Bram Hertz

Diamond merchant, collector of antiquities and objets d'art

The Edinburgh Magazine of 1852 provided an unflattering description: ‘a little, round, oily-faced German ... remarkably fond of tobacco’ and gave an account of a visit to ‘the most curious repository of nick-nacks the world contains – being the gatherings of thirty years, at a cost of thirty thousand pounds’ stored ‘from cellar to garret’ at Hertz’s premises in Argyll Street and Great Marlborough Street in London. Hertz was Jewish, born in Hanover around 1794, but with connections in Frankfurt on Main. He appears to have been operating in London by at least the early 1830s, initially as a diamond merchant, but also acting as both dealer and collector. He published a catalogue of his collection in 1851.

This description was taken from an article written by Marjorie Caygill (Centre for Anthropology, British Museum) that is available online http://www.mexicolore.co.uk/index.php?one=azt&two=moc&id=454&typ=reg

Bram Hertz's collection was purchased by Joseph Mayer and a consortium of Liverpool businessmen for presentation to the city of Liverpool (Gibson, 1988: 11). Negotiations began in 1856 and the deal was concluded by 15 January 1857 when removal arrangements were discussed (Liverpool Record Office). Unfortunately the consortium arrangement collapsed and Joseph Mayer was forced to send the collection back to London where in February 1859 it was auctioned off by Sotheby and Wilkinson (Sotheby & Wilkinson, 1859: 125-6). Some items remained in Mayer's possession (there is a suggestion some friends purchased items at the auction and presented them to Mayer).
  • Gender
    Male
  • Relationship
    Collector, Previous owner
  • Nationality
    German
  • Born
    1794
  • Place of birth
    Europe: Western Europe: Germany: Hanover
  • Died
    1865
  • Place of death
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Cause of death
    Unknown or unrecorded
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