Furniture drawings

Included in the Part of the Furniture exhibition at University of Leeds are furniture designs. This example is a detail of a colour lithographed fold-out catalogue of sofa designs by Henry Lawford, 1855 called The Cabinet of Practical, Useful and Decorative Furniture Designs. 

Credit: The John Evan Bedford Library of Furniture History, University of Leeds.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

Furniture history in conference focus

The University of Leeds plans a conference on the history of furniture and is calling on the antiques sector to contribute papers or presentations on this theme.

What is Furniture History? conference is planned for June this year and is one of a series of events celebrating antique furniture. It features alongside the exhibition Part of the Furniture: The Library of John Bedford which is on show until December 21 at The Treasures of the Brotherton Library at the university.

John Bedford of antiques dealership William Bedford, who died in 2019, left his collection of rare books, trade cards, manuscripts, artworks and objects to the university.

The events and exhibition were curated by professor of history of the art market Mark Westgarth, rare book specialist Rachel Eckersley and special collections curator Rhiannon Lawrence-Francis.

Westgarth has dedicated his studies to the history of the antiques trade. His projects have included Sold! The Year of the Dealer; Antique Dealers and the British Antiques Trade in the 20th Century, a cultural geography.

To find out more about the conference contact Westgarth via

Burglar jailed after museum break-in

A man who broke into the Roy al Lancers & Nottinghamshire Yeomanry Museum in Nottinghamshire has been jailed.

Graham Gallon, 36, targeted the museum in Thoresby Park in the early hours of October 29, 2023. He gained access by cutting a hole in the floor underneath a display case and stole silver items including a parcel gilt rosewater dish – said to be the sister piece to the Wimbledon women’s singles trophy.

As reported in ATG No 2617 last year, a significant number of antique silver items were taken.

These items have not been recovered and police believe they may have been melted down.

Gallon’s DNA was found on the base of a silver cup which he was not able to squeeze through the gap in the floor.

Appearing at Nottingham Crown Court on March 11, Gallon, of Carrington Terrace, Rotherham, pleaded guilty to burglary and was jailed for two-and-a-half years.

The case remains open and a 24-year-old woman and a 47-year-old man have also been arrested and remain under investigation.

Shipping firm makes its own move

Specialist art logistics business Henley Shipping has unveiled a new headquarters in Sunbury, Surrey as part of its expansion plans.

The fresh, purpose-built premises are in addition to warehouses in Staines and Bookham and the firm says it also has “a new management structure including new personnel in place, as well as new internal processes, new vehicles and plenty of industry experts joining The Big H family”.

Lavery’s Casement study appeals

Sketch of appeal of Sir Roger Casement

Sir John Lavery’s sketch of the appeal of Sir Roger Casement, £124,000 at Dreweatts.

Among a series of highlights at Dreweatts’ Modern and Contemporary Art sale on March 13 was an original on-the-spot sketch for Sir John Lavery’s (1856-1941) The Hearing of the Appeal of Sir Roger Casement.

The monumental painting itself is now in the UK government collection and has been on long-term loan to King’s Inns, the Dublin Inns of Court, since 1951.

Casement, a British diplomat turned Irish nationalist, was arrested in 1916 for his part in the events leading up to the Easter Rising in Ireland.

He was convicted of treason under a 14th century statute and hanged in Pentonville Prison following a failed appeal.

Belfast-born Lavery was commissioned by the presiding judge, Sir Charles John Darling, to record the court proceedings of the appeal.

The 10 x 15in (25.5 x 38cm) oil on canvas-board shows the five judges to the left with Casement sitting in the dock directly opposite the viewer. It was kept in Darling’s collection until he died and came to auction from a descendant.

The sketch attracted plenty of interest including in the Irish press in the lead-up to the auction. Estimated at £15,000- 25,000, it drew a prolonged competition and came down to a battle between an online bidder from Ireland and a phone line before it was knocked down to the former at £124,000.

Most read

The most clicked-on stories for week March 14-20 on

1 Wall mural from a Surrey cottage featured on BBC’s Fake or Fortune? comes to auction in Cornwall

2 New benchmark for tribal art as Fang head makes €12.6m at Christie’s

3 Etna charger erupts at Clarice Cliff auction

4 Bach manuscript goes to Bodleian in lieu of inheritance tax

5 ‘Beechey’ portrait of Indian sitter ready for research

In Numbers


The number of Okinawan artefacts found in the attic of a private residence in Massachusetts that were returned to Japan after an FBI investigation.