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.


Manuscript saved

23 July 2007

HERITAGE grants have helped the British Museum acquire the 15th century illuminated manuscript known as the Wardington Hours.

Doulton seeking buyer for Minton archive

14 May 2007

ROYAL Doulton Ltd are looking for a new owner for their Minton paper archive – the collection of thousands of original watercolours, drawings, pattern books and other manuscript material relating to designs for the Minton factory dating back to 1793.

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Marlborough silver to remain at V&A

08 May 2007

The Victoria and Albert Museum have secured the funds to acquire this spectacular early 18th century French silver ewer and basin commissioned by John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough.

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Ashmolean secures historic Chelsea collection

10 April 2007

After a year-long fund-raising effort, The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford has just secured the future of its most impressive Chelsea porcelain exhibit.

Buy Contemporary art charity tells regional museums

10 April 2007

Museums should learn lessons of the 20th century

Museum buys unique archive of slave trade

18 December 2006

The Museum in Docklands have acquired a rare and significant archive of 18th century papers highlighting London’s role in the transatlantic slave trade.

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Deal sees Degas saved for nation

04 December 2006

This Edgar Degas bronze owned by the late art dealer Lillian Browse has been saved for the nation in a deal brokered by Christie’s in lieu of inheritance tax. It follows a similar sale recently arranged by the auctioneers that saw the National Gallery acquire two works by Italian artist Giovanni Paolo Panini.

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.

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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.

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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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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