Friday, 10 September 2010

The Collection of Sir Frank Richmond

Someone asked me today how I do my research - the answer is somewhat tediously and sometimes painfully. Having worked on a number of books now and meticulously confirmed every citation and bibliographical entry to protect our authors, as I am doing at this very moment, a lot of research happens. At Ackworth2010 I had to stand in at the last moment to give Dorothy Phelan's talk as she had been taken ill. It is always daunting to be given someone else's slides and script with little notice - though Mary Brooks has an even more scary tale than mine which I shall tell you some other time. The point is I came to this slide and the notes said it was John Nelham's. No sooner had I spoken those words than, as attendees might remember, a heated debated broke out in the audience. This memory now has a special sound-proofed compartment all of its own! It was a genuine mix-up and it may have had something to do with the sale of Sir Frederick Richmond's needlework collection. Coming from humble beginnings, Sir Frederick started out as an apprentice and eventually he became Director of the department store Debenhams, establishing a gallery in the store for the sale of 17 century embroideries and other textiles. Together with his wife, he began collecting in about 1907 and built up one of the UKs premier collections. To read more about Sir Frederick and see the Richmond items which were sold at Christies in 2001, just click here.


  1. Thank you for the link. Lot 54 has always interested me. I was able to see it up close at Witney Antiques and it is lovely. I know it is listed as woven but when you look close one wonders if it was done with a needle.

  2. I have had the intuitive feeling that your meticulous research involves lots of time; now you have confirmed it. I can only say, "Thank-you for sharing your time and infinite efforts with us."