Sir Thomas Phillipps (Biographical details)

Sir Thomas Phillipps (British; Male; 1792 - 1872)

Also known as

Phillipps, Thomas (knighted 1821)


Collector of books and manuscripts. While his collecting focus was on manuscripts (he amassed a staggering 60,000 of them) he did, seemingly on one occasion, buy Old Masters at the sale of the collection of Thomas Lawrence (q.v.) by Samuel Woodburn (q.v.) in 1860; where he bought 186 lots of Lawrence drawings and 56 lots of Woodburn drawings totalling roughly 1800 drawings. These are a very mixed bag as Phillipps' bids for the more expensive single items led to his acquiring works that are now generally little regarded, while he fared much better in large mixed lots which contained drawings of real quality. In 1946 almost all his drawings came to the British Museum (donated by Count Antoine Seilern and the NACF) via Phillipps's grandson and heir, Thomas Fitzroy Fenwick (q.v.). Popham compiled a catalogue of Phillipps's most interesting drawings (roughly 1250) in 1935 at the request of Fenwick.
After a series of major sales, the residue of the collection was bought in the same year by the London antiquarian booksellers Lionel and Philip Robinson; after they had held further sales at Sotheby's, most of the remainder of the collection was acquired by the New York dealers H. P. Kraus in 1977.
Phillipps was a patron of John Glover and George Catlin (qq.v.)


A.E.Popham, 'Catalogue of Drawings in the collection formed by Sir Thomas Phillipps Bart, FRS, now in the possession of his grandson T.Fitzroy Fenwick,' 1935