Published: July 1, 2003
– James Mitchell Parker, Jr, a partner in Jackson-Mitchell, Inc, specialists in English furniture and decorative accessories, died at his home in Wilmington on Saturday, June 21, after a brief bout with cancer. He was 64.
The son of Dr James Mitchell Parker and Elizabeth Harding Parker Strong, Mr Parker was educated at the Middlesex School and Harvard College, where he was president of the sailing club and a member of the Class of 1960. He received his master’s degree in social work from Bryn Mawr College in 1971.
Until his retirement in 2002, he was president of Jackson-Mitchell, Inc, based in Centreville, Del. Mr Parker formed the company 35 years ago with Stuart Jackson Horn. From the beginning, the dealers specialized in English furniture and related decorative arts. The company was particularly well-known for tall-case clocks and barometers.
The men began dealing in antiques on weekends as show dealers. Mr Parker soon left his job to concentrate on antiques full-time. While they were becoming established, Mr Horn remained in his position at DuPont.
Jackson-Mitchell opened its first shop on the green in New Castle, Del., remaining there for several years before moving, in 1985, to Centreville, just a mile past the entrance to Winterthur Museum on Route 52.
Between 1977 and 2002, Jackson-Mitchell exhibited at the Winter Antiques Show in New York. Imparting the aura of a well-furnished gentleman’s study, Jackson-Mitchell’s intricately designed booths often featured a sideboard, several desks, gilded mirrors, chairs, clocks, gleaming brass and pottery.
“When one walked into either the shop or one of their booths, one always had the impression of walking into the best shop in England’s provincial towns,” recalled Christian Jussel, a longtime colleague.
“Jim and Stuart had the ability to present a tremendous amount of merchandise well. They were very hardworking dealers,” said Enrique Goytizolo of Georgian Manor Antiques, who joined the Winter Antiques Show in 1976.
Following the shop’s close, the Jackson-Mitchell collection was auctioned at Sotheby’s New York on April 30 and May 1, 2003. Wrote Mr Jussel in the catalog introduction, “Well-liked, highly regarded and internationally known, Jim and Stu have made their mark with Jackson-Mitchell’s style and integrity for almost two generations. It is an honor and a pleasure for Sotheby’s to not only learn from their inspiration but to be able to share the riches from their shop with our clients.”
An officer of the Antiques Council and a former member of the National Antique and Art Dealers Association of America, Mr Parker is survived by his sister, Elizabeth Lee Parker of Yarmouth, Maine; his brother and sister-in-law Francis Harding Parker and Anne Chadwick Parker of South Freeport, Maine; and Mr Horn.
The memorial service was Wednesday, July 2, at 3:30 pm at Old Swedes Church, Wilmington. Memorial gifts may be made to Winterthur Development Office, WPEK Program for Graduate Education.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm