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James R. Gregory

James Reynolds Gregory, one of the principal London mineral dealers in the last half of the 19th century, was born in London on December 29, 1832. The company he founded (today known as Gregory, Bottley & Lloyd) is one of the longest-running mineral specimen dealerships in the world, second only to the F. Krantz Company in Bonn, which was founded about 20 years earlier.

Gregory was educated at Archbishop Tennison's School, and afterward found employment first as an assistant in a silk and jewellery company on Regent Street. In 1858, at the age of 26, he established a business of his own selling minerals and fossils from quarters in King William Street. A few years later he moved to "very extensive premises" in Golden Square. He soon gained a reputation as one of the best dealers in the city, exhibiting at many of the major commercial shows in London and elsewhere, and winning awards for the excellence of his specimens (in Paris, 1867; Sydney, 1879; London, 1862, 1883 and 1884).

Gregory never did much collecting in the field, but rather bought primarily at auction, and from collectors and other dealers. Gregory supplied many of the major collectors of his day, as well as scientists needing samples for research purposes. He built a superb personal collection of meteorites from several hundred falls; it was later broken up and sold by his sons, a large portion going to the British Museum. He wrote several papers on meteorites and was a member of the Geological Society, the Mineralogical Society, the Mineralogical Society of France and of the Society of Arts.

The business became known as J.R. Gregory & Company around 1896, still under James' management with the assistance of his son Albert, who had been working there since he was in his teens. When James died three years later, on December 15, 1899, the business passed to Albert. Over the years the company absorbed several others, including those of Russell and Shaw, Samuel Henson, and Francis H. Butler, and consequently the shop became a splendid source for modern collectors of antique dealer labels. Percy Bottley took over the company in 1931, renaming it Gregory, Bottley & Company in deference to his predecessors. Bottley added the stock of G.H. Richards in 1936. During World War II, business continued unabated and several excellent private collections were acquired and resold.

Following Percy Bottley's death in 1981 the business was sold to Brian Lloyd, (whereupon it became Gregory, Bottley & Lloyd), who was previously a mineral dealer for seven years in Pall Mall. He has carried on the company's specialization in historic collections, most recently that of Robert Ferguson (1767-1840). Brian moved the business to 12-13 Rickett Street in London in 1982 and in April 1993 to 13 Seagrave Road, London, where it continues today.

Addresses and dates:

59 Frith St. (1858)
3 King William St. (1859-1861)
25 Golden Sq. (1862-1866)
15 Russell St. (1866-1874)
88 Charlotte St. (1874-1895)
1 Kelso Place (1896-1906)
139 Fulham Rd. (1907-1926)
30 Church St. (1926-1981)
12-13 Rickett St. (1982-1993)
13 Seagrave Rd. (1993 to date)

COOPER, M.P. (2007) Robbing the Sparry Garniture: A 200-Year History of British Mineral Dealers. Mineralogical Record, Tucson, 358 p.
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[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2019)
Mineralogical Record
Biographical Archive, at]
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Number of labels found: 12 | Labels being viewed: 1 to 8

The Mineralogical Record - James R. Gregory James R. Gregory
The Mineralogical Record - James R. Gregory The Gregory & Bottley stock room in the 1960s, probably unchanged since the 1920s, with cabinets dating to the 1890s or before.
The Mineralogical Record - James R. Gregory 48 x 62 mm,
A very early Gregory label in Gregory's handwritng (1850-1858).
The Mineralogical Record - James R. Gregory 33 x 61 mm,
25 Golden Square address (1862-1866)
The Mineralogical Record - James R. Gregory Small label (Russell St. address) for affixing to boxes of crystal models made by Nathaniel Larkin and sold by Russell. (Roy Starkey collection)
The Mineralogical Record - James R. Gregory 37 x 57 mm,
15, Russell St. address (1866-1874). TO SEE NEARLY 500 GREGORY LABELS that accompanied a collection assembled for a New Zealand museum in 1873 CLICK HERE. To see a pdf listing of the labels CLICK HERE. Provided courtesy of Dr. Hugh Grenfell, Auckland Museum, New Zealand.
The Mineralogical Record - James R. Gregory 36 x 57 mm,
88, Charlotte St. address (1874-1895)
The Mineralogical Record - James R. Gregory August 1877 ad in Nature
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