What is the recorded history of ownership?
What is the evidence for ownership?
It is useful to note breaks in the provenance with start and end dates for the gap.


Evidence for the provenance of a portrait can be found in:

exhibition catalogues:
* title of catalogue
* date of exhibition
* catalogue number
* location of exhibition
* name of lender
>> Case study 9 – John Collier by Marion Collier (nee Huxly) c.1882-1883


sale catalogues:
* name of auction house
* date of sale
* lot number
* vendor’s name
* buyer’s name
* cross reference from auction house stamps to individual catalogue entries
* digital image of stocknumber
* annotated catalogues in auction houses and NPG archive

>> V&A National Art Library (http://www.vam.ac.uk/page/n/national-art-library/)

>> Christie’s uniment room (http://www.christies.com/)
>> Case study 1 – Samuel Pepys (1633-1703) by John Hayls
>> SCIPIO Art and Rare Book Sales Catalogues (http://www.oclc.org/content/dam/oclc/services/brochures/212457usf_SCIPIO_Art_and_Rare_Book_Sales_Catalogs.pdf)

>> Lugt Répertoire  Online (http://lugt.idcpublishers.info/)


accessions registers
* date of accession
* accession number
* type of accession
* bequest
* source of bequest
* gift
* name of donor
* purchase
* name of vendor
* loan
* name of lender


* house inventory
* name of house
* owner of house
* collection inventory


location of collection


collection owner


artists’ sitterbooks
>> National Portrait Gallery, Heinz Archive & Library (http://archivecatalogue.npg.org.uk/Public/DServe.exe?dsqApp=Archive&dsqCmd=Index.tcl)
>> Royal Academy (http://www.royalacademy.org.uk/)
>> Royal Society of Portrait Painters (http://www.therp.co.uk/)


date of portrait commission


date of portrait completion

>> Artists’ Papers Register (http://www.aah.org.uk/page/2765)
>> National Register of Archives (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/)
>> Case study 5 – Sir Henry Charles Englefield 7th Bt by Thomas Phillips, 1815



>> Case study 1 – Samuel Pepys (1633-1703) by John Hayls
sitter’s friends
>> British Library manuscripts catalogue (http://searcharchives.bl.uk/primo_library/libweb/action/search.do?dscnt=1&fromLogin=true&dstmp=1307975735037&vid=IAMS_VU2&fromLogin=true)


>> Case study 8 – William Buckland by Thomas Phillips 1800-1825

>> V&A National Art Library (http://www.vam.ac.uk/page/n/national-art-library/)


minutes of meetings


financial records
Are there any insurance records for the portrait?
Does the portrait appear in private or institutional accounting records?
Is the portrait mentioned in minutes of council, board, or committee meetings?
Is it included in any institutional auditing records?
Is the portrait included in sale records?  If so, was the price it achieved recorded? Might this give any indication as to the identity of the artist or sitter?


>> National Register of Archives, wills (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/wills.htm)
>> Case study 11 – The Palmer Family by James Leakey c.1822


labels, stamps
on frame
* numbers in chalk, ink, or on adhesive stickers
* lot number
* catalogue number
* frame-maker’s business name and address
* owner’s name
* former owner’s name
>> Case study 9 – John Collier by Marion Collier (nee Huxly) c.1882-1883


on stretcher
*auction house stock numbers
>> Case study 17 – Unknown man and woman by an anonymous artist, c.1610-1614

artist’s name and address


on mount
* donor
>> Case study 2 – Sir Christopher Wren (1632-1723) by David Le Marchand