George Salting

George Salting, Dr.Otto Rosenheim, photograph reproduced in The Salting Collection, London, HMSO, 1911

George Salting, Dr.Otto Rosenheim, photograph reproduced in The Salting Collection, London, HMSO, 1911

George Salting’s vast collection of ceramics was lent to the Museum and displayed together as the Salting Collection; the collection was bequeathed to the Museum in 1909.

George Salting was born in Sydney, Australia, on 15 August 1835. Having inherited a considerable fortune when his father died in 1865 he began collecting lacquer and Oriental porcelain. Such was the extent of the accumulations that filled his rooms above the Thatched House Club at 86 St James's Street, London, that in 1874 Salting started to deposit items on loan in the South Kensington Museum. The Frederic Spitzer sale of Medieval and Renaissance objects d’art in 1893 resulted in a diversification of Salting’s collecting interests: Italian majolica, bronzes and reliefs, Persian, Damascas and Turkish ware, Limoges enamels, illuminated manuscripts, carved woodwork and tapestries, and Japanese lacquer and European steel and iron.

When he died on 12 December 1909, Salting left his vast collections to the National Gallery, the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum.


Information in the V&A Archive

MA/1/S293: Nominal file – George Salting

MA/1/S2380: Nominal file – W. H. Smith & Sons (includes photograph of Salting Collection display)

MA/1/B3676: Nominal file – Bushell, Dr & Mrs S W [art referee report]

MA/1/D1979: Nominal file – Durlacher Bros [art referee report]

MA/49/2/80-82: Press cuttings

MA/31/6, 8 & 10: Registers of loans in

A0520: Papers relating to the Salting bequest comprising three notebooks containing inventories, apparently in George Salting’s hand; bundle of typescript slips recording provenance; loose notes, bills and correspondence providing inventory information, provenance and values; typescript inventory of Salting material in the Architecture and Sculpture Department

Printed departmental reports on the bequest in the Board of Education’s Report for the Years 1909 and 1910 on the Victoria and Albert Museum and The Bethnal Green Museum. London: HMSO, 1910

A0331: Clive Wainwright research papers

Other archival sources

See the National Register of Archives

Selected printed works

The Salting collection. London: HMSO, 1911. NAL pressmark: NK.92.1275 

‘The Salting bequest: the display at South Kensington.’ The Times. 23 March 1911

‘Wills and bequests: Mr Salting’s estate.’ The Times. 26 January 1910

Read, C. H. ‘George Salting.’ Burlington Magazine 16, no.83 (February 1910): 250-51. NAL pressmark: PP.1.A

Coppel, Stephen. ‘Salting, George (1835–1909).’ Oxford Dictionary of National Biography . Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004. NAL pressmark: 920.041 DIC

To locate material in the National Art Library, please search the Library Catalogue.

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