Captain Fothergill's sculpture collection


About this collection

In 1872 Captain Fothergill donated 125 limestone pieces to Liverpool museum. These were mainly heads of votive figures and fragments of bodies. 11 of the pieces belong to the group known as the Temple Boys.

From research into the Lloyd's 'Captains Registers' we know that Captain William Fothergill was born in 1831 at the Isle of Man and qualified in London in 1856. He was captain of the 'Thessalia' between 1871 and at least 1873.  From comparing the material with the British Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of New York, it seems likely he was associated with two early antiquity collectors in Cyprus: the English diplomat Sir Robert Hamilton Lang and the General Luigi Palma di Cesnola, the latter the first director of the Metropolitan Museum of New York.

Although excavations were possibly in Cyprus with the permission of the Turkish sultan at the time, transporting material out of the island was much more difficult. Captain Fothergill is associated with transporting material for Lang and it is possible that our collections originated from Lang’s or Cesnola’s excavations. They may had been either offered as a gift to the Captain or as payment for his services. Liverpool was probably just one of the stops in the steamer’s journey. 

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