PP/GC/LE/87 Letter from Sir G.C.Lewis to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston, concerning the valuation and proposed purchased of the Campana art collection, 15 November 1856
Letter from Sir George Cornewall Lewis, second Baronet, [Chancellor of the Exchequer], Downing Street, [Whitehall, London], to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston: enclosed is a copy of the confidential report on the collection of the Marchese Campana at Rome, by C. Newton and Mr Birch of the British Museum, who were instructed to examine and value it. "They have executed their task in a highly efficient and satisfactory manner, and we are now able to form a tolerably correct judgement as to the contents and value of the collection." The nation would do well to acquire the collection, if it could be obtained at the valuation price. The grounds for this conclusion, and the valuation are stated in pages 136-9 of the report. If Palmerston considers it desirable to consult anyone about the collection, for instance Mr Hamilton or Sir C. Eastlake, a copy of the report could be sent. "The Marchese Campana professes to value his collection at more than 200,000 pounds. I think that he would take 40,000 pounds on the understanding that he is to be answerable for the export duty." If the decision is taken to make an offer, Lewis proposes that the procedure should be as in the case of a loan, namely, to offer a certain sum, subject to the confirmation by Parliament. There is no other way to proceed; a sum of that size could not be offered outright and it would not be worth while to bring in a bill to enable the government to bargain with him. 15 Nov 1856 Enclosed is a copy of a 139 page REPORT ON THE CAMPANA COLLECTION, with marginal manuscript annotations of the value of items, compiled by C.T.Newton and S.Birch (London, 1856): The report divides the collection into nine classes of material: Greek and Etruscan vases; Etruscan, Greek and Roman terracottas; Etruscan, Greek and Roman ornaments in gold and silver; Etruscan, Greek and Roman bronzes; Etruscan cists in marble and Tufo; Greek and Roman glass; Roman mural paintings; ivories, chiefly Roman and carvings in amber; and Roman gold coins. It values the collection at 34,246 pounds and recommends that if it is to be acquired for the British Museum the collection should be purchased in its entirety. 1856
One paper and one printed report
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Marchese Giampietro Campana di Cavelli, Italian art collector
William Richard Hamilton, trustee of the British Museum
Sir Charles Eastlake, artist, President of the Royal Academy, director of the National Gallery
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