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Papers relating to the sale of the Duc de Berry's collection of old master paintings



Papers relating to the sale of the Duc de Berry's collection of old master paintings



Archive reference number



The papers consist of:

'Etat A' - a complete inventory of the 118 Berry paintings.

'Etat B' - a list of the 21 paintings that sold in 1834.

'Etat C' - a list of the cost of packing, shipping and insuring the paintings.

A letter from John Smith to Alexander Baring, dated 27 December 1833, regarding the sale of the Duc de Berry collection.

Various documents and correspondence concerning customs duties and permits etc., 11 items.

A print on demand copy of 'A catalogue of the matchless collection of dutch and flemish pictures, of his late royal highness the Duke de Berri', originally published in 1834.

Record type


Administrative history

The papers relate to the sale of the collection of paintings belonging to the Charles-Ferdinand de Bourbon, Duc de Berry (1778-1820). Most of the Berry pictures were 17th century Dutch and of a high quality.

The Duc de Berry was assassinated in Paris in 1820. His widow inherited the collection and sent it to Christie's in London for sale by private contract. In April 1834, Christie's published a catalogue of the collection of 118 paintings as a selling exhibition, although the format is that of a traditional auction sale catalogue. An article in The Times (9 April 1834) mentioned that the sale would open to the public on 14 April 1834. However, the archive reveals that only 21 of the paintings were sold at that time.

Custodial history

Purchased with the help of a grant from the Friends of the National Libraries.

Related material

NG72/71 Manuscripts relating to the collection of the Duc de Berry

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