Company scrapbook

Scope and Content

Scrapbook of John Sparks Ltd, dealer in Chinese art (London) containing collated press cuttings from the British newspapers and magazines, photographic prints of Sparks staff and premises, and business records and ephemera, relating to the activities and history of the company; as well as the British antiques trade and Chinese art market. Covering 1899-1990, predominantly 1964-1990. Includes: a collection of newspaper clippings on the allegations made in the British press during 1964 concerning a fraudulent 'knock-down' ring of art dealers operating in the British antiques industry and Sparks’ subsequent resignation from the British Antique Dealers Association in protest at what the company’s management viewed as a lack of action by the Association to prevent such fraudulent activities occurring; clippings of newspaper reports, 1964-1971, on purchases of Chinese art made by Sparks at public auctions, including the world record purchase of Tang dynasty porcelain horse figurine for 16,000 at Sotheby's in 1969; newspaper and magazine clippings about the Chinese art market; photographs of Sparks staff, including Peter Sparks (Chairman and Managing Director), Peter Vaughan (Managing Director) and Michael Gillingham (Managing Director); photographs of Sparks’ premises, including its New York office (c 1919) and Mount Street gallery (1990); photographs of the Sparks stand at Grosvenor House antiques fair (1984-1980); orders of service for the funerals of Peter Sparks (1970) and Peter Vaughan (1987); as well as individual business records which appear to have been retained as memorabilia, including a letter sent by Captain John Sparks to a customer on Japanese Fine Art Depot letterhead paper (1899), client invoices (1941, 1976), advertising proofs (1902, 1950s), and business ephemera, including business cards, display labels, and blank letterhead paper. Most items affixed to scrapbook pages, some loose. Handwritten annotations and captions. 1 volume. Bound. Blue cloth cover.

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