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Joseph Henry Fitzhenry

Floor tile, Antonio dei Fedeli, tin-glazed earthenware, painted, Pesaro, 1492-1494, given by J.H. Fitzhenry, Esq.

Floor tile, Antonio dei Fedeli, tin-glazed earthenware, painted, Pesaro, 1492-1494, given by J.H. Fitzhenry, Esq.

Joseph Henry Fitzhenry loaned and gave many objects to the Victoria and Albert Museum between 1870 and 1913. In 1910, to mark the opening of the new buildings designed by Aston Webb, he presented his collections of French porcelain and Dutch faience. Several other departments were also beneficiaries of his generosity.

Born in 1836, Joseph Henry Fitzhenry was a prodigious art collector and dealer. He was a friend of the art collectors Sir Richard Wallace, George Salting and J. Pierpont Morgan, to the latter of whom he provided advice on purchases. According to his obituarist, 'Nothing is certainly known about Mr. Fitzhenry’s origin or early life'. Fitzhenry was a founding member of the V&A’s Advisory Council, attending only one meeting before he died in London on 15 March 1913, aged 77. He was buried in Brompton cemetery.


Information in the V&A Archive

MA/1/F677/1-22: Nominal file: J. H. Fitzhenry

MA/1/M2725/1: Nominal file: J. Pierpont Morgan

MA/31/3, 6, 9 & 10: Registers of loans in

MA/49/2/88: Press cuttings

MA/46/1/1: Advisory Council minutes

A0454: Correspondence with J. H. Fitzhenry (1906)

Other archival sources: Morgan Library and Museum, New York: Fitzhenry file

Selected printed works

A series of twelve Delft plates illustrating the tobacco industry: presented by J.H. Fitzhenry, Esq. to the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: Printed for HMSO, 1907). NAL pressmark: VA.1907.0005

Wylde, C. H. ‘Mr Fitzhenry’s collection of early French pate-tendre.’ The Burlington Magazine 28 (1905): 188-201. NAL pressmark: PP.1.A

[Obituary]. The Times (18 March 1913)

Baudis, Macushla. ‘Tea Parties at the Museum … The Collector J. H. Fitzhenry and his Relationship with the Victoria and Albert Museum.’ V&A Online Journal No. 2 (Autumn 2009)

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