members of the antique trade (at least at this senior level of the trade).  This, for us involved in the research project, is particularly interesting; our study is of what one might call the ‘ecology’ of the antique trade, and is one of the key research themes within the AHRC funded project. Indeed, whilst we are not explicitly tracing the quantitative metrics of the Black and other ethnic demographics of the trade (we’ll leave that for an extension to the current research project), our interactive website is tracking the shifting gender composition of the antique trade over the course of the 20th century – so we will have some data on the changing patterns of men and women dealers 1900-2000.

But anyway, our interview with Lennox has yet to be edited, but will, like all of our oral history interviews, be available for everyone to listen to through our project websites – keep your eyes on the ‘News’ from the ‘Antiques Dealers’ project.

Thank you again to Lennox for taking time out of his very busy schedule to do our research interview.

Mark

 

 

 

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