View Full Version : Calling all UK photographers !

29-Nov-2007, 03:41
Hello all from the UK,

On behalf of a Norwegian Historical Society, Iím trying to get in contact with someone who might point us in the right direction in our search for an ANCIENT ALTARPIECE that was sold to Britain in the 1800s or early 1900s. Iím posting here because may be a photographer, who is shooting that kind of stuff, has seen something like it or heard it mentioned.

We are NOT planning to try to bring the item back to where it came from but would like to have it photographed for having a replica made. The altarpiece likely origins from before the 1100s and is probably worth a fortune these days. I would think it resides in a private collection or in a museum somewhere. At least two English families may have been involved in the transaction; Blackwells or Rathbones. Perhaps also a William Duppa Crotch.

Please let me know if you know something that may help us in this search.


29-Nov-2007, 09:15
Have you contacted National Heritage, etc?

They might know more. The British Museum could also be a good start.

Pete Watkins
29-Nov-2007, 13:25
The British Museum might be some help and they won't care if you want it back 'cos we've still got The Elgin Marbles and The Greeks are mithering like hell about that! As the item was sold post reformation The Church of Englands archive might have some information. Go to the top, The Archbishop of Canterburys department might have some clues, I don't know the address but it must be on the web.

Justin Cormack
29-Nov-2007, 17:26
I think we might need some more information before we can find it! Blackwell and Rathbone are quite well known families. Crotch is a rare name though.

2-Dec-2007, 06:19
Thanks, folks ! This gave me some leads to follow. I'm afraid I haven't got much more information. One may be the farm name "BjÝlstad".


Pete Watkins
2-Dec-2007, 15:41
It would be interesting to hear how you get on. If you can find the time or get stuck let us know.
Good luck,

Struan Gray
3-Dec-2007, 01:36
In addition to the British Museum, the Society of Antiquaries (www.sal.org.uk) may be able to help you. If there is a chance that your altarpiece has ended up in Scotland, there is a seperate Scottish society (www.socantscot.org). Both societies are more involved in day-to-day local history than the Brit. Mus., and their members have a truly encyclopedic knowledge of odd carvings in out of the way chapels.

Rob Champagne
3-Dec-2007, 03:21
It's probably been sold on to the USA a long time a go for vast sums of money.

Ole Tjugen
3-Dec-2007, 03:58
A quick google search did indeed turn up a connection between William Duppa Crotch and the Rathbone family. I suggest you try the same.

Struan Gray
3-Dec-2007, 05:32
The Public Record Office (www.nationalarchives.gov.uk) is the place to start if you are looking for particular people. They also publish useful handbooks which describe how to access and use more local resources like the individual county record offices and church archives.