Christie, James (1730-1803) (DNB00)

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CHRISTIE, JAMES, the elder (1730–1803), auctioneer, resigned a commission in the navy for the employment of an auctioneer. His first sale took place on 5 Dec. 1766, at rooms in Pall Mall, formerly occupied by the print warehouse of Richard Dalton. On these premises the exhibitions of the Royal Academy of Arts were held until 1779. Christie afterwards moved next door to Gainsborough, who lived in the western wing of Schomburg House. He was of tall and dignified appearance, remarkable for eloquence and professional enthusiasm, and was intimate wit Garrick, Reynolds, and Gainsborough, and other men of note. He died at his house in Pall Mall on 8 Nov. 1803, aged 73, and was buried at St. James’s burial-ground in the Hampstead Road. He was twice married, and of the first marriage had four sons, of whom the eldest, James [q. v.], succeeded him; the second, Charles, captain in the 5th regiment of Bengal Native Infantry, was killed (1812) in Persia during a Russian attack; the third, Albany, died in 1821; and Edward, the fourth, died a midshipman at Port Royal in Jamaica, 1821. Samuel Hunter Christie [q. v.] was his son by the second marriage.

[Information from Mr. James Christie; Chalcographimania, by Satiricus Sculptor, 1814. p. 5; Nichols’s Lit. Anecd. iii. 624; John Taylor’s Records of my Life, 1832, ii. 206-11; Leslie and Tom Taylor’s Life of Sir Joshua Reynolds, 1865, i. 180, 182, 316; Sandby’s History of the Royal Academy, 1862, 2 vols.; Wheatley’s Round about Piccadilly and Pall Mall, 1870; Under the Hammer: Christie’s (All the Year Round, 8 May 1875); A Chat about Christie’s (London Society, July 1871).]

H. R. T.