Where is it Now?

Phillips of Hitchin archive, photograph album c.1900. MS1999/1/4/52. Brotherton Library Special Collections, University of Leeds. Photograph courtesy of the Brotherton Library Special Collections, 2016.

Phillips of Hitchin archive, photograph album c.1900. MS1999/1/4/52. Brotherton Library Special Collections, University of Leeds. Photograph courtesy of the Brotherton Library Special Collections, 2016.

As part of the various projects we are developing on the Antique Dealer archives held the Brotherton Library Special Collections at the University of Leeds, we have started a project called ‘Where it it Now?’.  This project seeks to find out what has happened to the antique objects from the archives, and we are starting with some of early 20th century photographs of the objects from the Phillips of Hitchin archive.

Part of the Phillips of Hitchin archive contains a large series of 160 early 20th century photograph albums of stock that the firm held – the albums appear to be undated, but we think they date from the period around 1900 to 1920.

About 70 of the 160 albums are small, card-covered booklets dating fom c.1900, which contain hundreds of small black and white photographs of the wide variety of objects that Phillips of Hitchin sold in the period.  One of the things that we thought would be interesting to do is to try to find out where some of these objects are presently located – if indeed they still survive.  Hence the ‘Where is it Now?’ project.

We have chosen objects in the albums that should be relatively easy to indentify – dated objects, or objects that appear to offer potential to still be considered to be of historical significance – and perhaps in public museum collections, or significant private collections across the world.