Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


31 May 2020

The first big acquisition. Heinrich Schliemann, Ingvald Undset and Oscar II’s gifts to the early Ethnographical Museum in Oslo

Axel Seeberg Clara Chronicle 2 (2017): 1-15

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In 1887 King Oscar II of Sweden and Norway donated 18 ancient objects ‘that had been given to him by Schliemann’ to the then Ethnographical Museum (now the Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo). In this, his very last article, the late Axel Seeberg wrote about these objects and discussed the descriptions and the provenances given to them in the first museum inventory list. Many of the objects have already been published (some of them in CVA Norway 1), but not all. Here, the donation is presented in full for the first time. Some of the vases may have been acquired (not excavated) by Heinrich Schliemann in the years 1880/81, during his archaeological activities at Orchomenos. Others may have been bought in the Athenian art market. To the list is added a Tanagra figurine bought by the Norwegian archaeologist, Ingvald Undset, in Athens in 1883 , when he traveled around Greece and visited the town where Heinrich Schliemann was staying.


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