Posts tagged ‘Sworders’

February 5, 2017

Further generous help!

catalogues-sworders

Catalogues of antique dealer material, from the 1950s and 1960s.

Our very generous Antique Dealer project supporters continue to send us antique dealer ephemera – thanks again to Tim Turner at Sworders Auctioneers  and to Jacqueline and her son George, for passing on another parcel of ephemera – these resources are crucial for the continuing developments in the research for the Antique Dealers project. The material that Tim passed to us included a selection of Antique Fair catalogues from the 1950s and 1960s, and two very interesting antique dealer sales catalogues. One of the catalogues was from the well-known dealer Margery Dean, of Wivenhoe in Essex – the catalogue is undated but appears to be from the late 1950s?

The other catalogue was a much more interesting, and much rarer, example, produced by the dealers W. & E. Thornton-Smith, and dating from c.1910.

thornton-smith-cover

W. & E. Thornton-Smith catalogue, c.1910.

Indeed, the Thornton-Smith catalogue deserves a separate, and fuller, blog entry, and I’ll compose that shortly.  Once again we have to thank our generous supporters at Sworders Auctioneers…thank you Tim and all…your contributions have again been most welcome, as we continue to build what we hope will become the National Centre for the Study of the Antique Trade here at the University of Leeds.

Do watch out for the forthcoming Thornton-Smith blog entry…

Mark

 

 

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October 21, 2016

The Generosity of Auctioneers – more archive material from Sworders

Tim Turner from Sworders Fine Art Auctioneers, Stansted Mountfitchet, very kindly donated some antique dealer related material to the Antique Dealer research project – and thanks to Jacqueline Travell, also from Sworders, for bringing the package of materials all the way from Essex to Leeds last week (Jacqueline was up North to see her son, who coincidently is studying at the University of Leeds).

It is through the exceptionally generous nature of people like Tim and Jacqueline that the research project at the University of Leeds continues to progress – thank you Tim, Jacqueline, and Sworders. The material that has been donated ranges from a selection of Antique Fair handbooks, dealer catalogues, and antique collecting publications – dating from 1909 to the 1970s.sworders

The materials also include an amazing selection of invoices (dating from the 1940s-1970s) from a wide variety of Antique Dealers; these are invaluable to the research project – they give us, for example, key self-designated descriptions of the dealers themselves, dealer addresses, as well as often having detailed information on the people involved in the various businesses, not to mention the fascinating ways in which a variety of ‘antiques’ are described in the old invoices. dealer-invoices-sworders

Included in the materials are also some early antique dealer catalogues – one from Mallett & Son, dating from the 1930s – mallett

and one from The Parker Gallery (print dealers, rather than antique dealers per se), which seems to have been produced as a booklet celebrating 200 years of trading – The Parker Gallery was established in 1750, so the booklet suggests. parker-gallery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the most interesting documents in the parcel of archive material, is a very early (probably 1920s?) furniture catalogue produced by the antique dealers and reproduction furniture makers, Arthur Brett & Sons – trading from Norwich. The booklet, titled, ‘Period Furniture’ contains a very wide range of reproduction furniture that Brett & Sons were manufacturing in the 1920s and 1930s.

brett

The catalogue is ordered chronologically, with ‘Tudor’ oak furniture in the opening pages, and includes reproductions of virtually every kind of antique furniture that was fashionable in the period. brett-1 brett-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Brett catalogue demonstrates how popular furnishing with antique furniture was during the period between the Wars, with demand outstripping supply to the extent where reproductions filled the gap, satisfying the look of the old. It’s quite striking when one reflects on this today, with the rapid shift to the contemporary in the last decade or so – no doubt there are now masses of reproductions of Charles Eames chairs, instead of Thomas Chippendale – tastes change, but everything stays the same!

Anyway, thanks again to Tim and Jacqueline, and Sworders – the archive materials are already proving useful to the research project as we add more and more antique dealer data to the Project Interactive Map.

Mark

February 15, 2015

More on the changing landscape of the antique trade

More news on the changing landscape of the antique trade (see blog posts on ‘Bullard’ October 2014, and the changing face of Mount Street in London, October 2014, as well as a post on the ‘Changing Landscape’ in November 2013). Yet another well-known, and long established dealership, has withdrawn from the high street. Arthur Brett & Sons, Norwich, who were established in 1860, are finally closing their shop at 42 Giles Street, Norwich.  James Brett, the great-grandson of Jonathan Brett, the founder of the firm, is the third generation of the family business, and is finally giving up the shop – although James is not actually retiring.  He will continue to trade, but not from retail premises – this, as readers of this blog will know, rehearses a pattern of changing practices in the antique trade that began in the opening decade of the 21st century.

brett 2

The Brett family of antique dealers. Copyright Brett family & Sworders Auctioneers, courtesy of Sworders.

This picture (above) of the Brett family is from the forthcoming auction sale of the contents on 42 Giles Street, undertaken by Sworders at their Standsted auction room on Tuesday 17th February 2015 – (and thanks to Diane Baynes for very kindly emailing a PDF of the introductory pages to the auction catalogue!) There is also an interesting report on the forthcoming auction and the history of the Brett family of dealers, with some comments from James Brett, by Anna Brady in the ‘Dealers’ Diary’ pages in the Antique Trade Gazette this week – see ATG.

brett 1

Sworders auction catalogue of the Brett Collection, 17th Feb 2015. Copyright Sworders. Courtesy of Sworders.

Sworders sold the contents of the workshops of Brett & sons in 2010, and this final ‘clearing out’ of the showrooms is symptomatic of the changes to the practices of certain parts of the trade; the ‘End of an Era’?…maybe, but ‘change’ has, as this research project is discovering, always been part of the history of the antique trade.

Mark

The Period Room: Museum, Material, Experience

An International Conference hosted by The Bowes Museum and The University of Leeds

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A research project investigating the history of the antiques trade in Britain in the 20th century

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The Burlington Magazine Index Blog

art writing * art works * art market

East India Company at Home, 1757-1857

A research project investigating the history of the antiques trade in Britain in the 20th century