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Collection Summary

Collection Title
Coins and Medals – The Buttrey Collection
Professor Theodore (Ted) Buttrey was a much-respected Emeritus Professor of Classical Studies and the Keeper of Coins at the Fitzwilliam Museum. He was a great scholar and teacher as well as a generous and regular donor to the Department of Coins and Medals, giving 230 items from his personal collection in the course of a long relationship with the museum. Professor Buttrey was also responsible for the development of the Departmental collection of numismatic auction catalogues to its present unrivalled position of more than 35,000 catalogues.

Professor Buttrey’s professional interests focused on Roman numismatics, beginning with his PhD dissertation on “Studies in the Coinage of Mark Anthony” and continuing throughout his career. A large body of his work was also devoted to public outreach for numismatics and to the study of Mexican numismatics, a highlight of which was uncovering the infamous Ford gold forgeries. In 1996, the Archer M. Huntington Medal Award for 1996 was presented to Professor Buttrey in recognition of outstanding achievement in numismatic scholarship.
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Location Details

University Of Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum
Trumpington Street Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB2 1RB United Kingdom
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01223 332 900
01223 332 923 
Building Information
In 1848 the Founder's Building opened to the public, designed by George Basevi (1794-1845) and completed after his accidental death by C R Cockerell (1788-1863). The bequest of Charles Brinsley Marlay in 1912 triggered the first phase of the Museum's 20th-century expansion; his wing opened in 1924. Further galleries were added in the 1930s, thanks to generous gifts from the McClean and Courtauld families, J.S. Henderson and John Charrington. The Graham Robertson Room opened in 1959 thanks to the generosity of his executors, and in 1975 Sir Robert Adeane led the list of benefactors who supported the building of the wing that completed the enclosure of the Courtyard. This area was covered over in the Courtyard Development, a combination of new construction and renovation, designed by John Miller + Partners, that opened to the public in 2004. This development, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and numerous donations, added almost 3,000 square metres of new and improved accommodation to the existing buildings, including new public display space, visitor facilities, education spaces, storage and study areas.
Collections Overview
The Fitzwilliam is the principal museum of the University of Cambridge and contains magnificent collections of works of art and antiquities of national and international importance. The Museum owes its foundation in 1816 to Richard, VII Viscount Fitzwilliam of Merrion who bequeathed collections to further "the Increase of Learning and other great Objects of that Noble Foundation". Fitzwilliam's bequest included 144 pictures, among them Dutch paintings and masterpieces by Titian, Veronese and Palma Vecchio he acquired at the Orléans sales in London. He filled more than 500 folio albums with engravings, to form what has been described as "a vast assembly of prints by the most celebrated engravers, with a series of Rembrandt's etchings unsurpassed in England at that time". His library included 130 medieval manuscripts and a collection of autograph music by Handel, Purcell and other composers which has guaranteed the Museum a place of prominence among the music libraries of the world. Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the collections have grown by gift, bequest and purchase; their history is a continuous one which traces the history of collecting in this country over the last two hundred years. The collections include: * Antiquities - artefacts from Ancient Egypt and Sudan, Greece, Rome, Cyprus and the Ancient Near East * Applied arts - including European and Oriental sculpture and decorative arts, including pottery, porcelain, glass, textiles, fans, furniture, lacquerwork, clocks and watches, metalwork, jewellery and armour * Coins and Medals - Ancient, medieval and modern coins, medals, tokens, banknotes and other forms of money from all parts of the world * Manuscripts and Printed Books - Medieval and Renaissance illuminated manuscripts, manuscript and early printed music, fine printed books, literary autographs and archives * Paintings, Drawings and Prints - of European, American and Asian schools, from the thirteenth century to the present day
Display Overview
The collections are displayed on two levels throughout the original Founder's Building and subsequent extensions. The displays are arranged in galleries mainly according to nationality/culture and period. Paintings, drawings, prints, furniture, applied arts and sculpture are displayed together in period galleries on the first floor. Antiquities, applied arts and arms/armour are displayed on the ground floor. Only limited selections of some areas of collections, such as coins, manuscripts and prints, may be on display at any one time.
For details of other collections held at the same location: See the location record

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