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H 156 x W 234 mm

154 pages

44 figures

Published Dec 2020

Archaeopress Archaeology


Paperback: 9781789698275

Digital: 9781789698282

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history of archaeology; Grand Tour; Antiquarianism; Fitzwilliam Museum; Cambridge; Essex

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The World of Disney: From Antiquarianism to Archaeology

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A biography of Dr John Disney (1779-1857), the benefactor of the first chair in archaeology at a British university. He also donated his major collection of Classical sculptures to the University of Cambridge. The sculptures continue to be displayed in the Fitzwilliam Museum.



Introduction ;
Chapter 1: The Disney Family ;
Chapter 2: The Break with the Church of England ;
Chapter 3: Collectors of the Grand Tour: Thomas Hollis and Thomas Brand ;
Chapter 4: The Disney-Ffytche Family and Essex ;
Chapter 5: Life at The Hyde and its Collection ;
Chapter 6: Disney and Learned Societies ;
Chapter 7: The Museum Disneianum and Cambridge ;
Chapter 8: Going for Gold ;
Chapter 9: The Disney Legacy ;
Abbreviations ;
Bibliography ;

About the Author

Professor David Gill is Honorary Professor in the Centre for Heritage at the University of Kent, and Academic Associate in the Centre for Archaeology and Heritage in the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures at the University of East Anglia (UEA). He is a Fellow of the RSA and the Society of Antiquaries. In 2012 he received the Outstanding Public Service Award from the Archaeological Institute of America for his research on cultural property.


'[The book] concerns the family history of John Disney (1779–1857), who inherited a very important collection of antiquities, some of which he gave to Cambridge University, where he went on to found the premier chair of archaeology in Britain. - Martin Henig (2021): Journal of the History of Collections