Ref NoMS/195
TitleAnnotated sale catalogue of the Leverian Museum - Unknown
AdminHistorySir Ashton Lever (5 March 1729 – 28 January 1788) was an English collector of natural objects and founder of the Leverian Museum

Lever was born on 5 March 1729 at Alkrington Hall to Sir James Darcy Lever who served as High Sheriff of Lancashire from 1735. Ashton began to collect live birds and also stuffed specimens that included monkeys, foxes, flamingos, fish and corals, gradually accumulating one of the richest private collections of natural objects, including live animals. With his collection housed in his home, Alkrington Hall, he established a museum there sometime in the 1760s which he began to open to the public. Captain James Cook was impressed by Lever's collection, and donated objects from his own voyages to the museum. Lever moved the collections to London in 1774 and opened his 'Holophusicon' (more commonly known as the Leverian Museum) to the public in Leicester Square in 1775 which became very popular.

Lever's collecting habits led to him being declared bankrupt and he was forced to put the collection up for sale. It was eventually disposed of by lottery and the winner, a Mr James Parkinson, continued to display the collection until 1806. when the entire contents were put up for sale by auction. Important buyers included Edward Donovan, Edward Stanley, 13th Earl of Derby, and William Bullock; and many items went to other museums, including the Imperial Museum of Vienna. Parkinson had also commissioned George Shaw to produce an illustrated scientific work cataloguing the items, 'Museum Leverianum containing select specimens from the museum of Sir Ashton Lever' (1792-1796).
DescriptionSale catalogue of the Leverian Museum produced by Messrs. King and Lochee for the sale of the entire contents of the museum in 1806. Catalogue contains annotations, which may have been made by [J.W.], whose initials are inscribed in the three last days' sale section in the volume. The catalogue consists of [what appear to be] sold prices of items, names of buyers (including Donnevan [Edward Donovan], Humphrey, P. Walker, C. Laskey, Fitchell, Rowe), as well as corrections to the text.

Comprises 3 catalogues covering the 27 days of sales, which commenced on 5 May 1806, and the last three days of the sale in [June 1806], all bound in 1 hardback volume.

Part I: Days 1-8 of sales; sale items 1-960
Part II: Days 9-16 of sales; sale items 961-1920
Part III: Days 17-24 of sales; sale items 1921-2880
Three last days' sale: [Days 25-27]; sale items 1-114 [N.B. Different numbering system used to above catalogues]
Extent1 bound volume
NotesBoards loose, spine partly missing
CopiesA copy of the entire sales catalogue of the Leverian Museum, containing 6 catalogues, an appendix and the three last days' sale can be viewed on the Internet Archive through the following link:
Creator NameLever, Ashton, Sir,
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