BADA Commemorative Plates 1919

Whilst having a meeting with Mark Dodgson, Secretary General of the British Antique Dealers’ Association, on Friday last week (regarding the Antique Dealer project conference in April, amongst other things), I noticed a small display of 6 plates on the windowsill of Mark’s office.

Stoner plate 1919

BADA Commemorative Plate, c.1918-19. Photograph copyright AHRC Antique Dealer project, University of Leeds.

All of the plates had the same painted inscription ‘Success to the BADA’ at the top edge, and each had a separate, individual inscription on the lower edge.  This one (above) has ‘Stoner for ever. 1919.’ on the bottom edge.  The plates themselves are relatively inexpensive, mass-produced objects – (Mark kindly told me they have a printed mark ‘Crown Staffordshire’ on the back) – so they are pretty common everyday ware. Three of the plates have printed decoration of a small bird in a branch of a tree – the style keys into the Chinoiserie revival of the 1910s and 1920s; the other three had similar, but hand-painted, decoration.

Andrade plate 1919

‘Andrade for ever 1919’. Comemmorative plate. Photography copyright AHRC Antique Dealer project, University of Leeds.

The inscriptions on the plates refer to the foundation of the BADA, which began just a year earlier, on May 7th 1918. The story of the founding of the BADA is by now very well known I guess, but one of the reasons for the founding of the Association was as a response to the proposed Luxury Duty that was to be introduced in the Finance Act of 1918.

The plates are variously inscribed – the one above is inscribed ‘Andrade for ever. 1919.’ Other plates are inscribed ‘Mrs Astley for ever, 1919.’ (below); ‘Thomas for ever. 1919’; ‘Law for ever. 1919.’; and ‘Evans for ever. 1919’.

Astley plate 1919

‘Mrs Astley for ever. 1919.’ Commemorative plate c.1919. Photograph copyright AHRC Antique Dealer project, University of Leeds.

The plates obviously celebrate founding members or early members of the BADA – Stoner, for example, probably refers to Frank Stoner, the son of George Stoner, who was one of founder members of the BADA in 1918.  Sadly George Stoner, a Vice-President of the BADA, and the father of Frank and Malcolm Stoner, died aged 50 in 1918, shortly after the foundation of the Association – the dealership was named ‘Stoner & Evans’, and was trading at 3 King Street, St. James’s, London at the time.

‘Andrade’ would be Cyril Andrade, then trading in Duke Street, St. James’s, London; ‘Mrs Astley’ would be Florence Astley, also trading in Duke Street, St. James’s in the same period. There were three further plates – one inscribed ‘Evans for ever. 1919.’ – probably for the Mr Evans who was partner in Stoner & Evans, although there was also a silver dealer, ‘Evans & Co’, but I’d think it was for the chap from Stoner & Evans.

The other plates were inscribed ‘Law for ever. 1919’ for Charles Law, of the dealers ‘Law, Foulsham & Cole, then trading from 7 South Molton Street, London, and ‘Thomas for ever. 1919.’ – Thomas was the formidable dealer C. Rochelle Thomas, the President of the BADA for 1919, and then trading at ‘The Georgian Galleries’ 10, 11 & 12 King Street, St. James’s, London, along with his sons, Victor Joseph Rochelle Thomas and Alfred William Rochelle Thomas.

The plates are fascinating pieces of ephemera associated with the founding of the British Antique Dealers’ Association – I just wondered if there were any more of these plates surviving?…there appear to have been 16 founder members of BADA in 1918, so maybe there are at least another 12 plates somewhere?… but the 6 plates here also include members who were not listed as founders, such as Florence Astley, who must have joined sometime after March 1918 and before the plates were inscribed in 1919…..so perhaps there are scores of them out there!

Mark

 

 

 

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2 Comments to “BADA Commemorative Plates 1919”

  1. This is a great post Mark and excellent to see women dealers commemorated too!

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