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Nicholas Merchant

Nicholas Merchant is a freelance lecturer on the Decorative and Fine Arts. He lectures extensively throughout the United Kingdom and Europe as one of the accredited lecturers of the Arts Society formerly National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts. In addition he has lectured in the United States, South Africa and recently to audiences in New Zealand..


About Nicholas Merchant

Nicholas’s wide knowledge of the Decorative Arts has been acquired through initially working for some of the leading auction houses including Sotheby’s and Phillip’s (now Bonhams) where he qualified as a Valuer through the Chartered Institute of Valuers (now Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors). Utilising his knowledge and love of his subject he subsequently was involved in the book-trade, specialising in reference books on the decorative and fine arts. His own business in this area introduced him to many of the leading antique dealers both in the United Kingdom and overseas. This business, likewise, took him not just to the principal London exhibitions but to Paris, Frankfurt and New York.

In 2004 Nicholas joined the panel of, the then, National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts and has since acquired a reputation as a lecturer whose convivial style of addressing his audience is guaranteed to entertain and inform. Nicholas not only lectures for the Arts Society but also for some of the principal cruise lines, such as Noble-Caledonia and Hebridean Princess, travelling notably to Germany, Italy and the Adriatic.The Baltic he has visited on a number of occasions, even conducting his own tour to St Petersburg. On each occasion Nicholas prepares power-point presentations relevant to the destinations. He is also associated with the travel company Travel Editions, for whom he advises on destinations

He was, until recently, the West Yorkshire representative for the Art Fund helping to raise money to keep art treasures in Britain. He now lectures extensively on-line not only in the UK but to New Zealand and South Africa. He is also the Northern Representative of the Friends of the British Antique Dealers Association.

To book Nicholas Merchant, contact The Speakers Agency on +44(0)1332 810481 or email

Speech Topics


  • The Architecture Of John Carr
  • Sir George Gilbert Scott, Architect Of The Gothic Revival
  • Sir Robert Lorimer, The Scottish Lutyens
  • Sir Edwin Lutyens, Architect To Dolls, Dukes And Dynasties.
  • The Other Lutyens, His Work For The War Graves Commission.
  • Who Was Andrea Palladio?
  • Rothschild Houses In Europe
  • Clough Williams-Ellis; The Man Who Built Portmeirion
  • Sir Jeffry Wyattville At Chatsworth And Windsor
  • The Remarkable Mr Burges


  • Alchemy And The European Quest For Porcelain
  • Madame De Pompadour And The Porcelain Of Sevres
  • The Lady Ludlow Collection.
  • Meissen And The Spread Of Porcelain In Europe

Collections And Collecting

  • The Great Collectors And Collections Of The 19th Century
  • A Mania For Marble. The 18th Century’s Obsession With Antique Sculpture
  • Green Vaults Of Dresden
  • The Lady Lever Collection
  • The Forgotten Great Exhibition, Manchester 1857
  • The Golden Age Of Dutch Art
  • The Origins Of The Wallace Collection

Country Houses

  • Apethorpe, A House Back From The Brink
  • Boughton, An English Versailles.
  • Bowhill, An Overlooked Treasure House
  • Brodick Castle And William Beckford
  • The 6th Duke Of Devonshire And The Building Of Chatsworth
  • Country Houses Of Cheshire
  • Country Houses Of Northamptonshire And Lincolnshire
  • Country Houses Of North Wales
  • Country Houses Of Sussex
  • Country Houses Of Yorkshire
  • Decline Of The Country House
  • Erdigg, A House Saved From Dereliction
  • Harewood The Creation Of A Country House
  • The Lure Of The Highlands And Islands
  • Two Great Houses; Holkham And Houghton
  • Lowther And The Lonsdales
  • Newby; The House The Gardens The Steam Train
  • Lady Anne Clifford, Proud Northern Lady
  • The Rothschilds In The Vale Of Aylesbury
  • Rothschild Houses In Europe
  • Some Country Houses Of The Scottish Borders
  • Waddesdon, The Collection


  • Thomas Chippendale, Pre-Eminent Cabinet Maker Of The 18th Century
  • Eileen Gray, An Irish Rebel
  • Linley, The Continuing Tradition English Cabinet Making.


Gold, Silver & Jewels

  • The Art Of The Silversmith
  • The Gold Box, The Must-Have Accessory Of The 18th Century.
  • Faberge At The Court Of The Tsar.
  • If You Want To Get Ahead….Get A Tiara!
  • The Jewellery Of Rene Lalique
  • Jewels Of The Indian Princes (New Lecture)
  • Paul De Lamerie, Silversmith Supreme
  • The Courtaulds


Period Styles

  • Arts And Crafts In The Cotswolds
  • The Baroque
  • The Baroque Garden

Royal Subjects

  • “My One Great Hobby”, The Collecting Interests Of Queen Mary.
  • The Prince Regent And His Collecting Mania.
  • The Prince Regent And His Building Mania.
  • Queen Victoria In The South Of France
  • The Royal Collection; The Reign Of Elizabeth Ii
  • Sandringham, A Royal Bolt Hole
  • The Jacobites. The Romance Of A Lost Cause (New Lecture)


Travel Related Talks

  • Along The Danube
  • The Empress Elizabeth Of Austria And The Great Compromise
  • The Balkan Kingdoms And The Decline Of The Ottoman Empire
  • Prague, At The Centre Of European Politics
  • Along The Rhine
  • The Golden Age Of Dutch Art


  • The Creation Of The Cote D’azur
  • Belles Demeures De Cap Martin A Bordighera
  • English Gardeners In The South Of France
  • The Private Palaces Of The Cote D’azur
  • The Popes Of Avignon
  • The Romans In Provence
  • The Grand Tour And The River Rhone
  • Two Gentlemen Of Bordighera


  • Potsdam, A Prussian Versailles
  • Bernardo Bellotto And The Creation Of “Florence On The Elbe”
  • The Green Vaults Of Dresden
  • Meissen And The Spread Of Porcelain In Europe


  • Portugal, Introductory Talk
  • “Only The Best” The Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon.
  • Baroque Art In Portugal

Russian And Baltic Subjects

  • Drottningholm, Its Gardens And Pavilions
  • Queen Christina Of Sweden
  • Palaces In And Around St Petersburg.
  • The Collections Of Peter The Great And Catherine The Great.
  • The Work Of Ilya Repin. The Greatest Of Russia’s 19th Century Painters
  • The Hanseatic League, Its Influence On Art And Architecture
  • Treasures Of The Rosenborg
Booking Information

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