British Museum to acquire major print collection
Moves to buy 7,250 mezzotints from Lennox-Boyd
By Martin Bailey. Web only
Published online: 21 October 2009
london. The British Museum in London hopes to make its largest acquisition of prints since 1902. It wants to buy 7,250 mezzotints from Christopher Lennox-Boyd, a specialist who has assembled a collection of 50,000 during a period of 40 years. The British Museum has examined them all, selecting mezzotints (produced with a tonal printing method) from the 17th to 19th centuries, which it lacks. The agreed price is £1,250,000, an average of £170 each. So far the British Museum Friends have pledged £300,000, the Art Fund has offered £250,000 and £65,000 has come from individual donors. A request for £585,000 is being considered by the National Heritage Memorial Fund. Lennox-Boyd had earlier auctioned two groups of prints at Christie’s (12 March 2008 and 25 February 2009), which raised £468,000. The National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, bought 65 of his most important prints in 2001-04.
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