Update: Earliest heraldic roll to stay in England

In February I posted about a beautiful 13th c. illuminated scroll of coat of arms, the earliest surviving English heraldic manuscript, which Sotheby’s had auctioned overseas.

The culture minister had put a temporary export block on it hoping to give a local institution time to scrape up the funds for purchase, and it worked. The British Library is now the proud owner of the Dering Roll.

The British Library received a £100,000 National Heritage Memorial Fund grant, £40,000 from The Art Fund and £10,000 each from the Friends of the National Libraries and Friends of the British Library to help buy the item.

Yay for the good guys winning! The Dering Roll is already on display in the British Library. I’d love to see it. The pictures clearly don’t do it justice.


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Comment by Hans
2008-09-05 09:17:41

Beautiful! I can’t find a higher reolution ( larger image) of it- If you know of a link I’d love to see the scroll in more detail.

Comment by livius drusus
2008-09-05 09:57:36

I’m afraid this is the biggest image available. I actually contacted the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council directly to get it because there were no pictures in the news beyond small segments in thumbnails.

I’d love to scroll carefully through a high resolution version myself. :(

Comment by Ensign Steve
2008-09-05 10:23:18

Not to be a buzz kill, but aren’t the museums in Britain loaded up with treasures stolen from all over the world? Yay for the good guys, indeed. Seriously, though, that is a cool scroll.

Comment by livius drusus
2008-09-05 11:09:25

Oh for sure. Museums in America, too. In this case, though, local context won out over big money/nouveau imperialism.

Comment by Hans
2008-09-05 12:52:29

The National Museum of Taiwan in Taipei has one of the finest collections of Chinese art and antquities and 100% of that is stolen from China. At least it’s not on the open market though.

Comment by livius drusus
2008-09-05 20:46:01

The Miho Museum in Japan is one big ball of stolen goods. They paid straight-up thieves like Robert Hecht exorbitant prices no questions asked in an attempt to catch up to the so-called “encyclopedic museums” of the West.

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August 2020


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