Monday, March 09, 2009

Advice to collectors

Up to a year or so ago people would visit Somerset House in the UK to view the Gilbert Collection. Arthur Gilbert put together a huge collection of stuff including enamelled portrait miniatures and one of the world’s great collections of snuff boxes including a gem-encrusted box from the collection of Frederick the Great (he paid $1,096,774 for it in 1986). Why are we telling you this? Because Sir Arthur Gilbert, who made his money in the property business in California, had an ace idea that might be of interest to other collectors. Visitors to Somerset House were often surprised to see Sir Arthur hard at work at his desk talking on the phone. Surprised, because Sir A had been dead for some years, and then possibly relieved when the life-size figure turned out to be wax. The collection and virtual Arthur have now been moved to the V&A. OTN also acknowledges Sir Arthur Gilbert as one of the great sponsors of global table tennis with the Gilbert Cup playing a key role in introducing the game to the United States.
Image: Sir Arthur Gilbert in the flesh and in wax. You be the judge.