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Dr Eleanor Quince BA, PhD, SFHEA

Principal Teaching Fellow in Modern British History; Director of Programmes

Dr Eleanor Quince's photo

I am a historian of modern Britain with an interest in cultural and object history. I have recently completed a three-year AHRC-funded research project into twentieth century antique dealers.

I have a background in decorative art, undertaking my PhD on Gillows, a furniture-making firm working in Lancaster and London during the eighteenth-century, with support from an Archival Studentship. My interest in antique furniture developed from exploring its production to considering its display and, latterly, how it is marketed and sold. This interest informs my teaching which includes, among other subjects, the history of shopping and the country house.

I am currently completing a project which follows on from my research into antique dealers. This project aims to highlight the involvement of antique dealers in building our national collections, working with museums and galleries including the V&A and the Ashmolean.

In past roles I have worked for the Faculty and the University in the areas of Employability and Postgraduate Research training and support.  In recognition of my work in the field of educational development, I have been awarded a Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy


Research interests

My research interests centre on the object: its design, manufacture, consumption, collection and display.  My work encompasses art and architectural history and theory; the role of women in furniture design, manufacture and consumption in the eighteenth century; the reception, collection and display of cultural artefacts with particular reference to period rooms and the Country House; and the decorative art and antiques market.  Funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) has enabled me to work with colleagues from the University of Leeds to undertake ground-breaking research into the antiques trade in Britain in the twentieth century.

I retain my interest in educational development, specifically in skills acquisition and enhancement.  Recent research projects have focussed on the role of alumni in promoting employability, funded by the Higher Education Academy individual teaching grants scheme, and an exploration of skills self-assessment for first year PhD students, funded by a Fellowship from the Open University.  Internal funding has enabled me to work with the University's careers service, Careers and Employability Services, to establish a student consultancy scheme for the University.

I welcome applications for PhD supervision in any topic related to my broader research interests.

  • Antique Dealers: the British Antiques Trade in the 20th century, a cultural geography
  • Year of the Dealer

Research project(s)

Antique Dealers: the British Antiques Trade in the 20th century, a cultural geography

Dr Eleanor Quince is working with colleagues at the University of Leeds to investigate the history of the trade in antiques in 20th century Britain.  Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the project aims to map dealerships, identify the objects which passed through their hands, and track the relationship between the trade and public museums.

Understanding the twentieth century Antiques Trade

Buying and selling a multitude of historically important objects, antique dealers have played a big, but often unseen role in the formation of our national collections.

  • Director of Programmes
  • Reading Histories and Dissertations convenor
  • Humanities CHEP Champion
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Book Chapters


Creative Media and Artefacts



Module Convenor:

  • HIST1147: The Real Downton Abbey
  • HIST2100: Retail Therapy
  • HIST2086: Building London 1666 – 2012
  • HIST3225: The Great Exhibition, special subject part one
  • HIST3226: The Great Exhibition, special subject part two
  • HIST3242: Reading Histories
  • HIST3021: History Dissertation
  • HIST3210: Ancient History Dissertation

Areas where I can offer postgraduate supervision:

Eighteenth century British cultural history; the history and development of the English Country House; the architecture and history of London; antique dealers and collectors; the decorative art market and the consumption and display of decorative art objects.

Dr Eleanor Quince
Building 65, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Southampton, Avenue Campus Southampton SO17 1BF, United Kingdom

Room Number : 65/1049

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