The Telegraph reports on the life and career of Christopher Wood, the Antiques Roadshow expert and Victorian art dealer:
Wood specialised in Pre-Raphaelite and Victorian paintings, watercolours and drawings, as well as in the Arts and Crafts movement and Gothic revival furniture, sculpture and ceramics. Scholarly and commercial interest in these areas had all but disappeared after the First World War, and it was not until the late 1960s that the Victorian era began to be reassessed.
Leading the way were dealers such as Godfrey Pilkington, Jeremy Maas, Julian Hartnoll – and Christopher Wood, who in 1968, while working at Christie’s picture department, began to hold specialised Victorian sales. [ . . . ]
Wood’s natural diffidence could sometimes be misread as remoteness or even arrogance; but in truth he had a sweet nature, and – in a world that can attract rogues and chancers – he was utterly honest and reliable in his business affairs. In later life he came to radiate a new air of contentment; tall, good-looking and charming, he was an easy-going, friendly man who enjoyed his membership of Brooks’s, the Beefsteak and the Chelsea Arts Club.
Essentially Wood was an aesthete. His Gothic house in Somerset – a former primary school built in 1857 which he bought at auction in the early 1980s and painstakingly restored – was filled with Victorian artefacts, and he constructed a belfry especially for the bats (which, however, ignored it in favour of the eaves over the front door).