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Tythacott, Louise (2018) 'Exhibiting and Auctioning Yuanmingyuan (“Summer Palace”) Loot in 1860s and 1870s London: The Elgin and Negroni Collections.' Journal for Art Market Studies, 2 (3). pp. 1-15.

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This article examines the exhibitions and sales of Yuanmingyuan (or “Summer Palace”) loot taken from China in October 1860 by two soldiers in the Anglo-French armies – James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin (1811-1863) and Captain Jean-Louis de Negroni (b.1820). Both men displayed their collections before auctioning them – the former in the prestigious South Kensington Museum (now the V&A) in 1862; the latter in a well known exhibitionary site, the Crystal Palace in Sydenham in 1865. Such displays and public exhibitions were used as a device for enhancing the value of collections destined for the art market. This paper focuses on the commercial and exhibitionary practices at play in the dispersal of Elgin’s and Negroni’s collections of Summer Palace loot. It examines how these objects became enmeshed in the interacting system of auction, dealer and exhibitionary sphere, emphasising the role of auction houses, the significance of British press coverage in confirming the quality and value of collections, and the inter-relationships with prominent sites of public display in 1860s and 1870s London.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Arts
Departments and Subunits > School of Arts > Department of the History of Art & Archaeology
ISSN: 25117602
Copyright Statement: © 2018 Louise Tythacott. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 30 Jul 2018 06:32

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