A Collection of 16th and 17th century Silver and other Pieces Bequeathed to the Ashmolean Museum


1/2/13 - Acquisitions - Oxford, Ashmolean Museum - An extraordinary - in the literal sense - ensemble is to enrich the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, as related in the British press. This bequest might almost discourage us from writing if we wish to be as exhaustive as possible in describing it.
Indeed, there are almost 500 objects of silver or other materials, from the 16th and 17th centuries, essentially Flemish and German which a dealer, Michael Wellby, who passed away in 2012, had assembled during his lifetime and which he left to this English institution.


1. A Lapis Lazuli Cup (1560, Milan),
Silver and Enamel (1640, Paris)
Oxford, Ashmolean Museum
Photo : Ashmolean Museum

2. Germany, c. 1580
Ewer and Basin
Serpentine and Silver
Oxford, Ashmolean Museum
Photo : Ashmolean Museum


The purpose of this news item is therefore, for the moment, to simply point out this major acquisition and reproduce some photographs drawn from various English news sites. Some of the pieces will soon be presented to the public until a new gallery can be set up especially for display of the collection. We hope to receive more details directly from the museum shortly concerning these objects along with other photographs. Readers can also visit the BBC site showing a short film in which Professor Tim Wilson, Keeper of the Department of Western Art, presents this bequest.


3. Several Objects From the Michael Wellby Bequest
to the Ashmolean
Photo : Ashmolean Museum

4. Several Objects From the Michael Wellby Bequest
to the Ashmolean
Photo : Ashmolean Museum


This is no doubt a coincidence but our last three news items discuss donations or bequests of complete ensembles, to French or European museums. The phenomenon proves once again that collectors should not be discouraged if we wish to enrich our museums at lower cost and for the benefit of all.

Version française


Didier Rykner, lundi 4 février 2013



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