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Sketch-books of Henry Wallis


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The sketch-books mostly contain sketches in pencil, with some sketches in black crayon, charcoal, chalk, pen-and-ink and watercolours. The sketches depict Italian paintings, Egyptian and Italian artefacts, architectural details from buildings, towns, landscapes, figures and animals. Many of the landscapes and street scenes are Egyptian and Italian.


  • Creation: 1869-1910


3.15 Linear metres (21 physical shelfmarks)

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. Eng. d. 3552, fols. 1-2].

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Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Eng. c. 7065, fols. 36-63, d. 3552-3558, e. 3414-3427

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 15526


Twenty-one sketch-books of Henry Wallis, 1869-1910

Biographical / Historical

Henry Wallis (1830-1916) was an artist, ceramics expert and collector. He achieved acclaim as a painter with the exhibition of his portrait 'The Death of Chatterton' at the Royal Academy in 1856, and followed up his success with 'The Stonebreaker', which was exhibited in 1858. Although he continued to paint and exhibit, he became increasingly interested in archaeology and ceramics. He travelled extensively and became an authority on Persian, Egyptian, Greek and Byzantine ceramics. He wrote and illustrated twenty volumes on ceramics during the period 1885-1899. For further details see Dictionary of National Biography and Timothy Wilson's article, 'A Victorian artist as ceramic collector: the letters of Henry Wallis', parts 1-2, Journal of the History of Collections, 14, no.1 (2002) pp.139-159 and no.2 (2002) pp.231-269.

Custodial History

Provenance as given by Campbell-Wilson (art dealers): Harold Wallis (1859-1933), son; Mary Wallis (died 1964), daughter-in-law; Vera Langley (1910-1988), cousin and then by direct descent.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Bought, Campbell-Wilson (art dealers), 24 Mar. 2003.

Related Materials

See the papers of Henry Wallis and his son, Harold Wallis, 1846-1952.

Catalogue of the sketch-books of Henry Wallis, 1869-1910
Finding aid prepared by C. Parker
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom