S I I A S @ C S I Study Collection for Ancient and Medieval Civilizations
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Collectors and Collecting

The History of the SIIAS@CSI Archaeology Study Collection


The SIIAS@CSI Study Collection has been built up from donations and purchases of antiquities since 1911. This page outlines some of these bequests and donors.


1911: The MacDonald Bequest

The former MacDonald collection consists of some 300 antiquities from the ancient Mediterranean areas of Egypt, Cyprus, Greece, and Italy, and Turkey, which were first collected by Francis MacDonald (1824-1878) in the 1870s and then donated to the Institute by his son, David Wallace MacDonald (1854-1938) in memory of his mother, Elizabeth (Eliza) Wallace MacDonald (1825-1911).
The MacDonald bequest forms the bulk of the SIIAS@CSI exhibit, and it is also the best documented part of the collection. The account below is based upon original documents, letters, catalogues, and other materials preserved in the SIIAS Archives. These records contain details of the history and provenance of the MacDonald antiquities, but they also illuminate the personal histories of their collectors. The MacDonald collection and archive therefore forms an interesting example of the tastes of the upper middle classes in the latter part of the nineteenth century.



Above Left: Francis MacDonald c. 1878 ~ Above Right: Eliza Wallace MacDonald c. 1890
Lower Left: David Wallace MacDonald c. 1928 ~ Lower Right: MacDonald house in 1997

For the story of the MacDonald collection, click here

Additional resources on Scotland

Additional resources on shipping

Additional resources on NYC

Additional resources on Greenwood Cemetery


Other Donations Represented in the SIIAS@CSI Study Collection

Further research is necessary to document the lives and collecting activities of the following donors. Any information would be gratefully received by the curators; please contact them at the emails supplied on the SIIAS@CSI splash page.

1911: Charles A. Hicks Bequest

Fourteen Roman and early Byzantine bronze coins from Carthage.
1916: Wilbur J. Vaughn Bequest
Faience scarabs.
1935: Spencer Bickerton Bequest
Roman glass.
1942: Canon Pascal Harrower
Egyptian objects, coins and mummy's hand.
1944: John Koestner Bequest
Egyptian figurines and ushabtis "from Thebes, Egypt."
1954: C. Otto Von Keinbusch
Egyptian scarabs and faience.
1955: Harold Rome Bequest
Early medieval objects from Late Roman and Merovingian graves of the fifth-seventh centuries CE. These consist of earrings, fibuli, belt-fittings, and buckles.
1956: Charles Collingwood Bequest
Pottery and small objects.
1956: Allan Gerdau
Roman glass.
1956: Schnakenberg Bequest
Egyptian figurines and ushabtis.
1956-58: Junior Museum Guild
Wooden Egyptian statue, canopic jar lid, alabaster bowl and cup.
1958: Clark-Olmsted Bequest
Small Egyptian bronzes, jewelry and figurines.


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