The company was founded in 1925 by Samuel Sydney Marchant (1897-1975). Initially situated on Cursitor Street near Chancery Lane in the city of London, it held a large stock of Oriental art, but also dealt in arms and armour, paintings and continental porcelain. In 1952 it moved to its present address at 120 Kensington Church Street, London W8 4BH.
The trading name was Marchant from 1925-1936 when it was renamed S. Marchant & Son with the birth of Richard Marchant. This name was retained until 2009 when the partnership reverted to its original name of Marchant.
Richard Marchant joined his father in 1953 and it is from that time the partnership specialised only in Oriental art. He was elected treasurer of the British Antique Dealers Association from June 2003-2005.
He then became Chairman for four years until 2009. He was the Chairman of the Oriental Vetting Committee at the Grosvenor House Art & Antiques Fair for ten years until 2009 when the fair closed. Marchants exhibited at the fair from 1975-2009 and also for eleven years at the international Asian Art fair in New York. Stuart Marchant, the third generation, joined the company in 1985, after five years apprenticeship. He is now the main buyer.
The specialties are Imperial Chinese Ming and Qing porcelains, jades, cloisonné, pottery and works of art. Emphasis is placed on rarity, quality and provenance.
Exhibitions at their gallery have been held since 1980 accompanied by scholarly catalogues. Most entirely illustrated in colour with introductions by John Ayers, former curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Marchants pride themselves on fine pieces that have passed through their hands, many now in major museums and collections worldwide. Services that can be undertaken are valuations; advice and commission bidding at auctions around the world; buying and selling private collections.
Simon Abraham-Gregory joined the company in March 1988 and is a loyal factotum.
In 2011, Stuart’s daughter Natalie joined the firm as the fourth generation and specialises in the photography of the catalogues, website managing and advertising, as well as accompanying Richard and Stuart viewing auctions. Her brother Samuel joined in 2015 and is learning the business from Stuart and Richard.