Museum acquisitions

Museums often acquire works through donations but, in spite of funding constraints, they also make purchases to expand their collections, either bidding at auctions, negotiating private treaty sales or, in the UK, via the Acceptance in Lieu scheme.


Call for action as museums say collecting is no longer a top priority

06 November 2006

MUSEUMS are so strapped for cash when it comes to buying works of art that only one in 50 says adding to their collections is now a top priority.

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400 years old and still rockin’

02 October 2006

MICK Jagger and Keith Richards may be doing well for 60-somethings, but they’ve got nothing on this old rocker. Dated to 1610, it is thought to be the oldest known rocking horse in the UK and was quite likely made for Charles I.

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Regency style at Temple Newsam

02 September 2006

This Regency figured and gilded rosewood writing table with gilt brass mounts attributed to the Royal furniture-makers Morel and Hughes and once owned by former Prime Minister Earl Grey (1764-1845), has become the newest attraction on show at Temple Newsam House, Leeds.

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The myth of Scotland’s royal seat

03 May 2006

It gives some idea as to how furniture connoisseurship has changed that the upholstered high-back chair pictured here could once have been accepted as an original furnishing from the bedroom of Mary Queen of Scots.

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Export law hits museum

14 February 2006

A LOOPHOLE in the export law has forced the British Museum to pay almost £100,000 more than the original auction price for the most expensive British coin ever sold. The museum believes the case highlights the need for Britain’s laws on exporting art to be reconsidered.

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First Fleet folio sails to record treaty sale

08 November 2005

Dreweatt Neate Fine Art have arranged a major private treaty sale to the National Library of Australia, on behalf of a prominent UK family, of a historically important folio of watercolours.

Walpole archive discovered at Kew

06 July 2005

A student has discovered a five-volume inventory of the possessions of Britain’s first Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole, while cataloguing in the National Archives at Kew.

Judaica finds its Neish in Spain

08 March 2005

Alex Neish is to donate a small collection of Judaica to a museum at the recently excavated and restored 12th century synagogue in Barcelona.

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Weaving a tale of cross Channel commerce

08 March 2005

THE memory of a long-ago, short-lived trade agreement between England and France was rekindled by an extraordinary embroidered waistcoat that surfaced in the Deburaux & Associés sale in Paris on February 11, when it sold to the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich for €5000 (£3470) plus 20.33% buyer’s premium.

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Louvre bid $4.2m for Messerschmidt ill temper

07 February 2005

Franz Xavier Messerschmidt (1736-83) was one of the most extraordinary figures in the history of Western art.

Macclesfield Psalter saved with £1.7m

31 January 2005

The £1.7m price tag needed to keep the Macclesfield Psalter in the UK has been found.

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Cheltenham buy key Southall works from FAS

18 January 2005

The Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum have added two paintings by Joseph Southall (1861-1944) to their internationally recognised collection of British Arts & Crafts.

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The secret of Tiffany’s Favrile

18 January 2005

A UNIQUE archive of journals and notebooks, including the secret recipe for Tiffany’s signature Favrile glass, is now available for public inspection at the Corning Museum in New York.

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Met pay $45m for Duccio’s ‘Stroganoff’ Madonna

01 December 2004

THE Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has acquired a devotional panel of the Madonna and Child by Duccio di Buoninsegna (active by 1278; died 1319) from the Stoclet family in Brussels.

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Casket heads north

19 November 2004

THE Bourne casket, a Restoration needlework casket that failed to sell when offered by Netherhampton Salerooms earlier this year, has been sold by private treaty to the Lancashire Museum Services.

Manchester puts Derby porter mug on display

03 November 2004

BACK in April in Antiques Trade Gazette No 1633, we pictured and discussed an unusual Derby porter mug decorated with industrial scenes of two Mancunian foundries which sold at Bonhams in London for £3800.

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Hodges’ War and Peace prints found after appeal

13 October 2004

THE National Maritime Museum has purchased two prints from a London dealer following its appeal in the Antiques Trade Gazette for information about two missing William Hodges paintings.

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Lottery fund waved at rare Sickert fan

06 July 2004

THE Fan Museum in Greenwich, the world’s only museum entirely dedicated to the history of fans and the craft of fan-making, have acquired an important fan painted around 1889 by Walter Richard Sickert (1860-1942).

New Thyssen gift to Madrid

22 June 2004

THE widow of Baron Heini von Thyssen, the billionaire art collector, has loaned a huge new collection to the museum he founded in Madrid, the Thyssen Bornemisza.

Film critic with an eye for prints and drawings

11 May 2004

ALEXANDER Walker, who died last year at the age of 73, was the film critic of London’s Evening Standard for more than 40 years and among the well-known names in the film world. Not so well known is that he was a noted collector of modern art.

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