The Wellby Bequest, received by the Ashmolean Museum in 2013, consists of some 500 precious and exotic objects, mainly from Continental Europe, from the late medieval to the rococo, and is the most remarkable accession of this kind of material to any museum in the UK since the bequest of Ferdinand de Rothschild to the British Museum in 1898 (the Waddesdon Bequest). The collection was assembled by three generations of the Wellby family with an intention that it should reflect the great princely treasure chambers (Kunstkammer) preserved in Dresden, Vienna, Innsbruck, and elsewhere. Many of these objects have never been previously published. This beautiful and accessible book introduces over sixty of the prime pieces from this astonishing addition to the Ashmolean, presenting material of the type incomparably superior to anything in other UK museums outside London. Both authors are specialists in European decorative arts of the Renaissance and later periods.
Published to coincide with the opening of the new Wellby Bequest Gallery in the Ashmolean Museum September 2015
Contents: Preface and Acknowledgements; Introduction to the Michael Wellby Bequest (by Timothy Wilson); Introductory essay on the Kunstkammer tradition (by Matthew Winterbottom); 50 catalogue entries on highlights of the Wellby Collection; Glossary, Bibliography; Index