Thursday, April 2, 2009

Donation of Auction Catalogues by Prof. Ted Buttrey and the Staff of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

A couple of months ago I contacted Prof. T.V. Buttrey (Emeritus) at the Fitzwilliam Museum at Cambridge University about some images of Colosseum sestertii from additional auction catalogue references I had found. Prof. Buttrey is always helpful in providing images from the museum's excellent collection of auction catalogues to other scholars and collectors.

Through the course of our discussions Prof. Buttrey learned I was managing the cast collection and the photo and auction catalogue archive at Frankfurt University with a colleague and told me that the Fitzwilliam had a number of duplicate catalogues they wanted to part with. I was happy to learn that he found several duplicates that would fill gaps in our collection. My colleague and I were astonished to learn a pallet with 280 kilograms of auction catalogues was waiting for us today! We have yet to begin accessioning these catalogues, but there is no doubt that this substantial donation, for which we are most grateful, will greatly improve our archive here in Frankfurt.

Image from Sestertius of Balbinus, AD 238, with Liberalitas reverse (Auction Adolph Hess, Lucerne and Gilhofer & Ranschburg, Vienna, 22. May 1935, lot 2613 = UBS Gold & Numismatics 78 (9. Sept. 2008), lot 1832).


Anonymous said...

Speaking as one of the people who helped clear 280kg worth of space in our rather packed Department, Dr Elkins, thank you :-) I've taken the liberty of showing this entry to Prof. Buttrey, who was delighted, but felt that justice should be done to your gratitude for help with images, in as much as he doesn't make the images himself but gets one of we others to do it `in our copious free time'. We're all glad to have helped in either way.


Many thanks for your comment. Please do not call me "Dr." - there is no need to be formal and, secondly, I am still writing the doctoral dissertation!

You are right, I know of Prof. Buttrey as the contact person, but there are certainly many more people "behind the scenes" who process the images and, in this case, who crated the catalogues. The resources made available by the staff of the Fitzwilliam Museum are most appreciated.

All the best,