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The ‘William Allen Box’: a Victorian Gentleman's Collection of Antiquities and Curios

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 May 2011

Richard Hobbs*
Affiliation:
Richard Hobbs, FSA, Prehistory and Europe, The British Museum, London WC1B 3DG, UK. E-mail: rhobbs@britishmuseum.org
Judith Swaddling*
Affiliation:
Judith Swaddling, FSA, Greece and Rome, The British Museum, London WC1B 3DG, UK. E-mail: jswaddling@britishmuseum.org
James Graham-Campbell*
Affiliation:
James Graham-Campbell, FSA, Flat 38, 5 Wenlock Road, London N1 7SL, UK. E-mail: j.graham-campbell@ucl.ac.uk
Sonja Marzinzik*
Affiliation:
Sonja Marzinzik, FSA, Prehistory and Europe, The British Museum, London WC1B 3DG, UK. E-mail: smarzinzik@britishmuseum.org

Abstract

The ‘William Allen box’ is a rare survival of a collection of antiquities, mostly of Roman date, collected in the Victorian period. This paper discusses the identity and life of the collector and some of the more notable objects before examining the provenance of some of the material, in particular the findspots ‘Ad Fines’ and ‘Croydon’. The importance of the collection in the context of the antiquarian age in which it was assembled is also discussed.

Résumé

La ‘boîte William Allen’ représente une rare survie d'une collection d'antiquités, datant pour la plupart de l’époque romaine, collectionnée à l’époque victorienne. Cette communication traite de l'identité et de la vie du collectionneur ainsi que de certains des objets les plus remarquables avant de se pencher sur la provenance de certains des articles, en particulier les lieux de découverte ‘Ad fines’ et ‘Croydon’. L'importance de la collection dans le contexte de l’âge antiquaire durant lequel elle fut amassée est également discutée.

Zusammenfassung

Die “William Allen Schatulle” ist ein seltener Gegenstand in einer Sammlung von vorwiegend römischen Antiquitäten, die in der viktorianischen Zeit zusammengetragen wurden. Dieser Beitrag diskutiert zunächst die Identität und das Leben des Sammlers und einige der bedeutenden Objekte, um dann die Herkunft einiger Materialien zu untersuchen, insbesondere die Fundorte “Ad fines” und “Croydon”. Ebenfalls diskutiert wird die Bedeutung dieser Sammlung im Rahmen des antiquarischen Zeitalters in dem sie zusammengetragen wurde.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The Society of Antiquaries of London 2011

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