Journal Article

‘The old palace of tertian fevers’: The Fonthill sale of 1807

Robert J. Gemmett

in Journal of the History of Collections

Volume 22, issue 2, pages 223-234
Published in print November 2010 | ISSN: 0954-6650
Published online January 2010 | e-ISSN: 1477-8564 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jhc/fhp051
‘The old palace of tertian fevers’: The Fonthill sale of 1807

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Exhibition Catalogues and Specific Collections
  • History of Art
  • Social and Cultural History

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

This article offers the first examination of the Fonthill household auction held in August 1807, occasioned by William Beckford's decision to dismantle his father's mansion in favour of his new residence, the celebrated Fonthill Abbey. It examines the public interest in the sale that captured the attention of the press and caused people to flock to the estate. Information gleaned from news reports, the auction catalogue, and further research on the lots help to reconstruct the event and shed light on the quality of the items offered. The auction included an array of exquisitely carved chimney-pieces, the famous Crang organ, the seven-foot statue of Bacchus once owned by Charles Hamilton, furniture, porcelain and some outstanding French glass. There was also an impressive collection of important paintings, including works by Turner, Romney, Canaletto, Leonardo da Vinci, and Raphael. Thomas Johnes, John Soane, Hastings Elwin sen. and Walsh Porter are identified as among the prominent buyers.

Journal Article.  7353 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Exhibition Catalogues and Specific Collections ; History of Art ; Social and Cultural History

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.