Joseph Sams

Bookseller and antiquities dealer

English bookseller and antiquities dealer based in Darlington, County Durham. Sams visited Egypt and Palestine in 1832-33 and brought back a valuable collection of antiquities. He formed three collections (mainly Egyptian) to sell, most of which being acquired by the British Museum (London) in 1834. The remainder was enriched by discerning purchases from the Henry Salt sale and from other sources. It was exhibited in London and Darlington, and a note on it in the 'Gentleman's Magazine' for April 1833 speaks of "upwards of 2200" items. Sams issued a catalogue in 1839 under the title, ‘Ancient Egypt : objects of antiquity forming part of the extensive and rich collections from Ancient Egypt brought to England by, or now in the possession of, J. Sams’. Joseph Mayer then purchased most of Sam's collection which formed the most important single source of Mayer's growing collection. It is not recorded if Mayer purchased the collection direct from Sams in 1839 or from a forgotten third party who bought from Sams and subsequently sold to Mayer. According to Dr John Taylor of the British Museum, between 1842 and 1849 Sams made repeated efforts to sell his collection to the British Museum without success.

  • Gender
  • Relationship
  • Nationality
    British: English
  • Born
  • Place of birth
    Europe: Northern Europe: UK: England: Somerset
  • Died
  • Place of death
    Europe: Northern Europe: UK: England: Somerset
  • Cause of death
    Unknown or unrecorded
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