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Sir William Burrell as a Collector of European Tapestry

YOU ARE IN: Art and Design; European Decorative Arts and Design; European Tapestry Sir William Burrell as a Collector of European Tapestry

Glasgow Museums has a collection of European tapestries collected by Sir William Burrell.

Sir William Burrell (1861–1958) purchased most of his tapestries from dealers based mainly in London, Paris and New York, including Arnold Seligmann, Bacri Fr่res, M&R Stora and John Hunt. He owned around 40 tapestries before recording his acquisitions in 1911 and documentation suggests he purchased several more tapestries in the 1920s. This interest peaked in 1936, when he recorded 36 acquisitions in that year alone. However purchases soon diminished and, although a further 17 acquisitions were recorded in 1938, for many years after no tapestry purchases were recorded at all. Only one or two acquisitions per year were added later, at infrequent intervals, until Burrell's death in 1958. The Burrell Collection's Trustees later purchased four tapestries for the collection.

Burrell amassed his fortune in the shipping industry and began collecting art and archaeological artefacts from the late 19th century onwards, which culminated into one of the most significant collections in the UK, encompassing a magnificent collection of European tapestries. Burrell donated six of these tapestries to the Provand's Lordship Society between 1927 and 1929 however the rest remain within the Burrell Collection.