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Dealers, collectors and Christie’s to fund Chatsworth book

New book will cover the 1,000 Italian drawings in the Chatsworth collection

London

The initiative of a generous group of dealers and collectors backed up by Christie’s will enable an important book to appear later this year. To be published by Phaidon, it will cover the 1,000 or so Italian drawings in the Chatsworth collection of the Duke of Devonshire. In 1984 Christie’s held a major sale of drawings from Chatsworth. The cataloguing work has been undertaken by Michael Jaffe, former director of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, and some funding was available from the Getty. The project, however, was in danger of foundering from lack of money until Luca Baroni of Colnaghi rallied to its assistance. During the Christie’s London Old Master drawings sale last season he approached a number of leading dealers (“I’m sure Noël Annesley thought I was organising a ring” he commented) and arranged a meeting. The next day, the majority of those approached—Galerie Mikaeloff, Paris; Luca Baroni himself; Munich collector Wolfgang Ratjen; Yvonne Tan Bunzl; Katrin Bellinger; Flavia Ormond; Arturo Cuellar; and Kate de Rothschild—pledged £10,000 between them, which will be matched by Christie’s. The two- or three- volume catalogue should appear to coincide with a survey exhibition of drawings from Chatsworth to be held at the British Museum this year.

Appeared in The Art Newspaper, 25 February 1993