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Arthur Churchill Ltd. (London, England) Records

Identifier: MS-0239

Scope and Contents

These records of a prominent English antique glass dealer are divided into eight series:

(1) Stock Books, 1928-1971

(2) Business and Client Correspondence, 1933-1966

(3) Photographs and Negatives, 1921-1976

(4) Sales Lists and Draft Catalogs, 1935-1947

(5) Financial Records, 1957-1965

(6) Research Files, 1904-1962

(7) Newspaper Clippings and Advertisements, 1919-1965

(8) Miscellaneous Materials, 1919-1978


  • 1904-1978

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for public research. Researchers must make an appointment to view the collection.

Conditions Governing Use

The Copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement. The user agrees to defend, indemnify, and hold harmless the Corning Museum of Glass and the Rakow Research Library against all claims, demands, costs and expenses incurred by copyright infringement or any other legal or regulatory cause of action arising from the use of Library materials.

Biographical / Historical

Arthur Churchill Ltd. was the successor to Arthur Churchill’s antiques business, which was founded around 1912. Churchill specialized in the buying and selling of old English and Irish glass, as well as early drinking glasses. W. G. T. Burne worked for Arthur Churchill and was announced as the successor to Churchill upon Churchill’s death in 1936. However, just weeks thereafter, clients were informed that Burne was no longer working under Churchill’s name.

Arthur Churchill Ltd. was initially managed by Churchill’s widow, Vernita E. Churchill, Edward Barrington Haynes, and A. P. Godfrey. The firm published A Catalogue of Old English and other Glassware and A Coronation Exhibition of Royal, Historical, Political, and Social Glasses, Commemorating Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Events in English History, in 1937.

Vernita E. Churchill left her management role in 1941, and Haynes and Godfrey ran the firm until 1957. Their business flourished and expanded, and they launched Glass Notes, a periodical for glass collectors, in 1943. They also sold photographs of “unusual or especially interesting” glass objects they encountered in their business dealings.

H. J. Dixon replaced Edward Barrington Haynes in 1957, and in 1958, D. A. Crompton joined the Arthur Churchill Ltd. management team. Around this time, the firm’s last catalog and last issue of Glass Notes were published. In 1962, ownership of the firm appears to have been transferred to the Crompton family. Both Dixon and Godfrey left the firm, and Sidney C. Crompton joined as a manager. In 1967, Sidney C. Crompton, and glass collector Jerome Strauss were implicated in the illegal export of the Wenyfrid Geares Verzelini Goblet. While both parties were ultimately cleared of wrongdoing, the affair most likely damaged the reputation of Arthur Churchill Ltd.

Arthur Churchill Ltd. was dissolved on December 7th, 1972.


37.5 Linear Feet (47 Hollinger boxes, 12 half Hollinger boxes, 6 card file boxes, 4 glass plate negative boxes, 4 flat boxes )

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Received from Alison Minns in 2021.

Accession 2021.012

Physical Description

The acetate negatives in Series 03, Sub-Series 03 show evidence of channeling but most images remain intact. The acetate negatives are also giving off a vinegar odor.

One of the glass plate negatives (22914) in Series 03, Sub-Series 04 is cracked.

Processing Information

Processed by Sarah Tronkowski and Colleen McFarland Rademaker in 2021.

Processing Information

Series 01: Ledger sheets removed from damaged bindings and foldered by binder.

Series 02: Based on the color of folders and filing conventions, there appear to have been at least two different sets of correspondence. We surmise that the Crompton family began a new set of correspondence files when they took over the business, but it is unclear. All correspondence files were brought together into one series and arranged alphabetically and thereunder chronologically.

Series 03: Photographic prints are mostly pasted into scrapbooks or loose. Their condition varies with many being severely curled. Many of the loose photographic prints have been cut from their original format and are frequently duplicated.

Series 07: The scrapbooks in this series were often in poor condition and remain fragile. Most of the pages have been removed from their original bindings and the clippings have released from their original adhesive.

Arthur Churchill Ltd. (London, England) Records, 1904-1978
A Guide to the Collection
In Progress
Sarah Tronkowski and Colleen McFarland Rademaker
January 04, 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Rakow Research Library Manuscript Collection Repository

The Rakow Research Library
The Corning Museum of Glass
Five Museum Way
Corning NY 14830 USA