CATALOGUE OF THE CLASSICAL ANTIQUITIES AT SIR JOHN SOANE'S MUSEUM
This catalogue was originally compiled, at the invitation of the Museum's Curator, Sir John Summerson, by Cornelius Clarkson Vermeule (later Director of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boson), between 1951 and 1953 whilst reading for his Doctorate at University College London. Professor Vermeule returned in 1973 to update the catalogue and 10 copies of the revised typescript were made and deposited in Libraries in Europe and the USA. Ten further copies, with illustrations added, were made in 1975 and distributed likewise.
Vermeule's catalogue covered the full range of antiquities, from architectural fragments to gems, with the section on the Egyptian Antiquities being contributed by Dr. Margaret Murray. To revise such a comprehensive catalogue is a major task and although the Museum has updated the entries in respect of provenance (a great deal of research into Soane's collection has been carried out over the last twenty years by the Museum's Deputy Director and Inspectress Helen Dorey) and in some cases, bibliography, the sections have not each been reviewed by specialists and the entries remain largely as Vermeule wrote them. The sections and the order of the works have been retained as in Vermeule's original so that his catalogue numbers remain consecutive. A small number of antiquities were omitted from his catalogue and they appear at the end of the relevant sections, noted as â€˜uncatalogued by Vermeule'. Every object is also identified by its unique Soane Museum inventory number and this should be quoted in any citation in addition to the Vermeule number. The prefixes to the Museum numbers e.g. L or S, identify the location in which the item is listed in the original inventory of Soane's collection, compiled during the two years before his death with a final fair copy dated March 1837.
This on-line catalogue should result in many new discoveries about Soane's collection and will enable scholars across the world to have access to images of the antiquities for the first time. Additional information on any entry will be very gratefully received and may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Trustees are grateful to Jacqueline Thalmann, who worked for two years on the updating of content and bibliographies and to Helen Dorey for her oversight and editorship of the project. Thanks are also due to a number of volunteers who worked on the revision of different sections of the catalogue: Evelyn Fertl, Josie Gardiner, Rosemary Jeffreys, Jane Honess.
This Catalogue would not have been possible without the generous support of
and is dedicated to the memory of
Cornelius Clarkson Vermeule III (1925-2008)
whose enthusiastic support of this project was the greatest encouragement
The photographs, unless otherwise stated, were taken by A.C. Cooper Limited, Fine Art Photographers, London. Cooper's began photographing the contents of the Museum immediately after the second World War, during the preparations for the re-opening of the Museum in 1947, and have continued to the present day. In 2010-11 they undertook the digitization of all the images for this catalogue and took a great many additional colour photographs. The Museum is most grateful to Andrew Smart and all the staff at A.C. Cooper for their help and co-operation on this project.
All images are copyright Sir John Soane's Museum and they may be reproduced only by permission of the Trustees of Sir John Soane's Museum.
Prints or digital images may be ordered through the Museum: enquiries about orders or reproduction of photographs may be emailed to email@example.com quoting the Vermeule catalogue number or Museum number of the object(s).
Cornelius Vermeule's 1953 Essay on the Classical Antiquities in Sir John Soane's Museum which formed an introduction to the Catalogue
Extracts from C.H. Tatham's letters to Henry Holland, including a concordance of antique fragments shipped from Rome
Catalogue contents and layout with Vermeule catalogue numbers