Item Details

Call Number: MS Hunter 238 (U.3.11)
Title: Royal Inventory of Pictures, Statues, etc
Images: [ MS Hunter 238 front cover ]
Date of Creation: Between 1686 and 1689
Level of Description: Item
Part of MS Hunter 1-658
Content: Royal Inventory of Pictures, Statues, etc., at Whitehall, Hampton Court, Windsor Castle, St. James's, and in the Queen Dowager's Custody:
Begins (1, 1 recto lines 1-3): Whitehall | A List of the Statues in Marble, And | Figures in Brass.
Ends (55, 1 recto line 6): 128 A Naked Venus with An Organist a playing
The above description and following remarks are taken from the description by Young and Aitken in their catalogue of 1908:
On ii, 2 verso in an XVIII. Cent. hand: Whitehall pag. 1 & 35 & 93 | Hampton Court 9 | In Q. Dowager's Custody 77 | Windsor Castle 81 & 99 | St James's 87.
The writing, if one may judge from the spelling of certain words such as "Thristle," is by a Scotchman.
Traces of pounce remain.
The "Queen Dowager" is probably the mother of George III.

Subsequent research indicates that this inventory dates from the late 17th century and the reign of James II. See notes field for details.
Physical Description: Bound volume.
Paper, 11 x 7, ff. 110, written on rectos only, in single cols. of about 24 lines, each 9 x 5, margined with red ink, not ruled, signatures (on second versos), no catchwords, foliation (contemporary), cropped, but clean and otherwise well preserved, no marginalia. Early Cent. XVIII.
Binding: Original, millboards, covered Royal blue morocco, elaborately tooled, inside margins, edges, sides and panelled back, gilt edges, no title. Early Cent. XVIII.
[For detailed collation see: John Young and P. Henderson Aitken, A Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Library of The Hunterian Museum in The University of Glasgow. (Glasgow, 1908), p. 190.]
Access: Normal conditions
Language: English
Material Type: Catalogue
Notes: Formerly S.4.2; S.4.45.

Notes from researchers on dating etc:

Prof. C.H. Firth, Oxford: "Number 238, the Royal Inventory of Pictures, Statues, etc., seems to me from the description to be dated much too late. It is suggested that the Queen Dowager was the Mother of George III., but that title is never applied to her to my knowledge. She is always referred to as the Princess of Wales, and correctly. The Queen Dowager in question must have been Catherine of Braganza. She left England in 1692, so that the date when the Catalogue was made must have been between 1685, when Charles II. died, and 1692."

A.P. Barclay, London, letter of 11 June 2001 [Special Collections Correspondence File]: This unquestionably dates from the reign of James II and VII, and is related to the more complete inventory of the royal collection compiled in early 1688 which survives as British Library, Harl. MS 1890. The overlap between the two documents is complete, in that all the sections in MS Hunter 238 also appear in Harl. MS 1890, although the latter also includes lists of other parts of the royal collection which do not appear in the former. Parts of Harl. MS 1890, which happen to be those included in MS Hunter 238, were printed in ... 1758. Those sections which overlap are however not identical. MS Hunter gives details about the location of each picture whereas Harl. MS 1890 supplies more information about attributions. I suspect that MS Hunter 238 was used as the basis for the similar sections in Harl. MS 238. If so, it cannot date from any earlier than 1687 as 'The picture of Chineas at Length' in the King's Presence Chamber at Windsor (MS Hunter 238, fo. 83) can be identified as Kneller's 'The Chinese Convert' which is known to have been painted in early 1687.

On the basis of Barclay's article, an earlier note that this ms was printed as: A catalogue of the collection of pictures &c. belonging to King James the Second (London, 1758) is incorrect. Barclay states that this printed catalogue was based on a section of a related manuscript, British Library Harleian MS 1890.
Bibliography: Andrew Barclay, 'The inventories of the English royal collection, temp. James II', Journal of the History of Collections vol 22 no 1 (2010) pp 1-13; John Young & P.H. Aitken, A catalogue of the manuscripts in the Library of the Hunterian Museum in the University of Glasgow (Glasgow, 1908), p. 190.
Accession Number: 2482
See details of how this material was acquired
Repository Code: GB 0247

Names associated with this item:

subject: Augusta Princess of Wales fl.1736-1738
Princess Augusta of Saxe Gotha.
subject: Catherine of Braganza 1638-1705
Queen Consort of Charles II, King of Great Britain.
subject: Hampton Court Palace
Royal Palace, Surrey.
subject: St James's Palace
subject: Whitehall
Palace, London
subject: Windsor Castle
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