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A poster for the 1914 comedy drama 'Quinneys’ by Horace Vachell.

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Sold! The Year of the Dealer kicked off this month and runs until May 31, 2020. It features public heritage trails, symposia, events and the restaging of a classic stage play.

Participating museums are The Victoria and Albert, National Museums Scotland, The Bowes, Temple Newsam, The Lady Lever Art Gallery, The Ashmolean and Preston Park.

The project also received funding from the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC), with London dealer H Blairman & Sons a partner.

Each institution is offering a ‘trail’, guiding visitors through a curated selection of objects that entered the collection through the art and antiques trade during the 19th or 20th centuries.

Four art market-themed workshops also take place throughout the year to discuss the project findings with museum and market professionals as well as academics and students.

Dealer’s life in theatre

For the wider public, there will be three ‘in conversation’ events and a revival of the play Quinneys’. The 1914 comedy-drama, based on the life of dealer and writer on antiques and collecting Thomas Rohan (1860-1940), explores themes on the subject and notions of authenticity.

The project was awarded £100,000 by AHRC and follows the similarly funded Antique Dealers: The British Antique Trade in the 20th century, A Cultural Geography helmed by Dr Mark Westgarth of the University of Leeds.

He also co-curated the exhibition Sold! The Great British Antiques Story at the Bowes Museum earlier this year (ATG No 2372).

Updates on events will be posted on the YoD website throughout the year.

The project is run with Dr Eleanor Quince, of the University of Southampton. The project administrator is Vanessa Jones, assistant curator of textiles at Leeds Museums & Galleries.