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Durlacher Brothers

Armchair, Paris, ca. 1740, bought fromm the Executors of the late Joseph Henry Fitzhenry, via George Durlacher

Armchair, Paris, about 1740, bought from the executors of the late Joseph Henry Fitzhenry, via George Durlacher

Durlacher Brothers was a successful art dealership which acted as agent and advisor to the V&A for several decades and sold it a wide variety of art works.

The art dealership was established in London by Henry and George Durlacher in 1843 and counted among its clients J. Pierpont Morgan and Sir Richard Wallace. In the 1920s, a branch was opened in New York City, which was managed by R. Kirk Askew. Between 1850 and 1938 the London branch of Durlacher Bros operated from premises at 142 New Bond Street, London, and maintained a close association with the Museum (it gave advice on objects in the Salting Collection and acted as its agent at various auctions) for approximately 60 years and sold it a wide variety of art works: furniture, jewellery, majolica, miniatures, porcelain, sculptures, textiles etc.

On his retirement in 1938, George Durlacher apparently destroyed the records of the London branch and sold its remaining stock at Christie’s. Askew purchased the New York City branch and continued to trade under the name Durlacher Bros until c.1969.

Information in the V&A Archive

MA/1/D1979/1-7: Nominal file – Durlacher Brothers

MA/1/D1980: Nominal file – George L Durlacher

MA/1/D1981: Nominal file – Henry Durlacher

MA/1/M2725/1-14: Nominal file – J. Pierpont Morgan

MA/2/S15: Nominal file – Spengel sale (Munich)

MA/3/3, 5, 10-11, 17-19, 23-24, 28-29, 43 & 49: Art Referees' reports, 1863-1886

MA/31/2: Register of loans in

Other archival sources:

Getty Research Institute for the History of Art and the Humanities, Los Angeles, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, Archives of American Art

Selected printed works:

Christie’s (London). Italian majolica, bronzes & objects of art, French and Italian furniture of the Renaissance, tapestry and textiles, 6-7 April 1938. London, 1938. NAL pressmark: 23.UU

To locate material in the National Art Library, please search the Library Catalogue.