The Art Newspaper has identified the anonymous owner of a major collection of “Medieval and later treasures”, currently on loan to the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A). He is Paul Ruddock, chief executive of investment management company Lansdowne Partners, and a V&A trustee since 2002.
The Ruddock collection has been built up over only a decade or so, but is already “one of the most important collections of medieval works of art in private hands”, according to V&A keeper Paul Williamson. The V&A display comprises 93 items and is strongest in enamels, ivories, alabasters and metalwork.
The exhibition catalogue was published by dealer Sam Fogg, who sold some of the pieces to Mr Ruddock (another major source has been New York’s Blumka Gallery). In the catalogue introduction, Mr Williamson points out that the owner is particularly interested in acquiring objects with a distinguished provenance: “He prefers to remain anonymous at present, but in time it is likely that his name will take its place alongside those illustrious collectors who previously owned the objects.”
Following The Art Newspaper’s query, the V&A confirmed that the collector is indeed Mr Ruddock.