She was a well-known figure in the antiques trade who started her career in antiques dealing with the dealer Gerald Kenyon in the 1970s at his shop at The Old Leche House, Chester. She continued with Glynne Hughes, who took over Gerry’s shop when he went across to Ireland.
Later, Jackie was the long-term partner of the well-known antiques dealer Maurice (‘Dick’) Turpin (1928-2005). She worked with him at his London shops and warehouses at Mansion Mews, Queens Gate and at Bruton Street from the mid-1980s.
After Dick died, she and I helped Christie’s organise a memorable sale of The Legend of Dick Turpin, held at King Street in March of 2006.
Always fiercely independent, she was a formidable lady with a big heart, who lived life the way she wanted. She was a great friend to so many and a real friend. She would do anything for you.
Jackie had been struggling with undiagnosed dementia for quite some time, resulting in her being unable to use the computer, which really was her lifeline to the world.
Kind and generous
Gerry Kenyon was the first of a long line of illustrious dealers that Jackie worked for.
I first met her in the late 1970s when I called on Mike Wisehall in Knutsford. He said he was going to have a drink with Jackie that evening and asked if I’d like to join them. I said I would.
Now, I am born and brought up in and around Manchester and am quite used to forthright strong northern women, but Jackie was in another league – or so I thought on first meeting. I will never forget that evening, for no sooner had we met up, she said she wouldn’t be able to stay long because she had got “the keeper of the elephant house at Chester Zoo painting her kitchen”.
Bizarre and very funny, and it was the start of a 50-year friendship. She, like Dick, was kind and generous. I will always remember her with great warmth and fondness.
Heart of gold
I got to know Jackie in around 1986, just over 37 years ago. She was working with Dick Turpin who had a beautiful shop in Bruton Street. She was incredibly organised and ran a tight ship, which was almost scary. I had known Dick longer but as our friendship and business relationship grew, I got to know Jackie better.
If I was in London Dick and Jackie would always ask me and my wife out for drinks or supper. We would always have a good time together. She would reminisce about when she worked and lived in Chester, then when she worked for Wilfred Bull in Essex. Then finally settled down in London and moved in and lived with Dick Turpin.
Jackie had a heart of gold, but, like her companion, did not suffer fools gladly! If she liked you, she loved you. She will be very sadly missed.
Chris Jussel, David Pickup and Lennox Cato contributed these tributes on behalf of Jackie Mann’s family