Collecting Carefully

The Amsterdam Inventory, Kew, National Archives

After returning from Italy, Lady Arundel together with her husband continued to make a name for herself as an art connoisseur. Their collection consisted of a wide variety of works. Ancient sculptures, busts, heads and inscriptions, which Lord Arundel was particularly keen to acquire, Italian masters from Michelangelo, Sebastiano del Piombo and Correggio to Jacopo Ligozzi and Guido Reni, works by Lucas van Leyden, Joos van Cleve, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Lucas Cranach and David Teniers were part of the collection, as were numerous constcamer objects, especially small-scale statuettes made of ivory, silver, wood, bronze and agate.

Several inventories of the collection have been preserved. The list of paintings ascribed to famous master and the constcamer objects in the inventory of Lady Arundel’s house in Amsterdam have been published by Lionel Cust and Mary L. Cox as Notes on the Collections Formed by Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel and Surrey, KG and Inventory of the Arundel Collection in the Burlington Magazine 19 in 1911. The Tart Hall inventory, the list of items in Lady Arundel’s private palace, was published in the following issue by Lionel Cust as Notes on the Collections Formed by Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel and Surrey, KG-II, III; and IV.

A notarial list from Amersfoort, Lady Arundel’s country estate during her exile in Amsterdam, also provides information on the collection and has been published by Weijtens as De Arundel-Collectie: Commencement de la Fin Amersfoort 1655 in 1971. It is important to note that these inventories, despite exclusively listing property of Lady Arundel, have been commonly used to research Lord Arundel’s interest in the arts.

Moreover, Mary Cox and Lionel Cust did not transfer the entire Amsterdam inventory, leaving out interesting information regarding her collection which will be discussed in a later article. I will publish the inventory of Lady Arundel’s house see as well as a list of other valuables that were in her possession in 1643. There is also an unpublished inventory of the residence in Amersfoort which I will publish soon, as well as the final inventory or rather sales catalogue of Tart Hall, compiled in 1720. The famous Tart Hall Sale right before the demolition of the palace was an occasion to list numerous pieces from Lady Arundel’s collection.


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