Charles Vivian has worked in the fine art and antiques trade for nearly forty years in England, Australia and Ireland. He has been living in West Cork, with his wife and four children, since 1997.
He worked for Spink & Son Ltd, London, in the picture department from 1978 to 1980 and for Spink & Son (Australia) P/L from 1980 to 1988 where he was a director and ran their highly acclaimed art gallery and edited and published the gallery magazine Acanthus. In 1988 he set up Charles Vivian Fine Arts P/L in Moss Vale in NSW where he dealt in English and Australian furniture and silver, Oriental works of art, paintings and orders, decorations and medals. He was a valuer for the Federal government for their tax incentives for the arts scheme and has acted in an advisory capacity in publishing many fine art books. He also helped to compile the John Hawkins Photographic Library of British and Irish Silver amounting to nearly 100,000 images, one of the largest ever formed.
He was an official vetter of the Australian Antique Dealers’ Association Fairs for medals, oriental and jade from 1993 until he left Australia in 1997 and was an official vetter of the Irish Antique Dealers’ Association Fairs in Dublin for silver and pictures during 1999 and 2000.
He has written regular columns on the fine arts, including: ‘Antiques Column’, Australian Farm Journal; ‘Medal News’, Coin and Banknote Magazine; ‘Antiques Column’, Highlife Magazine, ‘Fair Report’, James A. Johnson & Associates Fair Handbook, ‘Fair Comment’, Antipodes Magazine; ‘In the Rooms’, Australian Antique Collector; ‘Antiques Column’, Smart Woman Magazine; ‘Irish Column’, Antiques and Art Independent; as well as contributing to the Australian Coin Review, Numismatic Association of Australia Journal, Australian Antique Collector, James A. Johnson & Associates Fair Handbook, Antipodes, Antiques Trade Gazette and Masterpiece.
Lecture subjects include English Watercolours, Anglo-Saxon and Norman Coinage, Australian Proclamation Coinage and Holey Dollars, British Campaign Medals, Valuing Antiques, Australian Medals.
In 2008 he published his first novel, The Ballingaddy Find, through Ringrone Books.
As Charles Vivian Art & Antiques, he continues to buy and sell pictures, silver, oriental, medals and militaria as well as secondhand and rare books especially on the arts, history and biography. He is also writing and editing fine art books and researching all aspects of antiques history.
He conducts personalised tours of houses and gardens of Ireland as well as the National Gallery and National Museum in Dublin.