Thursday, 22 January 2015
This important series of early nineteenth-century manuscripts was rediscovered in 2014 within the Beazley Archive in Oxford University's Classical Art Research Centre.
The papers document the purchase and display of the famous collection of classical Attic and South Italian vases and other objects acquired by Charles Winn, 8th Baronet of Nostell, from Naples in 1819. They include numerous letters written in 1818 between Charles Winn and his agent Dr. Richard Harrison negotiating the prospective purchase from the seller of the collection, Abbe H. Campbell. Matters discussed include the price, custom dues and potential rival bidders. Later letters deal with the financial arrangements, efforts by Cambell to sell Charles Winn other antiquities (including sculpture), details about packing and transport, and finally a notice that the collection had sailed for England on 9th February 1819. Also included is the original printed catalogue of the collection compiled by Campbell before the acquisition in 1818. Some later material (undated, but written on paper watermarked in 1837), may provide evidence for additional purchases of vases from the Mainwaring Collection in Lincolnshire.
When the vases were sold from Nostell Priory by Christie's in 1975, the archival material was retained and ended up in the Beazley Archive among the papers of Sir John Beazley. The vases themselves are now dispersed in public and private collections around the world. The decision has been made to reunite the manuscripts with the sequence of Nostell Priory papers to which they formerly belonged, which are now held by West Yorkshire Archive Service (http://www.archives.wyjs.org.uk).
Letters and Manuscripts 1818-1837: View Nostell Priory Greek Vases Archive Scans
The 1818 Sales Catalogue: View Nostell Priory Sales Catalogue 1818 Scans