Gilbert Collection

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The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection is a collection of objets d'art formed by the English-born businessman Sir Arthur Gilbert, who made most of his fortune in the property business in California. After initially becoming interested in silver, he assembled a large collection of decorative art, which he gave the British nation in 1996. It now has a permanent home in the Victoria and Albert Museum.


For decades, the collection was on display at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Sir Arthur had promisedTemplate:Fact eventually to make it a permanent gift. However he decided to give the collection to his native country, after a dispute with LACMA regarding the collection's placement and display. In 2000 it went on public display as "The Gilbert Collection" in a suite of seventeen galleries in Somerset House in London. The exhibition was fitted out under the supervision of the silver expert Timothy Schroder, and continued until 27 January 2008. The space became the Embankment Galleries, an exhibition space for contemporary art. Meanwhile the collection was incorporated into the Victoria and Albert Museum, where a new display in rooms 70-73 opened on 30 June 2009.

In early 2011, fifty objects from the Collection were returned, by the provisions of a long-term loan, to LACMA.


The collection includes the following types of work:

  • Gold boxes: highly decorated and often jewel-encrusted 18th century snuff boxes.
  • Silver: a wide range of European decorative silver from the Renaissance to the Victorian era.
  • Gold and treasury: pieces from around the world, including an Anatolian gold ewer from the third millennium BC and a solid gold tea service made in the 19th century for Russian imperial family.
  • Italian mosaics: pietre dure works from Renaissance Florence and enamel micromosaics made in Rome. The Gilbert collection claims to have the leading collection of these two types of art in the world.
  • Art in enamel: a collection of over 100 enamel miniature portraits from the 18th and 19th centuries.



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