THE BURLINGTON GAZETTE

Bi;iNC;

THIv

MONTHLY
TIAR.^

srpPLi<;\l

KX T TO
Till':

Till-;

HrRi.ixciiox

M

\(..\/ixi':

ior connoisseurs

oi'

i'rhv'ious

month

THK
WKITTI'N
ItY Till-

OF SAITAPHARNES
THK HUKLINGTON MAGAZINE
Paris, Mareh 30, 1903

VirOMTE

C.

RORTIIAYS, REPRESEXTATIVK IN I'ARIS OE

Tiani of Saitaph;uiios, vvliicli was boiif,^ht by the Miisee du Louvre in 1896. now forms the principal subject of discussion and althoufjh it is, to say the least, regrettable that the mass of the f)ublic, necessarily incompetent, should suddenly ha\e taken sides for or against the authenticity of the famous ornament, may we not, on the other hand, regard as a comforting symptom the passion with which, in our day of excessive utilitarianism, a question of so high an order is being debated in every direction ? The tiara at this moment figures, of course, as an accused person but the accused, according to the most respectable and the justest traditions, and also according to law, must be held to be innocent until the verdict is delivered. The verdict alone can pronounce it guilty. An inquiry has been opened it beseems us to await its results. shall then know at least, let us hope so both its intrinsic value and the name of its maker, if there be a maker to discover I feel it to be my duty simply to relate the history of the question and to simi up the different opinions which it has called fortli.
;
:

TnH

:

We

matter; for an object of that importance coming from Olbia could not but raise doubts in his mind." Early in 1896, Mr. Murray, the head of the Department of Creek and Egyptian Antiquities at the British Museum, received a' letter from a Mr. Hochmann, from Olbia, offering him the tiara. Mr. Murray replied that, knowing as he did that Mr. Hochmann was occupied in the fabrication of antique objects of art, he was not at all interested in the " In the following year," says Mr. Murray, matter. "the same person came to London with several articles in gold and offered them to me. All were false." Mr. Murray's opinion has not altered. " I am certain that the tiara is false," he says, " but I am bound to admit that three of our most "competent experts on Egyptian and Greek antiquities have alwavs maintained its genuineness." In i8gG also, M. Laferriere, at that time a Councillor of State, sent to M. Heron de \'illefasse, .Member 01
the Institute, Keeper of Greek and
at the

Roman

Anti(]uities

!

I.

-THE HISIORY OF THE QUESTION

I-irst

Phase

— Before

the

purchase

of the

tiara

by the

Louvre

end of 1895 that Dr. von Schneider, Professor at the University of \'ienna and Director of the Museum of .-\nti<]uities, first saw and held in his hands the Tiara of Saitapharnes. His first impression was an overwhelming one "At the first sight, the want of harmony offered by the fashioning (' die Formgebung ) of each of the parts displeased me, and I received the distinct impression of an imitation.'" Plu' next day, Herr von Schneider brought together two nrcha-ologists and an artist, " all three men of ripe judgement and great experience," in whom he had " the same confidence to-day that he had then." All three, whether prompted bj- archaeological reasons or technical motives, declared the tiara to be authentic. Herr von Schneider was not convinced, and refused tc countenance the purchase of the tiara by the
It

was

at the

Louvre, two merchants who wished to sell two separate ornaments which had been discovered, the\said, in the exca\ations in the south of the Crimea. They asked 200,000 fr. The articles appeared, on examination, to be genuine and fine. Messrs. Theodore Reinach and Corroyer placed the sum mentioned at the disposal of the Louvre, which thus became the possessor of the Tiara of Saitapharnes.

Second Phase

— The

First Controversies

:

1896, the authenticity of the tiara violently contested by a German savant of indisputable worth, Herr Furtwiingler, who published in the Cosinopolis review a passionate
I,

On

August

was publicly and

Imperial Museum. .\bout the same time. Count Michael von Tyskiewicz, the well-known collector, received a letter from \ienna proposing that he should buy the Olbia tiara together with the necklace. The writer, whose signature was illegible, asked Count von Tyskiewicz to give him an appointment, by telegram, either at X'eiiice or Milan, in order that he might see the The Count was unable to decipher the originals. address and could not send a reply but he wrote later that, if he had been able to answer, he would "certainlv have refused to take anv trouble in the
;
.

article, in which he enumerated his objections. The chief of these were concerned with the Greek inscription in epigraphic characters. In the September number, M. de N'illefasse replied to Herr Furtwiingler, and M. Collignon summed up the whole discussion that had been raised in the Recueil Piot, Vol. \'I. I must also mention the works.of Messrs. P. Foucart and Hollcaux, two eminent epigraphists, who replied to the criticisms levelled against the tiara in the report of the Academy of Inscriptions, August 7. i8g6, and in the Revue Archeolo<^ique, \'ol. XXIX, pp. 158-171. On the other hand, on August 2 of the same year, at the Tenth Archaeological Congress at Riga, in Russia, M. Ernest de Stern, Director of the Odessa Museum, read a report on the Tiara of Saitapharnes, " As the result in which he disputed its genuineness. of various considerations," he wrote later, " I had

become convinced that the tiaro in the Louvre was the masterpiece of a laboratory of forgers." .And here M. tie Stern alluded to the firm of Hochmann of Otehakoff. or Olbia. M. de Stern declared that his

I.— April, 1903

:

THE BURLINCxTON GAZETTE
conviction was shared li}' M. Jurgewicz (since deceased). General Earthier de La Garde, and all the Russian archaeologists, including M. Kondakoff, with the sole exception of M. Kieseritzky. In Ma}^ i8g6 M. Salomon Reinach received a letter from Rome from Count Michael von Tj'skiewicz (to whom the tiara had been offered, as I have said), in which, referring to a correspondence of M. Treuner, who was himself convinced of the authenticity of the tiara, he said "As for myself, I will tell you frankly that, without having seen the object, I am persuaded that it is a very skilful imitation." The disputes of the savants were to find their echo in the French Chamber. On November j8. 1S96, in the course of the discussion of the Fine Arts Budget, M. Paschal Grausset vigorously disputed the genuineness of the famous tiara. He recalled the fact that the eminent Russian professor, M. Wesselowski, had declared that the tiara had been manufactured at Oksakoff, " where similar ones were turned out daily." M. Raujon, the government commissioner, replied by declaring that " the Louvre had not bought the tiara with its eyes closed, but that an appeal had been made to every sort of authority that French science could supply." He quoted, in his turn, the opinion of the Director of the St. Petersburg Museum, who, after having previously entertained doubts regarding the tiara, had come to examine it and been entirely reassured. The ensuing years saw the disputes prolonged without being exhausted but they were confined to the learned and special reviews, and gradually public opinion ceased to interest itself in them. Still, in 1897, ^I- de Stern published in the Philological Review of Berlin an article in which he accused M. Rachoumowski, an engra\er, of being the author of the tiara. The Journal des Dcbats had reproduced these lines
: ;
:

Januarj' 1897 ^^- Thiebault-Sisson was at Petersburg and made the acquaintance of the Assistant-Keeper of the Hermitage Museum, M. Wesselowski, who, in the course of an interview, instructed him on the subject of the tiara in question. M. \A'esselowski ended his argument with these words " Where was the tiara made ? I do not hesitate to
In
St,
:

reply,

'

In Russia.'

Was

it

made by Rachoumowski

or

another ? Does it come from a workshop at Odessa or from Otchakoff, the two centres for the fabrication of false gold ornaments ? It matters little." It would seem, however, as though the point did matter, since, several years later, the question suddenlv burst out anew in broad daylight, and bore precisely upon the presumptive authors of the Tiara of Saitapiiarnes.

Third Phase- The
In
;,

(hic^lion in

March 1903

mhihc tion with a Pille forgery March igo in which he was unplu atcd. a certain M. MayenceElina declared himself the maker of the too illustrious tiara. To advance the statement was easy to pro\-e it was more difficult. For some days the press was
111
i

:

inundated with letters and interviews with M. Elina. Needless to say that the most barefaced lies came to contradict one another, and that, after the first shock caused by this bold declaration, public opinion recovered itself and obliged M. Elina to come forward as an amiable mystery-monger. All those whom he had accused easil}- proved the falseness of all his allegations, and the vevy dead spoke for. M. Elina having dragged the name of M. Spitzer into the business of the tiara, the Baron Coche. M. Spitzer's son-in-law, contented himself with pro\ing
literally
;

M. Salomon Reinach had even made fruitless endeavours to find M. Rachoumowski at Odessa, when the latter sent to the Journal des Dcbats the follow ing note, which was published on October 3, 1897
:

" No. 4,009 of your valued paper contains an extract from an article by M. de Stern, in which he says that antiquities are manufactured in my workshop. I must give a categorical denial to this assertion.
' '

M. de Stern did, in fact, come here and displayed an in my work. I showed him a skeleton in miniature, in gold, which I have executed for the approaching International Exhibition in Paris; but I do not know what anticiue models M. de Stern can have seen at my place. The honourable Director of the Museum probably took for antiquities some little miniature figures which were to serve forseals. However greatly, therefore, I ought to be flattered by the singular advertisement which M. de Stern has given me, and by his thought of declaring mu to be tlic author of the celebrated tiara, I must deidine this
interest

unmerited honour.
(Signed)

"J. Rachol-mowski,
'•

l-:ngrav.'r."

This document, as a matter of
allay the disputes of the savants.

fact,
I

did nothing to

IX and X, emanatingfrom M.de Stern and M. Salomon Kiiuach. But I will reserve these for later mention.
L' Anthropologic,
\'ols.

find in the review a series of letters

that his father-in-law had died on April 2^. 1890, fi\e j-ears before the Odyssey of the tiara. M. Salomon Reinach, one of the scholars who do France the greatest honour, had at once scented a fraud, and, in an interview published on March 24 by the Temps, he spoke of M. Elina as " a facetious Karj, who was not a bad hand at a farce." On the 27th, M. Elina fuUyjustified M. Salomon Reinach's appreciation by declaring in a public letter that all that he had said touching the fabrication of the piece was an invention, and that he intended to put an end to the jokt' " I hope," he concluded. " that I shall not be blamed too se\-erely for emiiloying this means of serving [? ? ?J the farce-writers and thr writers of revues de fin d'annee." The imaginative Elina disappeared, but the hypothetical Rachoumowski reappeared and gradually emerged from the clouds in which he had been pleased After the disturbance till then to wrap himself. caused by Elina's pseudo-re\elations, the Louvre press had this time taken the became uneasy. The matter <jf the tiara seriously it was necessary that Moreover, a friend something should be done. of .M. Rachoumowski, living in Paris, M. K. Lifschitz, wrote to the Matin to declare that he had often seen his friend, at frequent intervals, working in his shop in Odessa at the famous tiara. A violinist of Danish birth, Madam,- Malkiiie, corroborated what M. Lifschitz had said, and dcland that she had heard M. Rachoumowski speak, tluve months ago. -of a work bv himself wln.li lu- knew t.i
;

:

rill'

llAKA ol

.\irAi'ii.\K.\i-:s

be preserved
inability to
in

in

tlu-

Musee du Louvre,

luul

of his

have himself recognized as the author." Lastly, the Fi^iuro. having begged one of its friends to ask the artist himself for a categorical reply, received the following telegram " Odessa, March 5.

thorough as possible, and the Minister has given him full powers to receive all informations and depositions

Odessa

:

" Israel Kacliouuunvski, engraver, living at j6, Street, Odessa, categorically declares He states that himself to be the author of the tiara. he executed it in 1896, to the order of a person who came from Kertch. Kachoumowski offers to go to Paris if he is given 1,200 fr."

Ouspenskaia

M. in order to make manifest the truth. - Ganneau well known to the learned is public for his admirable expert reports on the false Moabitc pottery in the Berlin Museum and on the forged manuscript of the Hible which was bought by the British Museum some fifteen jears ago and which
necessarv

Clermont

was
I

easil}'

proved to be

false."

would add that I believe that the i,joo fr. demanded by M. Kachoumowski were sent by telegraph two days ago. The journey from Odessa to Paris
Let us "hope that the Kussian takes thirty-six hours. engraver will cover the distance in less than a year.
II.
I

I

think that M. Salomon

Kiinarli, on

receipt of
:

this telegram, found the key of the situation • things are becoming interesting," he said.

Now

Till-;

SIATK
in

i)K

oriMoN
to

come

Well, we must send for this Kachoumowski. He must here, not with his affirmations and his protestations, but with his models, his designs, his moulds, which will be unexceptionable witnesses. Then we
'•

would certainly not have the absurd vanity
sides

have him cross-examined by archaiologists, b\epigraphists, by goldsmiths, and we shall get to the bottom of his business." This would, in fact, be the surest nuans of proshall

ceeding to an definitive inquiry. The inquiry has, indeed, begun. The Tiara of Saitapharnes has been withdrawn from the public In the Senate, M. gallery and placed under seal. Chaumie, the Minister of Fine Arts, has summed up the question as follows:
•'

When

this object
for

the tiara
it

Committee

Purchases,

was laiil before the was unanimously con.

The as authentic sidered, at that committee included men of considerable scientific (Hear, disinterestedness. celebrity and of absolute
moment,
.
.

a fact that some protests appeared in the and there is nothing to be surprised at in this; for, really, if we were to depri\e the archseologists of the right of discussion on epigraphical matters, we should be removing them, to a great extent, from the most estimable occupation in which it is their mission to indulge. (Laughter.) Nevertheless, a calm seemed to have set in until now, when a debate has been
hear.)
It is

reviews,

favour of either of the dream of taking opinions that are dividing the most illustrious savants that it is a matter of I confess even in Europe. regret to me to see the newspapers seizing upon and discussing from day to day the genuineness of an object the appraising of which falls within the domain of Science and not of the Press. I should be sorry to see controversial questions of this kind find a home in the " dailies." They are out of place there. The tone of a scientific discussion inevitably becomes lowered when it is carried on in the newspaper press, and the width of the subject is narrowed down to points of details, to minutia: which either are incomprehensible, or else lend themselves too easily to misThe eagerness of the reporter, his interpretation. haste to be well ahead of his rivals, and his tendency to imagine that he has understood, grasped, and all these combine to retained all that is said to him give an equivocal and painful appearance to a discusTruth could never come out of a sion of this sort. Be this well so filled up with ''latest intelligence." as it may, I must here summarize the different aspects
:

of the discussion.

raised

in
.

the
.

Press
.

.

.

.

The

Louvre

came

to

me and

said,

keepers of the Certain par'

have latel\- come to light have caused a doubt in our minds.' I thought that, so soon as a doubt arose in the mind of the administration regarding an object installed in our ni-.tional collections, our first duty was to withdraw that object. This w\is done 1 have ordered an inwithout delay. (Hear, hear.) quiry; it will be conducted with absolute strictness. men who honourable The very distinguished and believed most firmly in the authenticity are those who most eagerly desire that an absolute light should be thrown upon the matter. The public shall be fully I ask only informed; it shall learn the whole truth.
ticulars that

According to M. Wesselowski, of whom M. Thiebault-Sisson has constituted himself the interpreter, the Tiara of Saitapharnes has against it that it comes from Olbia, from Odessa, from Russia, from the South of Kussia, where, as everybody knows, the laboratories Here is a more than of the forgers are at work. But, if we examine doubtful origin to begin with. the tiara, we see that its subjects are copied from various authentic objects, such as the silver vase of Nicopolis, the stone signed Dexamenos of Chios, etc. The two large central subjects have the shape and the two friezes are features of a good Kussian moujik purely Byzantine the inscriptions are in relief, whereas all the inscriptions on Greek gold objects are in intaglio.
; ;

that
it

I

maybe
official

An

given the necessary time. (Hear, hear.)" note has since been issued, and I give

Lastly, the epigraphy is more than defective and is at variance with the turns of Greek grammar. The labours of Messrs. Foucart and HoUeaux, as regards the epigraphy, and of Messrs. Heron de \'illefosse, CoUignon and Theodore Keinach, as re-

in full

Minister of Public Instruction has ordered M. C'lermont-Ganneau, Member of the Institute and Professor at the College of I-" ranee, to hold an inquiry and make a report on the subject of the genuineness The incjuiry will be as of the Tiara of Saitapharnes.

"The

gards the arch;eology. refute M. Wesselowski's asserM. Theodore Keinach, in two letters published tions. by the Tciiif>s, calls intention to the fact that Herr I-'urtwiingler, a sworn enemy of the tiara if ever one
li\ed,

wrote

in

Cosnwpulis

frie/es

"are

borrowed

from

(1896, p. 575) that the the admirable large

;

;

THE BURLINGTON GAZETTE
golden ,<,'or_vtes of Nicopolis, a work of about the year 400 B.C.'" The eminent scholar, after dealing with the epigraphic arguments, adds that Messrs. Wesselowski and Thiebault-Sisson have done a real service to the discussion by bringing into it the two forgeries known as the " silver dish " and " the golden " A comparison," he says, " of the two crown." objects, especially of the second, with the tiara is very instructive. To any practised eye it provides the evident proof that the artist who perpetrated the former might work for two hundred years without being able to copy the latter they are as far apart as day and night." Even the best imitation objects of the goldsmith's art which have come from the South of Russia during the past ten years, " and which," adds M. Theodore Keinach, " evidently draw their inspiration from the tiara in the Louvre, betray by numerous blunders the forgers' ignorance, bad taste and lack of style. No one has as yet succeeded in pointing to a single fault of this kind in the tiara; its defects (and no one denies their existence) are those of its time, the third century B.C., and of the semi-barbarian surroundings amid which it was manufactured." If we take up again, besides, the various extraneous criticisms that have been formulated against the tiara since 1895, we find that they all have as their ground-work and starting-point the bad repute of the origin of the ornament it comes from a house of ill;
:

alreadv known. It has been formally prosed to him that this is not so. " On the other hand, there remain four grave reasons for suspicion " I. The tiara came from a house at Otchakoft
:

which has already placed a number of forged on the market
"
2.

articles

fame it comes from a shop where forgeries are manufactured; and most of its detractors at first refused even to look at it, knowing whence it came Messrs.
; :

Furtwangler, von Tyskiewicz, Murra\-, \on Schneider, Berthier de La Garde, de Stern, etc. I think it may be interesting to quote here the most important passages from the article published by ^L Salomon Reinach in 1898 in L'Anthropolo'ne (Vol. IX, p. 715)
:

" In reality, the question raised by the Tiara of Saitapharnes is one of the most difficult and interesting that have ever invoked the criticism of the archreologists. Among those whose names carry weight, Herr Furtwangler is still the only one who, after seeing it, declared it to be false but, however great may be the errors with which he accompanied the account of his opinion (first in Cosinopolis, and then in a work entitled Intcrmczd), the doubt once awakened by a connoisseur of his attainments was naturally bound to spread. We can surely neglect the writings of certain persons who have done nothing more than add police evidence to the arguments of Herr Furtwangler but no archaeologist has the right to slumber on the pillow of certainty so long as Herr Furtwangler, whose
; ;

stated provenance, Olbia, has long been a repository of the most suspicious goods (see the late Count Tyskiewicz' account in the Revue Archcologiquc, 1897, II, p. i6g) " 3. It is difficult to explain to oneself how an article of this importance can have been discovered without giving the alert to the collectors or the archaeologists of the district " 4. The style of the tiara seems harder than that of analogous objects discovered at Olbia and preserved in the Hermitage Museum. " I mention this last argument, of which I have been told by serious people, with all reserve, as I have never myself visited the St. Petersburg Museum. Its force, however, is decreased by the fact that M. de Kieseritzky, the Keeper of the Archfeological Museum of the Hermitage, having long examined and studied the tiara, pronounced formall}' in favour of its genuineness. " Unfortunately and this strangely complicates the affair the Tiara of Saitapharnes also has its secret dossier.' I am able, however, without betraying confidences, to assist the reader to form an idea of what that dossier consists. " Both before and after the purchase of the tiara by the Louvre, different museums and collectors were asked to buy wonderful gold ornaments, some of them furnished with inscriptions, which were said to come from Olbia. Now these are all false they swarm with archaeological solecisms and the incorrectness of their inscriptions is grotesque. But several of them present such striking analogies either of decoration or of style with the tiara that we are obliged to choose between these two hypotheses " I. Either the tiara of the Louvre is an original piece, secretly discovered some twelve or more years ago, which first served as a model to a laboratory of forgers who tried to put imitations on the market before disposing of the original " 2. Or else the tiara of the Louvre is the masterpiece of that laboratory which has produced nothing but almost ridiculous booby-traps before and since. " One feels the unlikehood of this latter hypothesis.
;
;

The

'

.

.

.

:

;

Here we have people

who were

once

remarkable

competence

is

sufficiently

known,

persists

in

his

archaeologists, excellent epigraphists, who found themselves rewarded for their talents by an unhoped-for success, and who have since flooded the market with

opinion.* Arguments against genuineness, derived from the object itself, there are none. The inscription is irreproachable (this has been proved by Messrs.

Foucart and Holleaux) thcadjustmcntof the draperies of the figures, the thousand archjeoiogical details which so extensive a decoration admits of, escape all
;

serious criticism.

"Herr Furtwangler
the episodes

at

first

maintainctl

that

all

were borrowed from works that

were

llcrlln Musc'Uin, loyally adinlllcd In
sible, therefore, to

that he had boon deceived. It is impossuppose thai he would voluntarily persevere in an error

mj

nothing but fnkfis,' postichcs, screaming forgeries, fit to be sold some day or other by the weight of the metal, the considerable work of the goldsmith counting for nothing. How can one explain so pitiful a deterioration instead of the progress that was to be expected ? " It is easy for me to point all this out in general terms, but the reader who has not seen the articles ill <]iicstioii must take my word for it. That is what I call the 'secret dossier of the tiara." " This state of things will last until the forgeries have been melted down or bought which I dare not hope by sonic public collection. So long as they
' .
.

.

'ICTURli
belong to private persons, we shall have to rcsij,'n ourselves to silence or be content to work a few individual conversions behind closed doors. ".1/ the present moment, I think that no archaologist
. . .

SALES

them all. It is easy to gather from the foregoing how numerous and varied the opinions have been. .Many who were most positive in 1896 modified their views in Many of them agree with Mr. Murray in pro1897.
nouncing certain portions of the tiara to be genuine. .M. Charles Ravoisson Mollien is " not certain of the authenticity, but believes the Hellenism of the best portions to be ver\' probable." This is not the view taken by M. Salomon Reinach, who has been good enough to give me an interview.

on the subject of the tiara. He must weigh the arguments for and against, studv if he have the time the gold work of the south Learned Europe forms an wait of Russia, and ever-accessible tribunal, which needs no official convocation in order to have a new fact brought before it."
hiis the

right to be absolutely positive

!

I

think that there
I

is

nothing to add to this luminous

M. Salomon Reinach, whose opinions

I

have summar-

argument, perfect
dialectics.
(\'ol.

X^, in

and perfect in its may note, however, that in L'A nthropologic 1899, M. de Stern replied to M. Salomon
in its impartiality

letter, relied

distinguished Russian scholar, in his on a law-suit brought in Odessa, in i<S97, by M. Souroutchane, a well-known collector, against Schupsel Hochmann, of Otchakoff, the man who sold Two of the pieces in litigathe tiara to the Louvre. tion were said to have been incited down by order of M. Kachoumowski. But this sentence in M. de Stern's " It was imposreport of the case is worthy of note

Kcinach.

The

ized above, has not changed; either the tiara is entirely false, or else the tiara is completely genuine. M. Reinach is awaiting the arrival of M. RachoumowThat is where, ski. Let us, then, await it with him. at this moment, lies the actual interest of the (juestion to-do, and to the utterrise so much to that has given

Has it not, in fact, ing of so much nonsense. asserted, amid other absurdities betraying an rance of all geographical ideas, that the discovery forgery would cause criminal proceedings to be

been
ignoof the

:

sible for

matter

me to come to a definite conclusion in this ." of the tiara] In the same volume of L'Anthropologie, M. Salomon Reinach replied to M. de Stern, and discharged this Parthian bolt at him by the way
:

"

M. de Stern knows that
in

articles in gold,

manu-

have to bear the Government The tiara of the Louvre] bears no stamp. 5tamp. If he is so persuaded of its falseness, why does he not cause proceedings to be instituted in this connection against the vendor, who would be guilty of avoiding "' the fiscal formality of the stamping?
factured

Russia,

taken Now the Statute of against the Russian engraver? Limitations runs, and M. Rachoumowski can come to and, perhaps, without reproach. Paris without fear But there is a lesson to be derived from the " affair of the tiara." It crops up unsought for, and a most interesting article could be written on forgers and must beware, however, forgeries in art matters. lest, after being at one time too confident, we proceed to the other extreme and end by denouncing the " Gioconda" or the " Lesson in Anatomy."^ Rachoumowski arApril 6 (by telegram). P.S. He will be examined at once by rived yesterday. M. Clermt)nt-Ganneau, and we shall probably not have long to wait for a definite pronouncement.

We

It

folio

would be easy volumes would

in that case

to multiply opinions, but several be needed to contain

THE PICTU RE SALES
The
season with regard to public sales of pictures has so far been extremely uneventful. The fact that no great collection has as yet been submitted to that most impartial of critics, the auctioneer's hammer, need cause but little wonder, as such an event is always of the rarest occurrence before the commencement of Besides, even during the recognized London season. that privileged period, we have not seen in London within the last two or three years one of those dispersals of treasures to which dealers and amateurs of pictures eagerly flock from the four corners of the globe, and which in after days remain fi.xcd in their
is

majority of cases most unlikely, except the event of a severe financial crisis or an unforeseen He, therefore, who would seek unsocial change. familiar masterpieces on the ever-changing walls of the sale-room, must perforce in the meantime be satisfied wnth the crumbs left over from the great feasts of and, if he be at all fastidious as to the qualthe past itv of those very crumbs, he can have found but little
in the great
in
;

during the

No

last few months to satisfy his appetite. great collection, no single isolated chef d'auvre,
;

memories as landmarks in the history of art. But no single work has yet appeared in any London
sale-room of sufticient beauty to e.xcite the enthusiasm of art-lovers, or of sufficient artistic interest to arouse the controversial spirit of the critics. Paintings of the highest standard are daily becoming rarer in the market. The greatest works of the old masters, such as ha\ e not found a permanent resting-place in a national museum; the finest portraitsof the Early English School, apart from those held fast in the grip of an aristocratic the most perfect productions of the I'rench entail landscape masters of i8jO, have now been absorbetl into the collections of the e.xtremely wealthy on both Their release in the near future sides of the .Atlantic.
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but the connoisseur who visited has come forward Christie's during the few days preceding February 21 can but have been pleased with the charming small collection of " cabinet " ])ictures the property of Here was a modest the late Lady Page Turner. gathering of some fifty works, pointings and drawings, of the Dutch and French Schools, with over a dozen productions of a single Italian painter, F. Guardi. The charm of this collection was due to the evident care and knowledge with which each item had been selected. It was clearly apparent that Sir Edward Page Turner, when he purchased his works of art between the years 1858 and 1873, did not do so because they were fashionable, or because walls must be covered, but because he loved and understood the masters with whose creations he elected to live. The fact that a

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