Titled Antique Dealers: Buying, Selling and Collecting, the show runs until May 25 and focuses on three well-known dealerships: Ronald A Lee, Roger Warner and Phillips of Hitchin, all of which donated archives to the Brotherton Library Special Collections during the past few years.
Among the objects from Phillips of Hitchin are sales ledgers and copy book letters dating back to the 1890s that show the firm’s previous name FW Phillips. A sales book from 1930 includes purchases made by author George Bernard Shaw.
Ronald A Lee’s contributions include some photos of its stand at the Grosvenor House Fair c.1940s-50s. There is also Roger Warner’s first sales book from 1936-37 and some photos of the dealer himself at various country house sales in the 1950s and 60s.
It was co-curated by Mark Westgarth of Leeds University, who has conducted extensive research into the cultural geography of British antiques dealing in the 20th century. He was also co-curator of Sold! The Great British Antiques Story, running until May 5 at The Bowes Museum at Barnard Castle.