Spring Antiques Holiday  
March 20th - 25th  2016 


* Some Great Collectors of the 18th and 19th Century.   Rarely, if ever, in the history of collecting has there been such an avalanche of goods pouring into one country as into Britain in these two centuries.

Talk at the Armitt Museum; Beatrix Potter-Image and Reality with Graham Kilner.  Aside from her children’s stories and illustrations, Beatrix Potter was a knowledgeable and extremely competent botanist. Her drawings on this subject are housed at the Armitt Museum, the best collection in the world.

Day Out in Grasmere:
* Guided tour of Dove Cottage, the home of William Wordsworth, the great 19th century poet.  

* Talk by Hazel Clarke: “The Opium of the People”. The prevalent use of opium in 19th century England, described by Thomas de Quincey as the “secret of happiness”.

* Visit to the nearby Wordsworth Museum, containing a huge collection of manuscripts, and memorabilia relating to William Wordsworth, plus the current exhibition.

* Free time in Grasmere: Wordsworth is buried in St Oswald’s Church, near Samuel Taylor Coleridge ;  The “controversial” National Trust house at Allan Bank.

Jewellery Study Day with Susan Rumfitt of the Antiques Roadshow.

* Talk: Love and Sentiment in Jewels - The Meaning of Gemstones.

* Talk: Love, Power and Scandal - A Royal Jewel for Every Occasion. 

* Talk : Jewels of the Maharajas.   The jewels of the Indian princes are of barbaric splendour and profusion, dwarfing anything known in the west.

* Talk: “If you want to get ahead - get a tiara!”    An updated version of this favourite talk illustrating the problems of such a piece of jewellery and how to wear one.

* Antiques Roadshow: After tea Susan will assess any jewels you may care to bring.

* Visit to the Kendal Museum.
One of the oldest in the country dating back to 1796. In addition to a Wildlife gallery, and an archaeological section, it contains memorabilia of Alfred Wainwright, about whom the Curator will give a short talk. Refreshments are available at the Museum.

* Eileen Gray, An Irish Rebel.
The story of a well-to-do Anglo-Irish girl who kicked over the traces and became one of Europe’s most avant-garde designers.

* Marking of the Quiz

A diverse range of subjects which, allied with the comforts of the Rothay Manor, will ensure a thoroughly rewarding and stimulating break.


The Host

Nicholas Merchant's career has mirrored his abiding interest in antiques, and embraces architecture, particularly country houses, their Collections and Gardens. Through his work at Sothebys and Phillips, Auctioneers in London and Leeds, he has acquired a wide general knowledge of Antiques.

He is a member of the Furniture History Society, the National Trust, and the Chippendale Society. In addition to conducting travel groups, he is an accredited lecturer with the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts, and has lectured extensively including at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. He divides his time between lecturing, valuation work, and his book business specialising in Reference Works on Decorative and Fine Arts. Notes will accompany each talk, and Nicholas will be present and available throughout the course. Items for discussion are welcomed from course members.


The 5-night holiday
runs from Sunday evening through to Friday morning, and the price is per person and includes full English breakfast, morning coffee, 3 course dinner and VAT @ 20% for the 5 night stay.


Non-participating partners are welcome, and the cost for them is £50 less than above.


We ask for a deposit of £150 per person for the 5-night holiday, which can be made by cheque or credit card. This is non-refundable unless the room is subsequently relet, and cancellation insurance is available.