The Mary Hamilton Papers : Letter from Sir William Hamilton to Mary Hamilton

Hamilton, William, Sir

The Mary Hamilton Papers

<p style='text-align: justify;'>Letter from Sir William Hamilton to Mary Hamilton. The letter relates to Sir William selling some of his artworks and antiquities to the Duchess of Portland. He writes that his 'Vase, the Head of Jupiter & my picture of Coregio [sic] are the cream of all the Virtu I have ever possessed in my life, & I beleive [sic]in my conscience there do not exist three finer Specimens of the perfection of Art'. The Correggio was once owned by Christiana, Queen of Sweden, and he believes that it was owned at one time by Charles I, as a catalogue of his collection mentions a Venus of Correggio which was sold for £3000 by Cromwell, and to his knowledge there is only one Venus by Correggio. The letter details how much Sir William is willing to accept from the Duchess of Portland for these works and the amounts that he had originally purchased the items for. He believes that for the Vase alone, the Empress of Russia would pay highly for it but he could not bear 'the thought of its going out of England now it is once safe here, for there is not such a monument of Antiquity in the World'. Sir William is convinced that the Duchess will not lose by her purchase. He asks his niece to convey this information to the Duchess and to assure her that he will not 'open his lips upon the subject' without first getting her consent.</p>

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