Augustus Wollaston Franks

Contributor to Zoology, Antiquities and Ethnology Collections

First Keeper of the British and Medieval Antiquities and Ethnography Department (1866) at the British Museum and an authority on a wide range of subjects. He was a private collector and donated many valuable items to the museum, culminating in his bequest of his entire private collection (about 3300 items) on his death. He also attracted gifts to the British Museum, such as the important collection of Henry Christy, and donated items to other museums, such as the Victoria and Albert.

Source: Jonathan CH King (1997) 'Franks and Ethnography' in AW Franks: Nineteenth Century Collecting and the British Museum, MJ Caygill and J Cherry (eds), London: The British Museum, pp136-159 and Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

In December 1878 A. W. Franks Esquire donated 4 terracotta figures of the Greco-Roman period, bread from an Egyptian tomb and a leather ball from Egypt. Nothing further is yet recorded.
  • Gender
  • Relationship
  • Nationality
  • Born
  • Place of birth
    Europe: Western Europe: Switzerland: Geneva
  • Died
  • Place of death
    Europe: Western Europe: Switzerland: Geneva
  • Cause of death
    Bowel cancer
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