Stephen Ferder

Stephen Ferder of Lita Kaye Antiques, Lyndhurst, established 1952.

A conversation between Stephen Ferder and Project Lead, Mark Westgarth.

Stephen began his career in the antiques trade working for his father Sidney Ferder (d. 2011) and his mother Lita, in their antiques dealing business, Lita Kaye in Lyndhurst, which had been established by his parents in 1952.

Stephen spent his school holidays working in the business during the late 1950s, before formally joining the business in 1966.  Lita Kaye (named after his mother’s maiden name) were leading dealers in antique furniture located in Lyndhurst, retailing high quality antique furniture to collectors, dealers and the London trade.

In this highly engaging interview, Stephen tells us about the history of Lita Kaye, and his role in the business, recalling how his father Sidney trained as an engineer during World War II, before opening a second-hand shop in Southampton after the War. Stephen recounts stories of some of the characters in the trade, as well as the regular buying trips to the West Country and how the London auction rooms operated in the 1970s and 1980s. There are wonderful stories about objects that passed through the business, and Stephen’s reflections on the future of the antiques trade.

Photograph, Antique Dealer Research Project, University of Leeds 2021.