The Wilshere Collection offers a remarkable insight into one Englishman's enthusiasm for the early Christian church. A wealthy landowner travelling frequently to Italy, Charles Wilshere (1814-1906) saw it as his mission to acquaint the British with the then brand-new subject of early Christian archaeology and art.
Newly discovered documentation, including correspondence held at the Vatican Library and the Biblioteca San Luigi, Posilippo, recount Wilshere's acquisition of a remarkable collection of early Christian, Jewish and pagan gold-glass, sarcophagi and inscriptions, shipped to England for public display. Previously unpublished evidence presents the reader with intriguing new information about the provenance of the collection. In addition to this, recent scientific analysis of the objects, now in the collections of the Ashmolean Museum, allows major new insights, notably into the origin of gold-glass and its use in fourth-century Rome.
Contents: Introduction; The History of the Collection and its Collector; The Sources of the Charles Wilshere Collection; Honouring the Dead in Late Antique Rome; Materials and Techniques; Iconography; Indices.