Tag Archives: Rubens Vase

Journey of the Rubens vase


I’ve never really thought that much about the possible depth of history of the various owners of an art piece before their current destination. This particular piece carries a fascinating history as I discovered on Wikipedia.



Carved in high relief from a single piece of agate, this extraordinary vase was most likely created in an imperial workshop for a Byzantine emperor. It made its way to France, probably carried off as treasure after the Siege of Constantinople in 1204 during the Fourth Crusade, where it passed through the hands of some of the most renowned collectors of western Europe, including the Dukes of Anjou and King Charles V of France. In 1619, the vase was purchased by the great Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640). A drawing that he made of it is now in Saint Petersburg, State Hermitage Museum.


Peter Paul Rubens – self portrait

Acquisition history :

  • Foire Saint Germain Sale, Paris, 1619
  • Peter Paul Rubens, Antwerp, 1619, by purchase
  • Daniel Fourment, Antwerp, ca. 1626-1628, by purchase
  • Emperor Jahangir of India [date of acquisition unknown], by consignment
  • Dutch East India Company, prior to 1635, by confiscation
  • Holland, 1818
  • William Beckford, Fonthill Abbey, Wiltshire, 1818, by purchase
  • Sale, English & Fasana, Bath, November 20, 1845, no. 167
  • Alexander Hamilton, 10th Duke of Hamilton, London, 1845, by purchase
  • William A. A. Hamilton, 11th Duke of Hamilton, 1852, by inheritance
  • William A. L. S. Douglas-Hamilton, 12th Duke of Hamilton, 1863, by inheritance
  • Sale, Christie’s, London, June 17, 1882, no. 487
  • Samson Wertheimer, London, 1882, by purchase
  • Sale, Christie’s, London, March 15, 1892
  • Alfred Morrison, London, 1892, by purchase
  • Sale, Christie’s, London, June 12, 1899
  • Sir Francis Cook, Richmond, 1899, by purchase
  • Wyndham F. Cook, London, 1901, by inheritance
  • Humphrey W. Cook, London, 1905, by inheritance
  • Sale, London, Christie’s, July 14, 1925, no. 90
  • Henry Walters, New York, 1925, by purchase
  • Sadie Jones (Mrs. Henry Walters), New York, 1931, by inheritance
  • Sale, Parke-Bernet, New York, May 2, 1941, no. 1316
  • Walters Art Museum, 1941, by purchase



rubens-a-peasant-dance- peasants dancing in a circle

‘A Peasant Dance’ – Rubens

( Click to enlarge )