Thursday, 28 June 2012

Private Collections and their Catalogues

Sorry it has been been a bit quiet on the post scene this week...!  I have had my head down all week looking at auction catalogues from private collections sold at the beginning of the twentieth century.  It has been interesting, but at times also mind is surprising how many amulets and scarabs these people amassed!!!!

Trying to find the catalogues to these sales...indeed trying to find info about the collectors in general...has been really really difficult.  Many of the catalogues are scattered to the four winds and when you have actually located one, you then have the issue of trying to see it.  These catalogues are however really really important in looking at the social history of private collections of the 19th and 20th century.  They often also contain lost information about the objects - provenance, former owners, how objects were bought/found and dating to name just a few points.  Sometimes these catalogues also have sale sheets attached indicating who bought the artefact and for how much.  Much of this information now tends to be lost in the journey to the object's modern homes, whether in museums or private collections.

This has got me thinking!  I am keen to put together an information database of private collections and collectors, auction dates, sale information and where the auction catalogues can be found.  This could then be made available  for researchers like me and save a lot of time and duplicated effort.  What do you think? Can you help?  Or do you know someone who may be able to?

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  1. This is an excellent idea! I'm interested in one collector at the moment, a Mr. Max Robinow. Ever heard of him?!

  2. Hi Campbell. Doesn't ring any bells but I will have a dig around :-) Any catalogues at your place?

  3. Angel, sent you an email.