Duveen Brothers and the Market for Decorative Arts, 1880-1940

GBP £44.95



ISBN: 978-1-911282-34-1

320 Pages

235 x 184 mm (7 ¼ x 9 ¼ in)

75 colour illustrations

In association with The Frick Collection, New York

June 2019


“This book extensively documents Duveen’s practices and, in so doing, builds a convincing case for the firm’s centrality in the development of American taste for European decorative arts and Chinese porcelain.”—Ian Wardropper, director, The Frick Collection

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Active in London, Paris, and New York, Duveen Brothers was the most prominent art and antique dealer from the late nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century. The firm’s success came from buying furniture, tapestries, porcelain, and other objets d’art and selling it at high prices to wealthy Americans, including Henry Clay Frick, John D. Rockefeller Jr., Arabella Huntington, and John Pierpont Morgan. Making extensive use of Duveen Brothers records at the Getty Research Institute, as well as letters and invoices in the archives of the firm’s clients, Vignon provides a rich study of this influential firm in the history of collecting. 

Author biographies

Charlotte Vignon is curator of decorative arts at The Frick Collection.

Table of Contents

  1. Acknowledgments
  2. Introduction
  3. PART 1: Commercial Strategies and Tricks of the Trade
    Chapter 1: Toward the Conquest of London, New York, and Paris
    Chapter 2: Art Dealers and Interior Decorators
    Chapter 3: Issues of Restoration, Authenticity, and Expertise
    Chapter 4: Flouting U. S. Law at Duveen Brothers
  4. PART 2: The Trade in Decorative Arts at Duveen Brothers
    Chapter 5: Duveen Brothers: Dealers in Chinese Porcelain
    Chapter 6: Duveen Brothers: Dealers in Eighteenth-Century French Furniture and Objets d’Art
    Chapter 7: Duveen Brothers: Dealers in Medieval and Renaissance Furniture and Objets d’Art
  5. Conclusion
  6. Biographies
  7. Abbreviations and Sources
  8. References
  9. Photo Credits
  10. Index