Stallholder Focus: Sanders of Oxford
Tell us about Sanders of Oxford.
Sanders of Oxford is one of the largest, and last remaining, antique print and map shops in the country. We are continuing the long tradition of selling prints, maps, and books, from our premises on Oxford High Street since the 1840’s. Our vast and varied stock includes maps from the 1520’s through to prints by contemporary print makers, with pretty much everything you can think of in between.
Tell us a bit about yourself, your role and what you enjoy most about your job.
I studied Fine Art Printmaking at Winchester School of Art and started working at Sanders just over ten years ago, I have worked in the basement, the office, and on the shop floor. I am now one of the owners of the business along with Sarah Boada-Momtahan. My role is quite far reaching and involves all aspects of running the shop, from cleaning the shop front to doing the accounts. The part of my job that I enjoy most is definitely buying; dealing in antiques means you never quite know what might turn up and when, this can obviously cause some stock flow issues but also keeps the job very interesting. Running the business for ourselves also allows us great flexibility in what we buy and how we present it, from our day to day sales of prints of the Oxford Colleges to specialist exhibitions of Japanese woodblock prints.
Describe the gifts you will be selling at the Independent Oxford Christmas Market.
Our stall at the Independent Oxford Christmas Market this year will provide a brief overview of what we sell in the shop, and we hope there will something for everyone and every pocket, with prices ranging from £5 – £200. Highlights will include 19th century celestial prints and decorative 20th century Japanese woodblocks, alongside a collection of works by our UK based contemporary print makers.
What’s your favourite product in your range?
With over 40,000 prints and maps in the shop it is tricky to pick just one, our latest catalogue of weird and wonderful prints features some of my favourite items of stock that we have had for a long time. Dealing in antiques also means we generally only have a single impression of any one individual item in stock at any one time. If I had to pick one it would be a fantastic Victorian, optical illusion, memento mori, that we recently purchased. It is a print of young man and woman underneath an archway, the woman presents her lover with a miniature tree, while food and drink has been laid out before them. The image forms an optical illusion of a skull, which became a popular theme during the late nineteenth and twentieth century. This anonymous design is one of the oldest examples of a skull illusion and was replicated in several postcards and even puzzles.