Posts tagged ‘Interactive Website’

January 27, 2018

Antique Dealer Project Interactive Map Website

It’s been a while since we updated everyone on the continuing development of the Antique Dealer Project Interactive Map Website. The website, as we hope you will know, is being constantly updated with new dealerships, by our fantastic group of data input volunteers, and the project team of course – see

There are now more than 4,100 dealers in the website, trading over the period 1900 to 2000 – and as you can see from the screen-shot below, there are a number of interesting clusters of dealerships emerging. The long ‘bar’ at the bottom of the screen-shot is the ‘slider bar’ that you can move backwards and forwards with the computer cursor on the actual website itself to change the parameters of the dates that the map illustrates – the picture below had been set at dates between 1900 and 2000 when the screen-shot was taken.

Antique Dealer Project Interactive Map Website – UK and European based dealers 1900-2000.

For the actual webpage click –

Of course, the Map of Britain is still far from complete, and we need to add many more dealerships before we can start to analyse the data and begin to get a clearer picture of the changing geography of the British Antiques Trade over the course of 100 years…but there are some fascinating developments illustrated in the Map so far.

The Map website also allows you to focus in closer, to see how the antique dealerships are located at lower levels of the map – right down to street level. You can also take a look at the patterns of dealerships in particular locations at particular periods in the 20th century.  The screen-grab below, for example, shows the patterns of dealerships in the South of Britain in the period 1900 to 1940.

Antique Dealers Project Interactive Map Website. South of Britain 1900-1940.

For the actual webpage click –

The map also has quite a lot of specific biographical data associated with various antique dealerships – these are also constantly updated as new data is added by the teams of volunteers.  Below is an example of a street-level section of the Map, focused on London with the date parameters of 1900-1935.  The red dot on the map is the location of the dealer Robert Partridge, in New Bond Street, with the information on the antique dealer R.W. Partridge opened up on the left side of the screen.

Antique Dealer Interactive Map – R.W Partridge data opened up.

For the actual webpage click – and R.W. Partridge

The information in the Interactive Map on the 1,000s of antiques dealers already added, includes their various locations in the UK, and elsewhere if they had branches in other countries (such as the USA for example), and also includes images of the exteriors and interiors of the shops (if we have them) at various points in their history.

Here’s the screen-shot from the entry for Phillips of Hitchin, the well-known dealership that was established in 1884.

Antique Dealers Project Interactive Map. Phillips of Hitchin page.

For the actual webpage click of Hitchin

As you can see, above, the data on each dealership includes locations, trading names of the firm, people associated with the firm, various trade memberships, various ‘classifications’ (these are from the Trade Directories and etc) and also how the dealers described themselves (in their publicity) at various times.  Eventually we also hope to build the sections of the website that will track the objects bought and sold by the various dealers….but at present we are concentrating on filling the map with the locations of antique dealers over the 100 year period that the Map focuses on.

We hope that this brief overview of the on-going status of the Antique Dealer Project Interactive Map will encourage you to take a look at the Map website, and see what you can discover.  And do keep your eye on the developments!


November 29, 2016

Even More Student Volunteers!

The benefits of having an increasing number of students interested in the Art Market are clearly reflected in the recent growth in the number of student volunteers on the Antique Dealer research project.  The ‘Art Market’ modules we run in the School of Fine Art, History of Art & Cultural Studies at the University of Leeds are providing a steady steam of fantastic, and fantastically able, students, all willing to be involved in adding data to the Interactive Map website.  Our latest recruits, Layla Hillsden, Kenza Gray, Charlotte Ford and Marie-Louise Hanson, all level 2 undergraduate students on the ‘Art Market: Moments, Methodologies and Meanings’ module – shown here in the latest student volunteer photograph – have all started work uploading the mass of data we still need to add to the website.


Layla, Charlotte, Kenza and Marie-Louise – student volunteers 2016.

Without such enthusiastic help and support it would take much, much longer to increase the amount of data in the Interactive Map, and  to begin the number-crunching that will allow new research questions to emerge!…so thank you again to all of our volunteers…and do keep you eye of the Project Interactive Map 

If anyone else is interested in volunteering, do drop me a line – there is training available.


August 29, 2016

New Volunteer Researcher – Harriet Beadnell PhD student

We have a new student volunteer, working on adding data to the Antique Dealer Project Interactive Map website – see the Map here

Harriet Beadnell, is a PhD student from University of York, researching the role and representation of World War Two Veterans, Post 1945 – Harriet is an AHRC White Rose PhD student – i.e. her PhD is funded through the White Rose Consortium (Leeds, Sheffield & York universities) – and we are so pleased that she has joined the Antique Dealer project as a project volunteer.

Harriet Beadnell photo 4

Harriet Beadnell – PhD student, University of York, and project volunteer.

Harriet also has antique dealer DNA in her blood – her maternal grandfather, Jim Phillips, had a number of antique shops in and around Saltburn and Middlesborough after WWII; and her paternal grandfather was an antiques  collector and later worked as a stamp & coin dealer post WWII – so Harriet comes with a great antique dealing pedigree!

We are currently seeking more project volunteers to add data to the Project Interactive Website, so if you think you might be able to help do email the project – – we offer short training sessions on adding data to the website, and once you are set up, you can add data from anywhere!…all you need is basic computer skills….so nothing too complicated!

Thank you to Harriet for her enthusiastic help on the project – we could not deal with the masses of data still to add into the Interactive Map website without such help and support!



June 15, 2015

Project Interactive Website Launched

The project Interactive Website has finally been officially launched!

On Monday 15th June, with a major publicity push from the University of Leeds and the University of Southampton, the two collaborating universities involved in the Antique Dealers project, and with a forthcoming announcement in the Antiques Trade Gazette – we’ve made the interactive website available to the wider public. You can read the University of Leeds Press Release here – Mapping%20the%20history%20of%20antiques%20dealers%20FINAL Thanks to Gareth Dant, Press Officer at University of Leeds for composing the Press Release.

And the University of Southampton Press Release here –Mapping%20the%FINAL SOTON

The Interactive website is one of the 3 main outputs of the AHRC funded Antique Dealers research project – the other outputs will be an edited book (edited by Westgarth, Quince and Jamieson), and the end of project Conference, (and for which we thank again the support from Leeds Museums & Galleries), which will take place next Spring at Temple Newsam House, Leeds (keep your eye on the blog for more details on the conference).

Screenshot 2014-01-30 15.10.18

Screen Shot of the Interactive Website. Copyright, University of Leeds 2015.

The website has been long in development and thanks to Mark Wales (‘Sparky’) of Small Hadron Collider, who has been working on the software programming for the site for the past 18 months, we now have an amazing research database, and research resource, for future investigations into the history of the Antique Trade in Britain, in the 20th century.

Using the search engine embedded within the site, or clicking on the DOTS on the map, you can find information on Antique Dealers trading in the 20th century. Below is a screen grab for a dealer trading in Southampton (see little red dot on the map) – Thomas Rohan, who was trading at 105 High Street, Southampton in the period c.1903-1918.slide700-3

The interactive website is still in development, and we’ve launched it as BETA version (i.e. we are testing it for feedback and suggestions on functionality and ease of use etc). At present, at least, there’s not that much data in the site…only c.2,100 entries…and we reckon there should be, eventually, about 100,000 entries in the site.  But we hope that the site will give people a sense of the amazing possibilities that emerge when one thinks about what it COULD do.

We eventually hope that each Dealership will  have a mini-biography, such as that in the Rohan entry already in the site – see below:



The site uses GPS (Google Maps) technology to track the changing locations of Antique Dealers, based in Britain, over the period 1900-2000 – but it is more, much more, than just a geographical mapping site.  We have built a temporal-spacial tracking system in the site that will trace the genealogy of not just Antique Dealers, but also the objects that they sold, and which, at the same time, establishes a whole series of spacial-temporal networks and relationships between, people, things, and ideas – this, we think, is the uniqueness of the website resource!…

We’ve had fantastic support from various people and organisations as we have developed the project and the interactive website; here are just a few examples of messages of support:

Project Advisory Board member, Christopher Wilk, Keeper of Furniture, Textiles and Fashion at The Victoria & Albert Museum, said “This is an important and innovative project which points the way towards a serious consideration of modern antique dealing. The methodology of the project is innovative, not least in its mixture of oral history, archival research and cultural geography.”

And Chris Jussel, an interviewee of the Oral History part of the Antique Dealer project (see earlier posts) and formerly of the major international antique dealers, Verney & Jussel, and well-known as a former Presenter for the US version of the Antiques Roadshow, said: “Throughout most of the 20th century the British Antiques Trade was the driving force in presenting what were originally termed ‘old things’ to the public. Collectively the appreciation for, the collection of, the scholarship and knowledge of antiques largely emanated from the trade. That was where the expertise resided. No major private or museum collection of antiques was formed without the trade. This long overdue academic study is a testament to that era.”

And finally, Mark Dodgson, Secretary General of The British Antique Dealers’ Association, said: “The concept of an interactive website charting the historical locations of antiques shops and the movement of beautiful objects from collectors to dealers and into museum collections should prove fascinating for anyone interested in the history of the decorative arts.
“The UK has always been one of the world’s most significant locations for the trade in antiques, whether English furniture or Chinese ceramics. It is therefore fitting that a British university should have undertaken a study into this important aspect of our national life.
“I know that antiques dealers are often keen to check the historical ownership of important items they sell – referred to in the trade as the “provenance” – to back up their own judgements about the age and origin of pieces. The new website will provide them with an excellent tool for checking where and when dealers were trading in the past, so adding to the information they can provide to antique collectors about their purchases.”

We hope that you will enjoy using the Interactive Website – (click HERE to go to the site)

Do send us feedback on what you think about the site, and any teething problems.



July 16, 2014

Ramus Brothers, Dealers in Works of Art

Our friend and colleague Andy Ramus, great grandson of the famous Henry Ramus ‘Fine Art Dealer’, very kindly sent us a link to his latest blog entry on Ramus: see Andy’s blog here:

Andy Ramus Blog

I’ve had a series of very productive and convivial email exchanges with Andy over the last few years as part of my own research into the development of the 19th century antique and curiosity trade, and Andy very generously shared his own research into the Ramus family with me – Thank you again Andy!

Andy sketches out a fascinating story of the Ramus family of art dealers and their partners and art dealer colleagues in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Henry Ramus & Company, ‘Fine Art Dealers’ were trading at 68 Wardour Street, London in c.1900, after moving from Manchester where Ramus was a ‘picture-frame maker’ – for those of you that follow these things, the business move from ‘picture-frame maker’ to ‘art dealer’ is a familiar pathway for 19th century art dealers.

As far as the Antique Dealer project is concerned, Henry Ramus will regrettably not be included in our database for the project – his primary trading activities as a ‘Fine Art’ dealer will exclude him from the current project, which, as you’ll know, focuses on the ‘decorative art’ trade, and dealers in antiques. We’ll explain more about the structure of the research focus in our introductory essays on the (soon to be seen) interactive website – it is on it’s way by the way!….Henry’s cousin, Isaac Ramus (1827-1901), was a ‘Dealer in Works of Art’ at various addresses in London in the second half of the 19th century; his business eventually settled in Piccadilly, London, and in 1901, after his death, was continued by his sons Jacob and Albert as Ramus Brothers, Dealers in Works of Art’ – Isaac, Jacob and Albert WILL be in our project database.

Andy’s blog also very usefully directs attention to the dealer practice of the ‘ring’ or ”knockout’ (see Andy’s blog for more details) – the history of which is also something we’ll be investigating as part of the antique dealer project… keep your eye on the outputs!

Thanks again Andy!


March 6, 2014

Interactive project website – with real data!

Mark (Sparky) has now begun to populate the interactive project website with real data, and we can begin to see what the website might look like (still work in progress) but it does give you a sense of how the data will be visualised….Image

The small coloured circles are all numbers of dealerships in particular towns and cities..we will have literally tens of thousands of data sets we reckon, by the end of the project in a couple of years!….


March 6, 2014

Interactive Website making progress!

We are making good progress on the project interactive website.  ‘Sparky’ (Mark) has been building and testing the website during the past few weeks and he’s composed a short video to illustrate how the site might work….

More updates soon.


November 24, 2013

Project Team Meeting

We had a really productive project team meeting at the Royal Festival Hall in London yesterday. Very productive (and mind-bending) discussion about data-sets and ‘authority terms’ re the forthcoming interactive website for the project.  Sparky also amused us all with his ‘Lovejoy’ question….

Here’s the project team – left-to-right: Lizzy Jamieson (Research Fellow, University of Leeds); Mark Wales ( the software programmer for the interactive website, and Lovejoy fan; Me (Mark Westgarth, Principal Investigator, University of Leeds); Tim Banks (University of Leeds, PVAC Faculty IT Manager); Eleanor Quince (Co-Investigator, University of Southampton).

project team

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