Michael became an expert in the 18th and 19th century porcelain and pottery trade with the late Joe Oxley.
Their dealership was first established in York Street, London W1, followed by a move to their prestigious premises in Kensington Church Street W8 where they traded for many years, finally moving to Ryder Street, St James’s, SW1 until Michael semi retired.
Michael’s first career was as an actor, achieving some major parts in theatre, films and television. As a Shakespearean actor he played at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre in the 1950s. He had parts in Z Cars and other TV series, also starring in the cult film The Curse of the Fly (1965). One of his last roles came in The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (1994).
When ‘resting’ Michael, like many theatre people, started dealing in a small way, doing one-day fairs. As he said to me one day, the rent has to be paid.
After meeting another young dealer, Joe Oxley, who had a similar taste for porcelain, they decided to show at more prestigious fairs.
It was at such an event in the early 1970s that I began a lifelong friendship with the two.
It turned out to be an ideal arrangement, Michael covering the London saleroom circuit, Joe Oxley the provincial regions, searching out the rare and magnificent, also covering sales in the US.
By this time Graham & Oxley was showing at the most prestigious fairs including Harrogate, Solihull, Kenilworth, and Grosvenor House, where Michael was a respected member of the vetting committee.
In recent years Michael had moved to Lincolnshire with his partner, Anthony Sharpe, and their Jack Russell Monty.
John Duncalfe (retired art dealer, Harrogate, North Yorkshire)
ATG note: photos of Michael Graham in The Curse of the Fly can be viewed at imdb.com/name/nm0334223/?ref_=nm_mv_close