News

Our film, Quinneys (2021) has now been released on the Research Project YouTube channel – you can now watch the WHOLE film (1 hr 47 mins), courtesy of the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC). The link to watch Quinneys, the film (2021) is in the Project YouTube, below: Antique Dealer Research Project – YouTube…
SOLD! The Great British Antiques Story, staged at The Bowes Museum in January to May 2019 was the first time a public museum has staged an exhibition devoted to the history of the antiques trade. This ‘In Conversation’ event brings together the guest curator, collections manager and exhibitions officer to reflect on and discuss the development and staging of SOLD!, to consider the challenges and opportunities that the SOLD! exhibition presented, and to highlight some of the behind the scenes activities that went into the exhibition.   The discussion between the panel will be followed by a Q&A with the audience. FRIDAY 10th December at 6.00pm – 7.00pm – for tickets please visit The Bowes Museum website – The Bowes Museum > What’s On > Events > Event Detail
The Furniture History Society have organised a seminar focused on the antique dealer archives, generously donated by leading antique dealers to the Brotherton Library Special Collections at the University of Leeds.  These archives have brought together, for the first time, an extraordinary range of historic business archives of several well-known antique furniture dealers such as Phillips of Hitchin and Ronald A. Lee.  This event, chaired by Dr Mark Westgarth, brings leading dealers Jerome Phillips and Martin Levy in conversation with Joanne Fitton, Head of Special Collections, and Karen Sayers, lead archivist, at the Brotherton Library Special Collections, to explore the riches of these archives.  The event will highlight key items in the archives, some of which date back to the 1880s, as well as outlining their history and how they came to Leeds.  There will also be an opportunity to direct questions to the participants and to hear about plans for the future of these increasingly important resources.
The Antique Dealer in Fact & Fiction A Lighthearted Zoom Talk with Dr Mark Westgarth Mark Westgarth is Associate Professor in Art History and Museum Studies at the University of Leeds in the UK. He is founder and Director of the Centre for the Study of the Art & Antiques Market in the School of Fine Art, History of Art & Cultural Studies. He is author of A Biographical Dictionary of 19th Century Antique & Curiosity Dealers (2011), SOLD! The Great British Antiques Story (2019) and more recently, The Emergence of the Antique & Curiosity Dealer in Britain 1815-1850: the commodification of historical objects (2020). He was guest curator for the recent exhibition, ‘SOLD! The Great British Antiques Story’ at the Bowes Museum, County Durham. This will be a light-hearted talk about the role of antique dealers in fact and fiction and will cover from Dickens to Lovejoy!  Should be fun!
‘Pattern books, early trade catalogues and many other rarities’: the John Evan Bedford Library of Furniture History. Wednesday 24 March 2021, 18:00-19.30 (GMT) At this FHS event members of the Bedford project team from Special Collections at the University of Leeds will highlight some of the rare books and ephemera in the John Evan Bedford Library of Furniture History and explain more about the ambitions of the cataloguing project. Chaired by Mark Westgarth, the presentations will be followed by a discussion with the Bedford team and an opportunity to ask questions about the project. When the art and antique dealer John Bedford died in February 2019 he gifted a remarkable collection of rare books, manuscripts, artworks and objects to the University of Leeds. Assembled over almost half a century, the John Evan Bedford Library of Furniture History is an exceptional resource covering all aspects of the English home, from interiors and furnishings to lighting and metalwork, drapery and upholstery to architectural and garden design. Comprising over 3,000 printed items, many of them extremely rare, and in some cases unique, the collection includes furniture pattern books, designs for ornament and inventories of country houses. The archive is also rich in rare ephemera including trade cards, labels and pamphlets, many of which are unknown outside this collection. The John Victor Bedford Will Trust, with great generosity and vision, is funding a cataloguing project based in Special Collections at the University of Leeds to make the collection fully searchable and accessible.
A FREE talk on ZOOM on behalf of the Furniture History Society on curating the SOLD! exhibition, staged at The Bowes Museum last year.  For those of you that missed the exhibition this is a chance to see a wide variety of installation photographs and to hear about the themes and objectives of the exhibition, and to see many of the spectacular objects we managed to encourage to come up to The Bowes Museum.  For those that did manage to see the exhibition, this is also an opportunity to hear about the behind-the-scenes development and delivery of a major museum exhibition.   The talk takes place on SUNDAY 6th September 2020 at 7.00pm, and will last about 1 hour, with opportunities to ask questions via the Zoom platform.  The Furniture History Society are managing this talk and ask that anyone interested in hearing the talk could register an email contact with them and they will send out the link to the Zoom room and a password for access. Do email FHS Events Secretary, Beatrice Goddard at events@furniturehistorysociety.org for your free ticket!
The SOLD! catalogue is now published, and thanks to the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, and the AHRC (Arts & Humanities Research Council) we are able to make the digital E-Version of the SOLD! catalogue free for everyone – you can download the PDF version (9Mb at 72dpi) – here’s the PDF below; Enjoy!