The Bute Collection: Picture Inventories, Catalogues and Valuations – A Catalogue
Essay by Caitlin Blackwell Baines
The Bute Collection is a hereditary art collection, containing more than six hundred paintings, assembled over three centuries by members of the Crichton-Stuart family – the Earls and Marquesses of Bute. Nowadays, the collection is housed at Mount Stuart, the family’s ancestral seat on the Western Scottish Isle of Bute.
The foundation of the collection is a group of family portraits dating to the early eighteenth century, acquired at the time of the initial construction of Mount Stuart (1718–21) by James Stuart, 2nd Earl of Bute (1696–1723). This original group has mostly remained at Mount Stuart until the present day. Additionally, a large group of important European old master paintings and British portraits were acquired by John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute (1713–1792) and his son, John Stuart, 1st Marquess of Bute (1744–1814) in the second half of the eighteenth century. This collection was kept at the family’s Bedfordshire estate, Luton Hoo, until a fire in 1843. The paintings were afterwards transferred to various family properties in England, Scotland and Wales before being merged with the rest of the Bute Collection at Mount Stuart in 1993.
Later generations have added to the original eighteenth-century collection, and it presently contains, in addition to old master paintings and family portraiture, modern and contemporary art, rare books, historical documents, furniture, porcelain and silver. For an in-depth account of the Bute Collection’s history, see my study, ‘The Bute Collection and its Houses: A Historical Overview’ in this project.
The Bute Archive at Mount Stuart contains a number of catalogues, inventories and valuations pertaining to the Bute Collection of paintings, dating from the eighteenth to the twentieth century. These documents record paintings at various Bute family properties, including Mount Stuart, Luton Hoo, Cardiff Castle, Dumfries House and St John’s Lodge. The earliest document is a Mount Stuart inventory from 1723, which lists fifty-four paintings in the house at the time of the death of the 2nd Earl of Bute. Later inventories demonstrate that the collection at the house expanded under the 3rd Earl; however, after 1746 Mount Stuart was no longer the family’s primary residence and the bulk of the Bute Collection was housed at Luton Hoo and other properties until the late twentieth century.
This catalogue lists documents in the Bute Archive relating specifically to Bute Collection paintings and includes only those general household inventories that identify paintings in detail. The documents which have BU numbers refer to works in the Bute Archive which have been catalogued; some documents which have MS numbers refer to an older cataloguing system for historic manuscripts; however, in some cases ‘MS’ is used as the abbreviation for Mount Stuart.
Mount Stuart (18th–19th century)
1 Mount Stuart 1723
Copy Inventory of all Pictures, Paintings and Drawings &c. at Mountstuart taken 1st April 1723
A handwritten copy (in eighteenth-century script) of a list of pictures at Mount Stuart at the death of James Stuart, 2nd Earl of Bute (1696–1723). This copy is believed to have been made on the occasion of John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute (1713–1792) reaching the age of majority in 1734.
54 pictures, no room locations.
[single sheet, cream folder of unsorted 3rd Earl items]
2 Mount Stuart 1778
Inventory of the Household furniture at Mountstuart as delivered over by Mr James Edington, late factor on the estate of Bute to Peter May, his successor, made out August 1778
A handwritten household inventory including some detailed entries on paintings, with remarks on their current state.
79 pictures in 10 rooms (only portraits listed in detail).
[42 pp., stitched, unbound]
Note: A typed transcript dating to the mid-twentieth century (‘18th and 19th century lists and inventories’ folder, Blue Library cabinet) states that the 1778 and 1782 inventories (see below) were included in a single bound volume, given to the 6th Marquess by Mr Robert Arbuthnot Ardmoy, Rhu, Dunbartonshire, on 30 April 1966. This untraced volume may be a later copy.
3 Mount Stuart 1782
Inventory of the Furniture at Mount Stuart House Taken in December 1782 immediately after the House had been repaired and the Furniture arranged according to Instructions from the Lord Privy Seal and Lady Betty Mackenzie, As follows viz.
A handwritten household inventory including detailed entries on paintings, with remarks on the status of repairs to furniture and movements of paintings and so on. This was compiled following the completion of a renovation programme overseen by the 3rd Earl’s brother, James Stuart-Mackenzie (1719–1800) and his wife. Inscriptions in the margins state that forty-one paintings were later ‘sent to Lord Mountstuart’ (the future 1st Marquess) in London on 23 October 1783.
93 pictures in 14 rooms.
[48 pp., leather-bound]
See Mount Stuart 1778 regarding a typed transcript/later copy.
4 Mount Stuart 1783
List of Pictures at Mounstuart with Remarks by Lord Mountstuart, 17 August 1783 [uncatalogued]
A handwritten list of pictures with comments on their condition and quality, described as ‘remarks by Lord Mountstuart’. This presumably refers to John, Lord Mountstuart, later 1st Marquess of Bute (1744–1814), though the document is not in his hand and was probably transcribed for him by Alexander May, Mount Stuart’s factor.
75+ pictures in 11 rooms.
[3 pp., single folded sheet, unsorted art etc box, Library Strong Room]
5 Mount Stuart 1791a
Names of the Portraits at Mountstuart worth inscribing, 1791
A handwritten list of portraits at Mount Stuart, probably in the hand of John Stuart, 1st Marquess of Bute (1744–1814), undated but inscribed ‘1791’ in pencil in a different hand (probably a twentieth-century archivist). A contemporary document (see 1791b below) lists the same paintings in slightly different order and wording.
15 pictures, no room locations.
[loose sheet, cream folder of unsorted 3rd Earl items]
6 Mount Stuart 1791b
Account of Portrait Pictures at Mount Stuart 1791
A photocopy of an untraced handwritten list of paintings by room, probably in the hand of John Stuart, 1st Marquess of Bute (1744–1814), inscribed ‘Account of Portrait Pictures at Mount Stuart 1791’ in the same hand on a separate covering sheet.
See also 1791a above.
15 pictures, no room locations.
[3 pp. in ‘18th and 19th century lists and inventories’ folder, Blue Library cabinet).
7 Mount Stuart 1809/1816/1823/1835
Volume of inventories of furnishings, pictures, linen etc at Mount Stuart made in 1809, 1816, 1823 and 1835 with additions. Indexed by room
A volume containing handwritten inventories of furniture etc taken in 1809, 1816, 1823 and 1835. This appears to be a working draft which has been updated over the years by several different hands and includes corrections and updates on movements of items. Paintings are listed in the 1809, 1823 and 1835 inventories, with some identifying details; 1809 lists only pictures in the North Gallery.
7 pictures in 1 room (1809); 61 pictures in 11 rooms (1823); 100+ pictures in 18 rooms (1835).
[150 pp., leather-bound]
8 Mount Stuart 1874
Catalogue & Valuations of Household Furniture, Paintings, Drawings & Engravings in Mountstuart House, November 1874
A handwritten inventory and valuation of the furniture and art, focusing largely on paintings. It is stated that the Drawing Room and Ante Drawing Room are ‘being reconstructed’ and that the paintings ordinarily displayed there are ‘scattered over the house’. There are twenty-three pictures listed in these rooms that are also listed again elsewhere in temporary locations.
120 pictures in 17 rooms (23 repeated, 97 original entries).
[15 pp., stitched, unbound]
9 Mount Stuart 1876
Inventory and Valuation of Furniture Pictures Books &c. at Mount Stuart House Isle of Bute as given up to the North British and Mercantile Insurance Company for Policy of Insurance
A handwritten inventory and valuation of furniture and so on produced for the North British and Mercantile Insurance Company. The document is divided into three parts: (1) a general household inventory listing paintings and their values but with no identifying details; (2) an inventory of the paintings only, with identifying details and values; (3) a summary of values. In section 2, inscriptions in the margins made in pencil in a different hand indicate where the pictures were moved following the fire on 3 December 1877. Notably, ‘Balmory’ is written next to ninety pictures, indicating that they were moved to Balmory Hall, a Victorian Italianate villa near Ascog, Isle of Bute, the temporary residence of the Bute family during the construction of the new Mount Stuart.
96 pictures in 17 rooms.
[23 pp., stitched, unbound]
Luton Hoo (18th–19th century)
10 Luton 1799a
Rough Catalogue of Pictures, Luton Park, c.1799
A handwritten catalogue of the paintings at Luton, listed by room, with descriptions, and annotated corrections in a different hand, probably that of John Stuart,1st Marquess of Bute (1744–1814). The catalogue is undated but has been assigned a date of c.1799 by the art historian Francis Russell. Some of the pages are watermarked ‘J WILLIAMS 1797’. Included at the back of the catalogue is an addendum with extended descriptions of three pictures: ‘Venus and Cupid’ attributed to Guido, ‘The Holy Family’ attributed to Bartolomeo Schedoni and ‘Virgin & Child, with an angel gathering Fruit’ attributed to Domenico Feti.
517 pictures in 23 rooms.
[33 folded sheets, unbound, Library Strong Room]
Note: The handwriting appears to be the same as that of the 1802 catalogue (see Luton 1802 below). There are also several bundles of loose sheets with further annotations and corrections in various hands which appear to be related to this manuscript (see Luton 1799c and d below).
11 Luton 1799b
List of the Luton Pictures [BU/232]
A handwritten catalogue of paintings at Luton, without room locations; it is an abridged list not including pictures on the first floor. The date ‘1799’ is engraved on the spine of the volume; however, it has been speculated that this is a later copy of a now lost original. A modern annotation on a loose sheet inserted in the volume reads in part ‘Original catalogue from which this was copied has not been traced in archives (page numbers against pictures do not “fit” any sheets we have).’ At the back of the volume there are two eighteenth-century documents relating to the picture collection: a receipt from Messrs Thomas Coutts & Company, Bankers in the Strand, for £42 received from Bute on account of Baillie, 13 August 1799; and a receipt from William Baillie for the same amount received from Bute for the purchase of a picture by ‘Carracci representing a Virgin and Child’, 19 August 1799.
168 pictures, no room locations.
[16 pp., leather-bound].
12 Luton 1799c
Instructions, corrections, drafts etc for catalogues of Luton pictures (c.1799–1800)
A folder containing bundles of loose manuscript pages pertaining to the Luton picture collection written in various hands, including John Stuart, 1st Marquess (1744–1814) and Captain William Baillie (1723–1810), an art dealer and adviser to the 3rd Earl and 1st Marquess. These documents have been organised into 3 subfolders by a modern archivist: (1) a folder labelled ‘Instructions for Luton Catalogue by 1st Marquess’ containing a partial draft of an unknown Luton catalogue (rooms on the first floor only); (2) an unlabelled folder containing loose sheets with picture descriptions, presumably intended to be incorporated into a subsequent catalogue; (3) a folder labelled ‘Old Luton MS. Cat I and Cat. II. . . .’ now containing only one rough draft, inscribed ‘Catalogue of the Pictures at Luton Park, Bedfordshire’, with much crossed out text and many annotations in the margins. A modern annotation made by ‘F.R’ (Francis Russell?) on folder 3 states that this material ‘follows “rough” cat.’ (Luton 1799a; see above). While most of the documents are undated, a sheet in folder 2 inscribed ‘Description Venus & Cupid by Guido Reni’ is dated December 1799.
[(1) 12 pp., (2) 19pp., (3) 17 pp, unbound, Library Strong Room]
Note: Annotations in folder 1 refer to a ‘Mr. Slace’ (?) whom Russell has postulated was responsible for helping Bute to prepare the Luton catalogue: Francis Russell, John, 3rd Earl of Bute: Patron and Collector, London: Merrion Press, 2004, p. 193.
13 Luton 1799d
Leaves cut out of the Catalogue of Pictures at Luton Park for alterations (c.1799–1804)
A folder containing a bundle of loose pages, most of which are gold-edged and appear to have been cut out from a now lost bound catalogue of pictures at Luton. These are enclosed in brown archival paper with a modern inscription reading: ‘Old Luton Ms. Cat. sheets (Cat. II)’. A covering sheet is inscribed (in eighteenth-century script): ‘Leaves cut out of the Catalogue of Pictures at Luton Park for alterations’ The sheet is watermarked ‘Fellows 1804’. On the enclosed pages there are several annotations in pencil providing directions (for example, ‘this leaf to be taken out’ and ‘all this room out’), suggesting that a revised catalogue was being prepared based on display changes.
[26 pp., unbound, Library Strong Room]
Note: The handwriting appears to be the same as that of the c.1799 ‘Rough’ catalogue and the 1802 catalogue (see Luton 1799a above and Luton 1802 below).
14 Luton 1800
List of the Pictures at Luton as they were in January, 1800
A handwritten catalogue of paintings at Luton, listed by room, with descriptions, probably in the hand of John Stuart, 1st Marquess of Bute (1744–1814). A handwritten note appended to the inside cover indicates that the volume was gifted to John Crichton-Stuart, 4th Marquess of Bute (1881–1947) by his relative, Captain Patrick Crichton-Stuart in June 1909.
410 pictures in 20 rooms.
[42 pp., leather-bound]
Note: There is also a later handwritten transcript (probably nineteenth-century), with added image and page numbers and an index. There are also later annotations in pencil (probably dating to the 1960s/70s).
[64 pp., leather-bound, MS/231]
15 Luton 1802
Catalogue of Pictures at Luton Park 1802
A handwritten catalogue of paintings at Luton, listed by room, with descriptions in the hand of a ‘Miss Kennedy’ as indicated in an annotation by John Stuart, 1st Marquess of Bute (1744–1814), which reads: ‘1802 Luton Pictures [“Copied” crossed out] Made out by Miss Kennedy Daughter of Kennedy of Dennure’. This is probably the daughter of Thomas Kennedy of Dunure (1759–1819), a regular correspondent with the 1st Marquess. It does not list pictures in several of the rooms on the first floor. Many of the picture descriptions are similarly worded to those found in 1799a and 1800 (see above), though they appear in a slightly different order, suggesting that this is a revised catalogue reflecting changes to the display.
276 pictures in 14 rooms.
[31 pp., ribbon-bound, uncatalogued documents returned from Anderson Strathern, solicitors in Edinburgh]
Note: The handwriting appears similar to that of the c.1799 ‘Rough’ catalogue (see Luton 1799a above).
16 Luton 1822
Luton Hoo. Catalogue Raisonné à l’usage des amateur 1822
A handwritten catalogue of paintings at Luton, listed by room, including an introduction with a description of the house and grounds and a postscript, with reflections ‘upon Poetry and Painting’ and descriptions of the Chapel, Library and other rooms. There is a typed title page inscribed ‘Luton Hoo. Catalogue Raisonné à l’usage des amateur 1822.’ There are also later inscriptions in pencil (note on title page states ‘Pencilled notes made in [“1960s” crossed out] 1950s’). The catalogue is not given a precise date but it must have been compiled before the Bute Collection auction at Christie’s, London, 7–8 June 1822.
303 pictures in 17 rooms.
[84 pp., leather-bound].
Various Properties (18th–19th century)
17 Cardiff 1890
A List of Paintings at Cardiff Castle
A printed catalogue of paintings at Cardiff Castle, listed by room, with an index of artists and portraits.
240 pictures in 13 rooms.
[36 pp., soft-bound, published by Chiswick Press, Blue Library cabinet]
18 Dumfries 1803
Dumfries House MS [manuscript] Inventory 1803 (extracts re paintings)
A handwritten partial transcript of an untraced household inventory of 1803, with additional annotations in pencil dating to 1969. The original document is stated to be ‘with Miss Armet’, referring to Catherine Armet, the librarian and archivist to John Crichton-Stuart, 6th Marquess of Bute (1933–1993). The extracts relate to paintings listed in the untraced 1803 inventory.
55+ pictures, no room locations.
[2pp. in ‘Dumfries House Old Lists’ folder, Blue Library cabinet]
19 Dumfries 1890
Catalogue of Paintings at Dumfries House, Ayrshire, c.1890
A printed catalogue of paintings at Dumfries House, listed by room, with an index of artists and portraits. It is undated but shares the same format as the Cardiff 1890 catalogue (see above).
90 pictures in 17 rooms.
[18 pp., soft-bound, published by Chiswick Press, Blue Library cabinet]
20 Dumfries 1896a
Supplement to ‘Catalogue of Paintings at Dumfries House, Ayrshire’ [c.1890], 1896
A photocopy of an untraced handwritten ‘supplement’ to the c.1890 catalogue (see Dumfries 1890 above). It is a list of receipts and accounts related to art works commissioned by William Dalrymple-Crichton, 5th Earl of Dumfries (1699–1768), including commissions from the portraitist Thomas Hudson (1701–1779). It is stated that these receipts and accounts were ‘lately discovered among the miscellaneous papers in charter boxes transmitted to . . . Dumfries House on 23rd March, 1896’. The original receipts and accounts are preserved in the Bute Archives (DU/5/33).
[10 pp. in ‘Dumfries House Old Lists’ folder, Blue Library cabinet]
21 Dumfries 1896b
Portraits re-photographed at Dumfries House, December 1896
A photocopy of an untraced handwritten list of portraits at Dumfries House, inscribed with the date ‘December 1896’ in a different hand. There are also annotations in pencil (probably dating to the 1960s/70s).
27 pictures, no room locations.
[2 pp. in ‘Dumfries House Old Lists’ folder, Blue Library cabinet]
22 Hill Street 1765
List of the Furniture in the House in Hillstreet 1765
A handwritten household inventory and valuation of the household furniture at the London property of John, Lord Mountstuart, later 1st Marquess of Bute (1714–1844) including some paintings, a few of which are listed with descriptive detail.
22 pictures in 4 rooms.
[52pp., soft-bound with marbled cover, unsorted art etc box, Library Strong Room]
Note: Contained in the same box is a folded sheet inscribed in the hand of the 1st Marquess, ‘List of the Pictures brought from Bute now in my house in Hill Street 1786’. The list that was presumably once enclosed in the sheet is now untraced but may have included the 41 paintings that were ‘sent to Lord Mountstuart’ in London on 23 October 1783 (see Mount Stuart 1782 above).
23 St John’s Lodge 1898
Report upon the condition of the Pictures at Saint John’s Lodge, Regent’s Park, the Property of the Marquess of Bute KJ
A handwritten condition report of the paintings at St John’s Lodge, listed by room, prepared by ‘M. R. Thompson’ of ‘41 George Street, Portland Square’ in October 1898 (name, address and date written on the final page). The report includes diagram drawings of the panel and frame of ‘The Virgin and Child with Angels attributed to Raphael’ with notes on its condition and proposals for repair. There are also annotations in pencil (probably dating to the 1960s/70s).
317 pictures in 21 rooms.
[41 pp., leather-bound]
Note: There are also two typed transcripts dated c.1968–69, one of which includes extensive handwritten annotations (pencil and pen) and a loose handwritten draft index for the volume.
[both 64 pp., leather-bound, MS/320 and MS/233B]
Exhibition Catalogues (19th century)
24 Bethnal Green 1883
Jean Paul Richter, Catalogue of the Collection of Paintings Lent for Exhibition by the Marquis of Bute KT, exh. cat., Bethnal Green Branch Museum (London: 1883)
A 21st-century reprint (n.d.) of an exhibition catalogue of pictures on loan from the Bute Collection to the Bethnal Green Branch Museum, London in 1883. The brief descriptive entries were written by the art historian Jean Paul Richter (1847–1937). It includes an introduction by Richter, an index of artists and an advertisement for the exhibition.
264 pictures, listed in order of appearance on walls and screens.
[82 pp., soft-bound, published by George E. B. Eyre & William Spottiswoode, Blue Library cabinet]
25 Glasgow 1884
Jean Paul Richter, Catalogue of the Collection of Paintings Lent for Exhibition by The Marquess of Bute KT, exh. cat., Corporation Galleries, Glasgow (1884)
An exhibition catalogue of pictures on loan from the Bute Collection to the Corporation Galleries, Glasgow in 1884. The introduction and entries are largely the same as Bethnal Green 1883 (see above).
207 pictures, listed alphabetically by artist or school.
[80 pp., leather-bound, published by Robert Anderson, Glasgow, Blue Library cabinet]
Note: There is a second copy of this catalogue whose printed pages have been cut and pasted into a larger volume, annotated with valuations and other comments in pencil and pen (dated to 1966).
[44 pp., leather and cloth-bound, Blue Library cabinet]
Various Properties (20th century)
26 Bute Collection 1903
Valuation List, 1903
A typed valuation list, including paintings, drawings, engravings and photographs at the following properties: Mount Stuart; the Hermitage; the Old Mansion House; Kames Castle; the Garrison, Millport; Dumfries House; the Hospital, School and Priest’s House, Cumnock; Dalblair; Craigeach, Wigtownshire; St John’s Orphanage, Ayr; Falkland House; the Priory, St Andrews; Westerton House, Elgin; Greyfriars, Elgin; Cardiff Castle; St John’s Lodge, Regent’s Park, London. Mostly lacking descriptive or identifying details, apart from the core of the collection housed at St John’s Lodge, and family portraits listed elsewhere.
600+ pictures, listed by property, subdivided by room locations.
[34 pp., stitched, unbound, Library Strong Room]
27 Picture Accounts 1909–44, vols 1 and 2
A typed list of picture acquisitions, presumably made by John Crichton-Stuart, 4th Marquess of Bute (1881–1947) from 1909 to 1944. The list is divided into two volumes: ‘Picture Accounts, 1910–1944, List I’, vol. 1; ‘Picture and Print Accounts, 1909–1938, List II’, vol. 2 (engravings). Entries include provenance, date and price of purchase. Also includes details of cleaning and conservation work carried out during this period.
167 pictures listed by date of purchase (not including prints or drawings).
[2 vols, in ‘Picture Accounts’ folders, Blue Library cabinet]
28 St John’s Lodge 1909
Re-hanging at St John’s Lodge, 1909
A bundle of hand-drawn interior elevations, illustrating plans for picture re-hangs following a programme of decorating work at St John’s Lodge (dated February–November 1909). Elevations include walls in the Drawing Room, Morning Room and Blue Room (others unlabelled). Three plans are drawn on ‘St John’s Lodge’ stationery; one on ‘Queen Anne’s Gate’ stationery (others on lined foolscap).
87 pictures labelled on 9 elevations.
[9 loose sheets in ‘Pictures – 20th Century notes and lists’ file, Library Strong Room]
29 Bute Collection 1920
Bute Collection Catalogue . . . Compiled 1920s & later, 4 vols
A four-volume typed catalogue of Bute Collection paintings with black and white photographs pasted to blank pages interleaved throughout. Seemingly an incomplete list, probably only including notable works at primary family residences (Mount Stuart, Dumfries House, 22 Mansfield St). Catalogue entries include brief descriptions, exhibiting histories and related literature, possibly written by Felix Harbord (1906–1981), Librarian and Art Keeper of the Bute Collection prior to the Second World War. The four volumes are: ‘Dutch and Flemish Art, vol. 1 (artists A–K)’; ‘Dutch and Flemish Art, vol. 2 (artists L–Z)’; ‘Italian Art’; ‘Portraits’. Added annotations in pencil identify later picture locations and sold works (probably dating to the 1960s/70s).
339 pictures, listed in alphabetical order by artist, subdivided by genre: 99 (vol. 1); 108 (vol. 2); 55 (vol. 3); 77 (vol. 4).
[4 vols, cloth-bound, Blue Library cabinet]
30 Bute Collection 1930
Valuation of Pictures and Engravings, July, 1930 [uncatalogued]
A handwritten valuation list by Francis Harvey, the art dealer to John Crichton-Stuart, 4th Marquess of Bute (1881–1947), listing paintings and engravings with their values at the following properties: Cardiff Castle, Dumfries House, Mount Stuart, 39 Belgrave Square, 22 Mansfield Street, 26 Queen Anne’s Gate. Added annotations in pencil identify later picture locations and sold works (probably dating to the 1960s/70s).
625 pictures, listed in roughly alphabetical order by artist, subdivided by genre.
[23 pp. in ‘Valuation List by Francis Harvey 1930’ folder, Blue Library cabinet].
31 Removal List 1938
Removal of Pictures from 22 Mansfield St in 1938 & where they were sent
A typed list of pictures at 22 Mansfield Street, London, the primary residence of the late Gwendolen, Dowager Marchioness of Bute (1854–1932). Added pencil annotations in the margin indicate where the pictures were sent in 1938 (Dumfries House, Castle Cardiff, 23 Charles Street and elsewhere).
196 pictures in 12 rooms.
[10 pp. in ‘Dumfries House Old Lists’ folder, Blue Library cabinet]
Note: There is also an undated typed list of a further 18 pictures entitled ‘Pictures Sent to Lord Colum’s Flat from 22 Mansfield Street’. This presumably refers to 23 Charles Street, Berkeley Square, the home of Lord Colum Crichton-Stuart (1886–1957), the brother of the 4th Marquess.
[1 p. in ‘Dumfries House Old Lists’ folder, Blue Library cabinet]
32 Bute Collection 1947
1947 Inventories of Pictures etc. showing Exemptions of Estate Duty
Four typed valuation lists produced by Felix Harbord (the Librarian and Keeper of the Bute Collection) in 1947, on the death of John Stuart, 4th Marquess of Bute (1881–1947) for the purposes of the exemption of death duties. The lists are: (1) ‘Inventory & Valuation of Pictures of the Dutch & Flemish School which belonged to the late Marquis of Bute at Dumfries House’; (2) ‘Pictures at Mount Stuart which belonged to the Marquis of Bute declared to be of “national interest”’; (3) ‘Inventory & Valuation of Pictures which belonged to the late Marquis of Bute at Mount Stuart (English School)’; (4) ‘Inventory & Valuation of Sporting Pictures, which belonged to the late Marquis of Bute’.
383 pictures listed alphabetically by artist, subdivided into genre/location; 229 (1); 39 (2); 24 (3); 91 (4).
[‘Pictures – 1947 Exemption List’ file, Library Strong Room]
Note: This file also contains correspondence regarding death duties and inheritance tax, including a letter from the solicitors J&F Anderson, W.S. [unknown] to John Crichton-Stuart, 6th Marquess, 24 April 1957, which states that they have sent a number of inventories and valuations including Harbord’s lists above, as well as furniture inventories for Cardiff Castle and Dumfries House (compiled by Frank Partridge). These other inventories must have been filed elsewhere and are currently untraced.
33 Mount Stuart 1947
List made by Lady Jean Bertie c.1947/8 – When helping the 5th Marquess to decide where to re-hang the pictures after they had been stored in racks at Mount Stuart during the War
A handwritten list of pictures in storage at Mount Stuart following the Second World War, with suggestions for where to re-hang the works. An annotation in pencil on the first page attributes the list to Lady Jean Bertie (1908–1995), the sister of John Crichton-Stuart, 5th Marquess of Bute (1907–1956). This note and the typed title page were probably added in the late 1960s. The last page is on stationary inscribed ‘From the Marchioness of Bute, Cardiff Castle.’
76 pictures, listed by school.
[5 pp., stapled, in ‘Pictures – 20th Century notes and lists’ file in Library Strong Room]
34 Dumfries 1948
Lists made when re-hanging the pictures at Dumfries House etc. after the 1939–1945 War Probably c.1948
A handwritten list on Dumfries House stationery, listing paintings intended for re-hanging after the family returned to the house following the Second World War. Checkmarks in pencil in a different hand indicate which works were still in the collection in 1968. A typed title page was also affixed to the list, probably in the late 1960s. A rough sketch in pencil of a portrait bust of a lady appears at the bottom of the fourth page (probably contemporary with original list, c.1948).
167 pictures in 13 rooms.
[11 pp., stapled, in ‘Pictures – 20th Century notes and lists’ file in Library Strong Room]
35 Berkeley Square 1949
List of Bute Pictures at 23 Charles street, Berkeley Square, London W.1. at 4th July, 1949
A typed list of pictures at 23 Charles Street, the home of Lord Colum Crichton-Stuart (1886–1957), the brother of the 4th Marquess of Bute. Added annotations in pencil indicate later picture locations and sold works (probably dating to the 1960s/70s).
14 pictures, no room locations.
[1 p. in ‘Dumfries House Old Lists’ folder, Blue Library cabinet]
36 Dumfries 1959
Mr. Horace A. Buttery’s List of Pictures at Dumfries House 1959
One of two volumes of typed lists of pictures, listed by room, with remarks by Horace A. Buttery, picture restorer, who documented the main parts of the collection at Dumfries and Mount Stuart (see Mount Stuart 1959 below). There are annotated corrections and clarifications in pencil (probably dating to the 1960s/70s).
213 pictures in 28 rooms.
[36 pp. in ‘Mr. Buttery’s List of Pictures at Dumfries House 1959’ folder, Blue Library cabinet]
Note: Buttery’s draft versions with handwritten and typed notes are kept in folders in the Library Strong Room.
37 Mount Stuart 1959
Mr Horace A. Buttery’s List of Pictures at Mount Stuart 1959
One of two volumes of typed lists of pictures, listed by room, with remarks by Horace A. Buttery, picture restorer, who documented the main parts of the collection at Dumfries and Mount Stuart (see Dumfries 1959 above). There are annotated corrections and clarifications in pencil (probably dating to the 1960s/70s).
266 pictures in 49 rooms.
[35 pp. in ‘Mr. Buttery’s List of Pictures at Mount Stuart 1959’ folder, Blue Library cabinet]
38 Bute House 1966
Edinburgh Pictures at No. 6, c.1966
A typed list of pictures at 6 Charlotte Square, Edinburgh (Bute House), prior to the property being given to the nation in partial payment of death duties on the estate of John Crichton-Stuart, 5th Marquess of Bute (1907–1956). Added annotations in pencil state that the paintings were ‘moved to M.S. May, 1967’ and provide dimensions of works (probably dating to the 1960s/70s).
15 pictures, no room locations.
[1 p. in ‘Pictures – 20th Century notes and lists’ file, Library Strong Room]
Note: A copy in the same file includes an annotation in pen stating ‘List made first prior to removal of all pictures to Mount Stuart, 1967’ and lists 5 additional works: ‘2 Conversation pieces by Zoffany’; ‘2 Wilkies (Village Recruit & Village Fiddler)’; ‘John Ross Makye’.
39 Mount Stuart 1968
Pictures Room by Room Mount Stuart
A typed list of pictures, listed by room, with brief descriptive entries and a key with abbreviations and terms entitled ‘Main Reference Sources for Information on Pictures in Bute Archives’. In the margins next to the picture titles are annotated catalogue numbers in pencil, corresponding to the 1968 catalogue, Bute Collection 1968 (see below). A label on the inside of the folder states ‘Pictures at DH in separate folder’ (now untraced).
399 pictures in 55 rooms.
[40 pp. in ‘Pictures Room by Room Mount Stuart’ folder, Blue Library cabinet]
Note: Contained in this folder are additional loose inventories: ‘Pictures Stored at Mount Stuart,’ listing 50+ pictures; ‘Pictures at 7 Upper Phillimore Gardens, London, W.8. (September 1970)’, listing 50+ pictures; ‘44 Chelsea Square [annotated “Removed to 7 Upper Phillimore Gdns . . .”]’, listing 21 pictures; ‘On Indefinite Loan . . . [Turf Club London, Bute House, Royal Hotel, Bridge of Allen]’, listing 26 pictures.
40 Bute Collection 1968
Catalogue of Bute Picture Collection, First Compiled 1968: amended and added to thereafter
Four volumes of typed catalogue entries, printed on half-letter cards, inserted into multi-ring binders. The entries include brief descriptions, exhibiting histories, related literature, provenance and location movements (referencing earlier catalogues). Added annotations in pencil indicate catalogue number and picture locations at Mount Stuart (MS) or Dumfries House (DH). At the beginning of each volume there is a key with abbreviations and terms entitled ‘Main Reference Sources for Information on Pictures in Bute Archives’. The volumes are: (1) ‘Bute Pictures A–K’; (2) ‘Bute Pictures L–Z’; (3) ‘Bute Pictures Unknown Artists’; (4) ‘Sporting Pictures’.
600+ pictures, listed alphabetically by artist, subdivided by genre.
[4 vols, multi-ring binders, Blue Library cabinet]
41 Chelsea Square 1969
Pictures at 44, Chelsea Square (1969)
A typed list of pictures at 44 Chelsea Square, London, with catalogue numbers corresponding to the 1968 catalogue (see Bute Collection 1968 above). Added annotations in pen and pencil appear to be contemporary.
24 pictures, no room locations.
42 Removals Lists 1970
Pictures to 7 Upper Phillimore Gardens 1970
Three typed lists of pictures scheduled to be moved to 7 Upper Phillimore Gardens, Kensington, London in 1970. The lists are: (1) ‘List of Pictures from Mount Stuart for 7, Upper Phillimore Gardens March 1970’; (2) ‘Pictures to be removed on Monday, 21st September, 1970 from 44 Chelsea Square to 7 Phillimore Gdns.’; (3) ‘Pictures to be Collected from Mount Stuart by Rogers and Co. during September, 1970 and delivered to 7 Upper Phillimore Gdns’. Added annotations in pen and pencil appear to be contemporary; catalogue numbers correspond to the 1968 catalogue (see Bute Collection 1968 above).
193 pictures listed by property: 88 (1); 10 (2); 95 (3) (some repeated).
[8 pp., stapled in ‘Pictures – at London House’ file, Library Strong Room]
Not listed are a series of Bute Collection valuations dating from the 1990s to the present, which are currently confidential.
- by Caitlin Blackwell Baines
- 20 November 2020
- House Essay
- CC BY-NC International 4.0
- Cite as
- Caitlin Blackwell Baines, "The Bute Collection: Picture Inventories, Catalogues and Valuations – A Catalogue", Art and the Country House, https://doi.org/10.17658/ACH/MSE543