Harold Black (1926-2017)
Harold was the third and youngest son of David Black, a prominent art dealer, with a shop off Bond Street in Burlington Gardens opposite Burlington Arcade. They specialised in foreign, early and rare silver.
When Harold left The Hall School in Swiss Cottage, he started working for his father. SJ Phillips and Jack Kugel in Paris were among the people he knew well.
At the age of 19, he could afford to go to New York, where he often wished he had settled.
In 1957 he had a breakdown and had to learn to live with all the consequences.
He spent his free time in museums and art galleries indulging in his passion.
He amassed a great deal of knowledge of very early silver, Oriental art, Chinese art and, in later years, of African tribal art, a secret passion he kept much to himself.
His tribal collection is quite unique, and of great importance.
Sadly in 2001 Harold contracted the MRSA bug while in hospital and this led to his eventual demise.
The last five years were a great battle for him. He stopped visiting markets because of his fast declining health, but I believe he will be missed by many dealers, as he missed them.
By Nelly Iliohan (Harold’s wife)
It is with much sadness that I announce the death of my father Brian Flaxman on September 28. He had battled cancer with much fortitude over the last 18 months.
Brian was never destined for the antiques trade, having trained as an engineer and then commencing a career in the civil service. However, when the cost of a weekly commute from Brighton to London went up to £14, he decided to give up this career and return to his passion in the antiques world.
Brian’s original interest in antiques was sparked as a young boy, while spending Sunday mornings mud-larking on the banks of the Thames in Chelsea looking for treasures.
Throughout the late ‘70s and ‘80s, he built up his export business to operate from two shops and a warehouse in Brighton’s North Lane area, as well as becoming a regular at Bermondsey and Portobello Road market right up until his diagnosis.
He loved his time in the trade and even up until his last days remained fascinated by the miscellany of objects that he had encountered on his varied and fascinating journey through life.
Brian will be desperately missed by his wife, children and grandchildren, who have all in their time had to ‘endure’ the travails of an antique dealer’s modus operandi.
By Toby Flaxman