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History

Mallett were pioneer exhibitors at many international fine art and antique fairs, and first showed in 1908 at the Franco-British Exhibition, Earls Court.

Mallett Showrooms at The Octagon Chapel, Bath

The Mallett style of fashioning and presenting room settings became a style signature and this approach was to continue. Building on the success of the exhibition Walter Mallett secured new premises at 40 New Bond Street where rooms arranged over two floors allowed furniture as well as mirrors, pictures and works of art to be displayed to create the atmosphere of a country house.

The Octagon, Bath

In 1930 Mallett transferred to a consortium of six employees who in the post war years turned the business into an internationally renowned dealership. Mallett was now working with influential and international private and public collectors and handling many significant and important treasures.  The Victoria & Albert Museum, the Metropolitan Museum, New York, and the Getty Museum were amongst the many high profile art institutions with whom Mallett transacted in the first half of the 20th century.

Mallett Van at 40 New Bond Street

The showrooms at the Octagon were closed in 1937 so that the business could concentrate on the art and antiques market which was becoming increasingly focused on London. The period after the World War II when Francis Egerton became the new Chairman was seminal in the development of Mallett in London as an internationally respected palace of treasures. The grand showrooms on Bond Street and at Bourdon House, Berkeley Square, attracted a new generation of collectors and decorators.  Francis Egerton retired in 1983 and Peter Maitland became Managing Director working in conjunction with Lanto Synge.  In 1987 the new management listed Mallett as a public company on the London Stock Exchange with Lanto Synge as Chief Executive.  A period of rapid expansion followed with the purchase of the Christopher Wood Gallery along with a specialist department for antique glass and the acquisition of Hatfields Restoration.

The Queen Mother Visiting Mallett at 40 New Bond Street, 1981

In 1991, under Synge’s leadership, the business moved into a larger property at 141 New Bond Street with twelve showrooms and in 2003 Mallett opened a three storey gallery in New York at 929 Madison Avenue which blended the styles of Bond Street and Bourdon House, mixing English and Continental furniture, fine and decorative arts. This international expansion coincided with the relocation of Mallett at Bourdon House to the 141 Bond Street premises and saw the launch of Made by Meta, a contemporary design business. In 2012 adapting to the changing market Mallett moved from Bond Street to Ely House at 37 Dover Street, a classical townhouse built as the London palace for the Bishop of Ely and designed by the renowned neo-classical architect Robert Taylor in 1772. This famous Mayfair architectural masterpiece perpetuated the original conception of Mallett, allowing it to showcase exceptional furniture and decorative arts in grand and spectacular rooms.

 

The annual Mallett charabanc, Brighton, 1929, with banjo accompaniment

In 2014 Mallett was bought by the Fine Art Auction Group which permitted it to be de-listed from the London Stock Exchange. Post-acquisition the Group underwent further restructure and in October 2017 Dreweatts 1759 Ltd bought the Mallett brand and its archive. The new owner is extremely well placed to extend a wide offering in either a retail or auction format, designed to suit  clients’ individual requirements and their timing with both single pieces and collections presented to the market in the most appropriate manner.

Donnington Priory, Berkshire

Furthermore, this new chapter in the 150 years of Mallett will see a return to its core business with a focus on providing an exciting programme of exhibitions and events promoting fine and decorative arts from the 18th & 19th centuries. Period room settings are soon to be unveiled at Donnington Priory, Berkshire, and Mallett will continue to participate at UK and international art fairs.