Abbott and Holder

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Abbott and Holder
Art dealers
Founded1936 (1936)
  • Robert Abbott
  • Eric Holder
Headquarters Edit this at Wikidata
Letterhead, as used in 1969, listing Eric Holder, John Abbott and Anna Holder
Museum Street: Abbott and Holder is the fourth building in on the left with the pale blue frontage
Portrait of a boy by Harry Becker, offered for sale by Abbott and Holder in 2017.

Abbott and Holder is an art gallery and dealership in London, England, that specialises in low-price, 19th- and 20th-century English paintings, watercolours, drawings and prints.[1][2] The gallery has been located at 30 Museum Street, London WC1 since 1987.[1][3][4]

The company was founded by and named after Robert Abbott, a former headmaster and a Quaker minister,[5] and Eric Holder, a trainee accountant who had been a conscientious objector and ambulance driver in the First World War, and who was a lapsed Quaker.[5] The pair first dealt art jointly in 1936.[3][6] Robert retired on health grounds in 1959.[5] In 1969, Anna Holder was also listed on the company's letterhead. Robert's nephew John Abbott (1937-2011[5]), who had worked for the firm in the 1960s,[5] became a partner in 1971.[4] Eric Holder retired in 1981 and Philip Athill,[7] an art history graduate and assistant at the gallery since 1979,[5] and now the company's Managing Director, became a partner in 1984.[4] John Abbott retired in 2001.[8]

Before moving to Museum Street, the gallery occupied part of a house at 73 Castelnau, Barnes, which was also Robert Abbott's home.[8][9]

As well as general sales, promoted with a monthly-updated "list", the gallery holds topical and artist-specific exhibitions,[10][11][12][13] occasionally including living artists.[14][15] In 1960, Eric Holder invited Reginald Gray to hold his first London solo exhibition at the gallery.[16] In 1961, Gray pained Holder's portrait.[16]

The gallery's clients have included the UK Government Art Collection[17] and Abbott and Holder's near neighbour, the British Museum.[18]

Abbott and Holder are members of the British Antique Dealers' Association.[19]


  1. ^ a b Gleadell, Colin (21 February 2006). "Under a grand: Abbott and Holder". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  2. ^ Pandya, Nick (13 December 2003). "Under the hammer: Art works". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Abbott and Holder Ltd". BADA. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  4. ^ a b c "Abbott and Holder Ltd". Royal Academy of Arts. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "John Abbott" (PDF). The Times. 28 April 2012.
  6. ^ "Abbott and Holder". Works on Paper Fair. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  7. ^ Philip is nephew and heir to literary editor, novelist and memoirist Diana Athill
  8. ^ a b "Gallery History". Abbott and Holder. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  9. ^ "History of art in Barnes". Barnes Artists. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  10. ^ James, David (2 April 2017). "An exhibition of work by RS Thomas' wife Mildred Eldridge". Wales Online. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  11. ^ "A spy with an eye for fashion". Christie's. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  12. ^ "From cartoons to Mediterranean art". Times of Malta. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  13. ^ "The Camp in the Oatfield". Abbott and Holder Ltd. Archived from the original on 30 December 2013.
  14. ^ "The ARTS Interview: Botanical Artist, Jess Shepherd". The Ecologist. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  15. ^ "Abbott and Holder Ltd : Prue Cooper - Slipware dishes". Studio Pottery. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  16. ^ a b Gray, Reginald (15 November 2007). "Eric Holder". Reginald Gray Portraits. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  17. ^ "John Bluck - Twenty-four Views taken in St. Helena, the Cape, India, Ceylon, The Red Sea, Abyssinia & Egypt". Government Art Collection. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  18. ^ "drawing". British Museum. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  19. ^ "British Antique Dealers' Association". CINOA. Retrieved 10 February 2019.

Further reading[edit]

  • "Eric Holder (obituary)". The Times. 3 February 2007.

External links[edit]