Old Curiosity Shop visitor book

The Old Curiosity Shop visitors' book

We have a very unusual item for sale in this week’s auction. It’s a visitors’ book from the Old Curiosity Shop in Manchester.

The Old Curiosity Shop, Bridge Street, Manchester. Credit: Alexander Henderson

The Old Curiosity Shop, Bridge Street, Manchester

credit: Alexander Henderson

The shop was founded in 1868 and, after repeatedly being forced out of 5 separate premises, sadly finally closed for good in 1974.

The Old Curiosity Shop, Chapel Street, Salford. September 1973. Credit: Visual Resources Centre, Manchester Metropolitan University

The Old Curiosity Shop, Chapel Street, Salford. September 1973

credit: Visual Resources Centre, Manchester Metropolitan University

During the 60s & 70s, the shop was a visitor attraction for many local and touring stars of theatre and television. The visitors’ book is chock full of press clippings, autographs and personal notes from both celebrities of the day and by the shop’s proprietor, Harold Gilbert.

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Towards the back of the book, Gilbert collected press clippings and details about his friend, L S Lowry. This included correspondence from the auction house and the buyer on the sale of the artist’s rent bag.  The item had been given to Gilbert as a birthday present which he put up for sale with Christie’s in 1999. There are also lots of pictures and signatures relating to Coronation Street stars and we noticed a very interesting section featuring Muhammed Ali.

Here’s a more detailed look at the visitors’ book – you can scroll down the flip book and look at the individual pages. It’s lot #335 in this week’s auction – Friday 17th July starting at 10am.

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