Born in Carlisle in 1935, Michael Finlay was educated at the local Grammar school prior to nine years in the Army, serving in Korea, Japan, Malaya and BAOR. As a mature student he undertook a four-year course at Carlisle College of Art for the National Diploma in Design, followed by a year at Newcastle University where he received a post-graduate Diploma in Educaion. Since that time he has been active in the world of fine art and antiques, firstly as a self-employed dealer with a shop in Carlisle as a member of the BADA, more recently in the field of art and antiques auctions. In 1971 he took the Direct Final Eaminations of the Incorporated Society of Valuers and Auctioneers, winning the Society's Memorial Prize for that year, and was admitted to the Society as a Fellow. On the amalgamation of the ISVA and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors he became a Fellow of the RICS, but resigned from the Institution on retirement. From 1987 until semi-retirement in 1998, he was manager of the Carlisle branch of Phillips Fine Art Auctioneers and later an Associate Director of that firm, now Bonhams. After a further few years as a consultant to various auctioneers, in particular to Penrith Farmers' and Kidd's plc, and in a specialist capacity in the cataloguing of English metalwork to other national and provincial auctioneers, he is now retired and spends his leisure time collecting, and writing on, a variety of antiques. He has published three books, on Western Writing Implements, Cumbrian Mining Tokens and English Decorated Bronze Mortars . His current interest is in the history and development of the kitchen and its implements, which he collects and to which this site is largely devoted. However, it is intended also to have a large archive of photographic images of items handled over some sixty years, on a variety of subjects.

- Images on this website may not be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder. Unless otherwise credited, all the objects illustrated on this site were formerly part of the stock in trade or personal collection of Michael Finlay, from whom all such permissions should be sought.

Michael Finlay's first antique shop in Carlisle in the 1970s. Some of the ceramics may also be seen in detail on the English Porcelain page on this website.


     The purpose of this website is twofold.  On the one hand I have three books in print and I hope to sell the small number of copies remaining. .   On the other, I had intended to produce a book entitled "THE CONTENTS OF A GENTLEMAN'S POCKET", and had gathered many photographs on that subject.  I decided recently that I am getting too old for the effort required to do that.  I also have many other images on other aspects of antiques which may be of academic interest to others, hence this website.

Michael's second shop, in 1977