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Nicholas is a freelance lecturer in the Decorative and Fine Arts, who enjoys a reputation as a knowledgeable and entertaining speaker, on over thirty subjects ranging from the Collecting Interests of Queen Mary to the Villas and Gardens of the South of France.

He works primarily as a lecturer for some of the major travel companies such as Noble-Caledonia, Hebridean, and Travel Editions. His principal holidays with the latter company being Short Breaks to visit some of Britain’s great country houses, about which Nicholas is particularly enthusiastic.

In addition Nicholas lectures for the Arts Society (formerly NADFAS) which has taken him South Africa, Germany, and all over the United Kingdom. In 2021 with the advent of “zoomery” Nicholas conducted a series of eight lectures in New Zealand.

Nicholas is available for clients who wish to organise a private tour, with exclusive access, and has on several occasions done this for British and Continental clients.


Our Tour Manager was exceptionally well qualified to lead such a visit, a bear-leader in the 18th century style, with a clear schedule even when changes occurred, and ready to smooth over any problems with a sense of humour. It was a pleasure to be led so unostentatiously by such as Nicholas Merchant – excellent, most interesting lectures… A most enjoyable trip with a civilised and knowledgeable person.

List of Lectures

Country Houses

The Private Palaces Of The Cote D’azur
The Country Houses Of Yorkshire
Sir Edwin Lutyens, Architect To Dolls, Dukes And Dynasties
The Rothschilds In The Vale Of Aylesbury
Waddesdon, The Collection
The 6Th Duke Of Devonshire And The Building Of Chatsworth
Country Houses Of Northamptonshire And Lincolnshire
Country Houses Of Derbyshire
Country Houses Of North Wales
The Architecture Of John Carr (New Lecture)

Collections and Collecting

The Great Collectors And Collections Of The 19th Century
A Mania For Marble. The 18Th Century’s Obsession With Antique Sculpture
Green Vaults Of Dresden
Madame De Pompadour And The Porcelain Of Sevres
The Forgotten Great Exhibition, Manchester 1857


Linley, The Continuing Tradition English Cabinet Making
Eileen Gray, An Irish Rebel

Royal Subjects

“My One Great Hobby”, The Collecting Interests Of Queen Mary.
The Prince Regent And His Collecting Mania.
George Iv At Windsor
The Royal Collection; The Reign Of Elizabeth II
The Baroque
The Golden Age Of Dutch Art
The Jacobites. The Romance Of A Lost Cause (New Lecture)

Gold & Jewels

The Gold Box, The Must-Have Accessory Of The 18Th Century
Faberge At The Court Of The Tsar
If You Want To Get Ahead… Get A Tiara!
The Jewellery Of Rene Lalique
Jewels Of The Maharajahs

Russian and Baltic Subjects

Palaces In And Around St Petersburg
The Collections Of Peter The Great And Catherine The Great.
The Work Of Ilya Repin. The Greatest Of Russia’s 19th Century Painters
The Hanseatic League, Its Influence On Art And Architecture
Treasures Of The Rosenborg
The Kiel Canal

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