Peter Nahum

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Peter Nahum
Occupation Art historian and dealer
Television Antiques Roadshow
Awards FRSA

Peter Nahum is an English art dealer, author, lecturer and journalist who is known for his many appearances on the long running BBC television programme Antiques Roadshow, on which he appeared from 1981 to 2002.[1] He discovered a long lost Richard Dadd painting on the show which was subsequently sold to the British Museum.[2]


Nahum was educated at Sherborne School and began his career at Peter Wilson's Sotheby's in 1966. During his 17 years with the company he initiated the Victorian Painting Department at the newly opened Sotheby's Belgravia in 1971 and was head of the British Painting Department (1840 to Contemporary) until his departure in 1984. He was also a Senior Director sitting on the chairman's committee and advisor to the British Rail Pension Fund on Victorian Paintings.[3] He has handled a large proportion of the most important Victorian paintings to come on the market.

He left Sotheby's in 1984 to open his own gallery, The Leicester Galleries,[nb 1] in St James's, London, specialising in paintings, drawings and sculptures of the highest quality from the 19th and 20th centuries. He now works independently, actively buying and selling and is currently adviser to major private collections and museums throughout the world, signatory on authentication certificates for Victorian paintings sold to Japan and official valuer for the Department of Arts, Heritage and Environment of the Government of Australia. He also acts as a celebrity auctioneer for many charities. He is a television personality, academic, lecturer, author, frame designer and frequent lender of paintings to international exhibitions. In addition, he designed, created and built the trading website, Online Galleries, for the top 5,000 art and antique dealers of the world, all members of C.I.N.O.A. and their own national trade associations. This website,, gives the dealers a trading platform and a chance to display their wares in their own purpose built websites and "Online Galleries", and gives the public the opportunity to buy with confidence from dealers who trade under strict codes of conduct.

Public appearances[edit]

From 1981 to 2002 Peter Nahum was a regular contributor to the BBC's Antiques Roadshow rediscovering Richard Dadd's lost watercolour Artists Halt in the Desert in 1987, which was later sold to the British Museum and an album of Filipino landscapes sold in 1995 for £240,000. Other BBC Television appearances include Omnibus, 1983 with Richard Baker on Richard Dadd's Oberon and Titania, and In at the Deep End, 1984, a three-quarter of an hour program during which he taught television journalist Chris Searle to auctioneer. He has also appeared on Breakfast Television, The City Program and Signals and on Sixty Minutes, to name a few, as well as various radio talk shows.[citation needed]. Throughout his career he has reported fakers to the police and has had success both in seeing them convicted and seeing the law crystallized in respect to the definition of fakes and faking. In this respect he has appeared in The Artful Codgers made for BBC Four in November 2007 It was Peter Nahum who first reported the Greenhalgh family to the police with full evidence in 1984, although it took another 16 years to convict them.

In 1986, Peter Nahum lectured on Victorian Painters as Super Stars - Their Public and Private Art, at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, USA; in 1993 on The Poetry of Crisis. British Art 1933-1951 at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London and more recently The Strange Forces around the Finding of Richard Dadd’s "Artist’s Halt in the Desert" for the National Arts Collection Fund. He lectures to student bodies and various other organisations.


Peter Nahum writes for daily press, for antiques magazines and museum & gallery catalogues.

His published works include:

  • Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, OM RA - A Catalogue of Thirty Five Paintings and Watercolours, Designed and edited by Peter Nahum, Sotheby & Co, 1973
  • Prices of Victorian Paintings, Drawings and Watercolours, by Peter Nahum, Carter Nash Cameron, 1976
  • Monograms of Victorian and Edwardian Artists, by Peter Nahum, Victoria Square Press, 1976
  • Victorian Painters' Monograms, by Peter Nahum, W. Foulsham & Co., 1977
  • Jessie M. King and E. A. Taylor - Illustrator and Designer, designed and edited by Peter Nahum, Paul Harris Publishing and Sotheby's Belgravia, 1977
  • Cross Section, British Art in The Twentieth Century, Peter Nahum Limited, 1989
  • British Art from the Twentieth Century, Peter Nahum Limited, 1989
  • Burne-Jones, The Pre-Raphaelites and their Century, 2 volumes, by Hilary Morgan and Peter Nahum, Peter Nahum Limited, 1989
  • Michael Rothenstein's Boxes, by Mel Gooding, conceived, designed and edited by Peter Nahum, Art Books International Ltd, 1992
  • Burne-Jones A Quest for Love, by Bill Waters, co-authored, edited and published by Peter Nahum, Peter Nahum Ltd, 1993
  • Henri Gaudier-Brzeska - A Sculptor Drawings, conceived, designed and edited by Peter Nahum, The Leicester Galleries, 1995
  • John Tunnard, His Life and his Work, Alan Peat and Brian Whitton (foreword by Peter Nahum), Scolar Press, London, 1997
  • Fairy Folk in Fairy Land, by Peter Nahum, The Leicester Galleries, 1998
  • Pre-Raphaelite . Symbolist . Visionary, by Peter Nahum and Sally Burgess, The Leicester Galleries, 2001
  • Medieval to Modern, by Peter Nahum and Sally Burgess, The Leicester Galleries, 2003
  • The Brotherhood of Ruralists and The Pre-Raphaelites, by Peter Nahum and Sally Burgess, The Leicester Galleries, 2005
  • Master Drawings, The Leicester Galleries, 2006
  • Paul Raymond Gregory; My Secret Book, designed and written by Peter Nahum, The Leicester Galleries, 2007
  • Ancient Landscapes - Pastoral Visions: Samuel Palmer to the Ruralists, by Anne Anderson, Robert Meyrick and Peter Nahum, Southampton City Art Gallery, April–June 2008; then touring Victoria Gallery Bath, Falmouth Art Gallery and Cube Gallery Plymouth until 19 December 2008


  • Nomi Rowe, In Celebration of Cecil Collins, Visionary Artist and Educator, London 2008, pages 49 – 51
  • Past and Present: Edward Burne-Jones, His Medieval Sources and Their Relevance to his Personal Journey, by William Waters and Peter Nahum, in Edward Burne-Jones: The Earthly Paradise, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart and Kunstmuseum Bern, pages 179-203, Hartje Cantz, Ostfildern 2009

DVD documentary[edit]

  • Paul Raymond Gregory's RingQuest, Narrated by Julian Sands; Narration written by Peter Nahum; Executive producer: Peter Nahum; Produced, directed and edited by Mathias Walin; Photography and sound by Martin Sundström.

Frame design[edit]

Peter Nahum has designed and built frames for the neo-classical painting by Frederic Lord Leighton in Sydney’s Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia; for an important watercolour by Dante Gabriel Rossetti for the Adelaide Museum of Art, Australia; for the masterpiece in Llandaff Cathedral, Wales: the triptych by Dante Gabriel Rossetti and for other museums and many private collections. The monumental series of paintings inspired by the works of J R R Tolkien by Paul Raymond Gregory, which has been shown only in museum exhibitions, are all framed in hand-carved frames designed by Peter Nahum and John Davies, the framer. (

Web site building[edit]

Nahum's company, Online Galleries Ltd, creates websites for the top 5,000 dealers in the World, all under strict codes of conduct as members of national Dealers Associations and their over-body C.I.N.O.A. He sold the company to 1st Dibs in 2012.


  1. ^ He acquired the name in 1984 of the Leicester Galleries founded in 1902 and first located off of Leicester Square. It held its last show in 1975.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Higgie, Jennifer (31 May 2008). "Richard Dadd: madness and beauty". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  3. ^ David Battie and Fiona Malcolm (2005). The Antiques Roadshow. Mitchell Beazley. ISBN 1-84533-060-9. 

External links[edit]