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Rationale, identity and legacy: the collection of Maurice, fourth and last baron Egerton of Tatton Park, 1874-1958

Marden, Sarah Grace (2017) Rationale, identity and legacy: the collection of Maurice, fourth and last baron Egerton of Tatton Park, 1874-1958. Doctoral thesis (PhD), Manchester Metropolitan University.

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Abstract

The Maurice Egerton Collection at Tatton Park consists of 1213 objects of natural history, ethnography, archaeology and geology collected by the last Baron on his travels around the world between 1896 and 1958. This thesis comprehends the rationale of the collection by distinguishing significant cultural markers beginning at its conception through to displacement at the death of its collector in 1958. This is achieved through a “cultural biography” of the collection, which traces its evolution through a series of interventions made by its collector and curator. Uniting the objects with diary entries and primary source material for the first time reveals untold stories of cultural exchanges and follows the life trajectories of the collector and collection in tandem as they impact upon each other. The collection’s contextual frameworks and the processes through which objects were selected and pursued are situated within an established tradition of aristocratic “male collecting” in the early twentieth century. The identity of the collector is established as both an inevitable product of his times and class, and as the product of a unique series of circumstances that affected the size, content and distinction of his collection.

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