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.


The Trustees of the British Museum 12.jpg

British Museum is third time lucky to buy 1000-year-old seal matrix

23 December 2019

A rare Saxon walrus ivory seal matrix will go back on display in the British Museum – after the institution missed out on buying the object twice before.

img_13-1.jpg

2020 vision

23 December 2019

For better or worse, Brexit is finally set to proceed and will be a major factor in the year ahead – as will timed auctions, anti-money laundering rules, the looming prospect of a near-total ivory trade ban, antiquities challenges and a new buying ethos based on cultural sensitivities, changes at major fairs and a growing ‘green’ movement.

egyptian-head-christies-2423FE.jpg

The changing face of antiquities

23 December 2019

Given the growing number of claims made by national governments and heritage authorities when it comes to the antiquities sector, 2020 looks set to be another year of further controversies. Here, lawyer Fred Clark, an associate in Boodle Hatfield LLP’s art team, surveys the legal landscape of the ancient art market and looks ahead to what may well become a more regulated world.

Louis-François Roubiliac (1705-1762), 'Head of a Laughing Child', about 1746–49 (c) Victoria and Albert Museum, London (3).jpg

Rare and early white porcelain sculpture from Chelsea factory bought by V&A museum

20 December 2019

A white porcelain sculpture made in the experimental years of the Chelsea factory has been acquired for the national collection of ceramics at the Victoria & Albert Museum.

Peckitt window.jpg

Teenage diary of 18th century stained glass craftsman bought by York University

20 December 2019

A 90-page journal kept by a 15-year-old boy has been purchased by the University of York for £3200 at auction.

6543_jamaicaninlaidtable01.jpg

Trio of works sold by West Midlands dealer go to major museums

10 December 2019

This 19th century Jamaican inlaid table by Ralph Turnbull was one of several pieces that Thomas Coulborn & Sons sold to major museums this year.

Bronte.jpg

Yorkshire’s Brontë Parsonage Museum secures rare manuscript at Paris auction

18 November 2019

The Brontë Parsonage Museum has secured an 1830 autograph miniature manuscript by a 14-year-old Charlotte Brontë (1816-55) that was auctioned at Aguttes in Paris.

Gentileschi Moses.jpg

National Gallery appeals for £2m from public to buy Gentileschi masterpiece

12 November 2019

London’s National Gallery is asking for the public’s help to raise the final £2m required to buy 'The Finding of Moses' by Orazio Gentileschi (1563-1639) from its owner, entrepreneur and founder of the DFS furniture retailer, Graham Kirkham.

Autograph manuscript signed « CHARLOTTE BRONTË », Second Series of The Young Men’s Magazines. Copyright Aguttes SVV (France). 66016 C.jpg

Actress Judi Dench and the Brontë Museum call on public to help fund bid for miniature manuscript by a 14-year-old Charlotte Brontë

24 October 2019

The Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth in West Yorkshire has begun a public campaign to raise the final funds needed to bid for a rare manuscript from the Brontës' childhood.

img_1-1.jpg

Famous Welsh religious revival painting ‘Salem’ saved for nation

11 October 2019

The National Library of Wales has bought Salem by Sydney Curnow Vosper (1866- 1942) ahead of a planned auction.

Bronzino 01.jpg

Re-discovered Bronzino painting acquired by Getty Museum

10 October 2019

The Getty Museum in Los Angeles has purchased two works of Italian art: a painting of The Virgin and Child by Agnolo Bronzino (1503-72) and a pair of marble sculptures of The Annunciation by Giovanni di Balduccio (c.1290-1339).

Benjamin Zix sketch

Louvre buys sketches showing Napoleon’s seizure of art during Prussian campaign

08 October 2019

A group of drawings and a sketchbook compiled by an artist assigned to Napoleon’s campaigns in Prussia and Poland in 1806-7 has been secured by the Louvre at a Toulouse auction.

Bristol University to buy judge's copy of 'Lady Chatterley’s Lover' from famous obscenity trial

02 October 2019

Fundraising led by writers’ association English PEN has helped save for the nation the judge’s annotated copy of 'Lady Chatterley’s Lover'.

img_5-4.jpg

Dealer sells Gell portrait to British Museum

30 September 2019

London and Petworth dealer Timothy Langston Fine Art & Antiques has sold a portrait of the Regency period antiquarian Sir William Gell (1777-1836) to the British Museum.

Greek marble.jpg

Greek marble ‘wedding present’ returned to Munich museum

18 September 2019

A Hellenistic marble stele that was received as a wedding present in the 1950s has been returned to a museum in Germany after an investigation by antiquities dealers and an Oxford scholar.

img_10-1.jpg

Pick of the week: Museum wraps up sale of coveted coverlet

09 September 2019

The National Museums of Scotland has been revealed as the buyer of the Storrar Coverlet – a rare woollen textile withdrawn at the 11th hour from a sale at Lyon & Turnbull in Edinburgh in August.

‘A Quiet Afternoon in the Cloud Cuckoo Valley’ by Rowland Emett

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang designer's sculpture bought by National Railway Museum in York

05 September 2019

A 26-foot long kinetic sculpture by Rowland Emett (1906-90) who designed the magical car in the eponymous 1960s film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang has been sold by Bonhams for a six-figure sum to the National Railway Museum in York.

img_22-4.jpg

Jane Austen letter heads home to museum

02 September 2019

Jane Austen’s House Museum in Hampshire has successfully raised the £35,000 required to buy a fragment of a letter written by the novelist in 1814. The rare manuscript was being sold on behalf of its private owner by London dealer Maggs.

Chew valle -  Edward mule blk bkgrd.jpg

Rare late Anglo-Saxon and early Norman conquest coin hoard discovered in Somerset valued at £4m

29 August 2019

A Bath museum hopes to acquire a rare hoard of coins found in a Chew Valley field that could be valued at £4m.

A woodcut of Jane Austen

Letter by Jane Austen goes on view at museum after being acquired from Maggs

20 August 2019

Jane Austen's House Museum in Hampshire successfully raised the £35,000 required to buy a fragment of a letter written by the great novelist in 1814. The rare manuscript was being sold on behalf of its private owner by London dealer Maggs.

News

Categories