The report about the sale of original timber items from Liberty’s department store in ATG No 2604.

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For Liberty’s, the landmark department store known for its style and trend-setting fashion, to sell the ‘bones’ of this great store established over 150 years ago for £40,000 is outrageous! [Web Shop Window, Dealers’ Diary, ATG No 2604.]

The superbly aged timbers, which in themselves have a wonderful background in the ships that made England the greatest seafaring nation of the era, should be heritage listed.

I first recall visiting London in 1977 and stood in awe at this unique establishment and the specially commissioned materials only available at Liberty’s.

The wonderful exhibition held annually of past treasures sold by Liberty’s held in June/July was almost always completely sold out, such was the reputation of past buyers in their selection of Middle Eastern materials and Arts & Crafts. Crowds always waited with bated breath at what would be found and displayed.

I appreciate that Liberty’s now has new owners but it was part of the ‘London experience’ visiting this establishment and it is now ‘just another fashion outlet’.

Alan Landis


ATG note: as reported in ATG No 2604, Liberty is parting with three floors’ worth of 1920s woodwork from the original shop with the help of architectural salvage firm Salvo. It is a huge array of pieces including two grand staircases that once connected the basement showrooms to the ground floor in six flights each, as well as a panelled entrance hall and column casings.

The timber is believed to be mahogany, oak, softwood supports and French walnut. Designed by Edwin T Hall and his son, the woodwork was formed using 24,000 cubic feet of timbers from two historic battleships: HMS Impregnable and HMS Hindustan.