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Paintings all sold at auction

Four early to mid 20th century paintings, two by Turkish artist Abidin Dino (1913 – 1993), were sold at the Design at Home auction at The Pure Evil Gallery, London. The client was very pleased with the sales, especially as the Dino pictures are going home to Turkey.

Commonwealth Hostels Ltd plate returned to Australia

The very last transfer from Newham Heritage! Dr Moya Fadzean, Senior Curator, Museums Victoria was delighted to receive this plate at the Immigration Museum in Melbourne. Anyone got a matching cup or mug?

‘Pioneering Courage: Housing and the Working Woman 1919 – 1939’

Sue Kirby has just started work in White City for the Housing Association, Women’s Pioneer Housing Ltd. It was established by women who had campaigned for votes for women. Sue is Project Lead for the heritage aspects of its centenary celebrations.

Women’s Pioneer Housing Ltd has now launched a short introductory film covering its early history and featuring a number of research volunteers and residents. The film can be viewed on the Women’s Pioneer Ltd website and on Royal Holloway College’s online learning resource on Citizenship.

Mid century paintings sent to auction

Five interesting paintings acquired by the parents of one of my clients are to go to auction in London. Two of them, goache on paper, were bought in Paris from the Turkish artist Abidin Dino. The others are oils on canvas and striking abstracts, one showing the influence of Kandinsky or Miro probably also from artists based in Paris.

Fancy dress costumes donated to the Museum of London

Sort & Survive recently transferred three fancy dress costumes to the Museum of London. They belonged to Phyllis Champion-Jones and her sister Joan. The Little Dutch Girl, female Harlequin and Pierrot costumes were made by their mother in the 1920s and 1930s and are complete with headresses although missing the footwear. The family lived in Kilburn but Phyllis got the bus every day to work at the Rowley Gallery in Kensington Church Street. Every Christmas the company held a fancy dress ball. There are a number of photographs of these parties also donated to the museum.

African and Chinese artefacts

A number of items from various places worldwide belonging to a private client were identified with the help of appropriate experts in these fields.

The collections relocation successfully concluded

A staff of seven paid curators and ten part-time volunteers spent a long period of sorting, cataloguing and transferring items. The project concluded with an intensive period of packing, boxing, barcoding and supervising removal starting in June and ending on 29th September 2017.

Working with museum collections in East London

The first couple of months involved liaising with other museums that have undertaken similar projects, working out a schedule of work and appointing paid staff and volunteers. There has been quite a lot of work involved in ensuring that the building is suitable for the work, including resolving connectivity and internet access issues. The specialised database had to be adapted for the major inventory work too.

Let cataloguing commence!

The textile and dress collections have been the first priority as they need to be catalogued and properly packed prior to going off for freezing, a process which will ensure any insect infestation is neutralised. This work has been ably co-ordinated by Deb, a qualified conservator. Meanwhile my colleague Ed has had a good sort of the archaeology collections. Some of the non-local material will be transferred to more appropriate museums.

Wedgewood Jasperware

Wedgwood Jasperware

I have been putting a collection of Wedgwood Jasperware on sale on behalf of an elderly lady who has moved to a nursing home. Some has gone to private buyers, some to museums.

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APDO Annual Conference

Time for the annual conference of the Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers (APDO), a very supportive and well organised(!) body. This year I particularly appreciated Carl Honore’s keynote speech on the Slow Movement. Juliet Landau-Pope also gave an informative seminar on working with clients from diverse backgrounds.


VHS Tape Transfer

Transfer of some VHS tapes of films relating to Black British history and film-making to a London-based academic.

Sight & Sound

Found a new home for a run of the UK’s film journal of record, Sight & Sound, 1977–2015.

National Organising Week

Monday 7 November - Friday 13 November was National Organising Week.

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Women and the First World War

Helped with the Art Fair, raising funds for Keats Community Library in Hampstead. I also delivered a lecture on Women and the First World War to students from Fordham University in New York who were based in London for the semester.

Film Posters

I have managed to realise over £400 selling mid-20th century film posters for a client. I have arranged a small selection of the ones he did not want to sell on the walls of the entrance hall of his home.

Cellarette and Brass

A successful month selling some antique furniture for a client including a Regency mahogany sarcophagus-style cellarette used in the dining room to keep wines chilled, an early twentieth century library ladder used in an Earls Court bookshop until about 1980 and a portable Bedouin brass table on an ingenious folding wooden stand.

Tile Street

Tite Street

I have been working in Chelsea down by the river, an area connected with artists for over 100 years. Here is Tite Street where John Singer Sargent had his studio from 1885. Oscar Wilde was also a resident there.

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Long Play Albums

The week got off to a good start with the sale of a collection of 1960s and 1970s long playing albums to Nick Brown who has a website and who also operates from a shop in Cecil Court in London’s West End.

 | Intoxica Records | For more...
Sue Kirby

Arts of Europe

Acting on the instructions of a client, I arranged for a monumental Minton majolica cistern to be auctioned at Sotheby’s.

 | Sotheby's | For more...