John Bly Antiques
The Bly family have been dealers since the beginning of the 19th century. An ancient letterhead proclaimed “John Bly – Antique Dealers since the reign of William IV”. The grandfather of the present John Bly first established his own business in Tring, Hertfordshire in 1891.
In 1991, the firm’s 100th year, John Bly opened showrooms in St James’ London and in 2014 his son James opened a gallery in London’s King’s Road, Chelsea.
James Bly provides the same services that his great grandfather established: fine antiques bought and sold, full valuations, and cabinet making and restoration of the highest order. He also runs a bespoke sourcing consultancy, a service offered to professionals and collectors alike.
The present John Bly worked for years at Sotheby’s before joining the family firm. He is a regular contributor to BBC Television’s ‘Antiques Roadshow’. John Bly lectures in Britain, Europe and North America and writes for a variety of specialist magazines including ‘Country Homes and Interiors’ and ‘BBC Homes and Antiques’.
Titles of books he has written include ‘Discovering English Furniture’, ‘Discovering Hallmarks on English Silver’ and ‘Miller’s Silver and Sheffield Plate Marks’.
John Bly was made Chairman of the British Antique Dealers Association (BADA) in July 1999 and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths.
From a background of naval seamen, pottery decorators, horse traders, fellmongers, American Civil War soldiers, priests, architects and antique dealers, John Bly's life has been as entertaining and varied as his ancestry. His in-depth knowledge, his enthusiasm and ability to draw has make him a popular and engaging speaker and raconteur.