Online Talk | Building a Print Collection in Malta

Posted in lectures (to attend), online learning by Editor on May 17, 2021

This month’s installment of The Wallace Collection Seminars on the History of Collections and Collecting:

Krystle Attard Trevisan, The ‘Primo Costo’ Inventory of Count Saverio Marchese (1757–1833)
Wallace Collection Seminars on the History of Collections and Collecting
Online, The Wallace Collection, London, 24 May 2021, 17.30

Print collecting was considered a noble and erudite activity from the sixteenth and well into the nineteenth century. Collectors in major cities purchased prints from dealers and publishers and traded with other collectors. Malta’s role in the print market has so far been overlooked. There were no dealers in prints on the island. However, the Maltese nobleman and collector Count Saverio Marchese built a collection of 4,500 high quality prints. We know how he did this through his ‘Primo Costo’ manuscript in which he recorded all his purchases. The manuscript reveals who formed part of Marchese’s widespread network of print sellers in European cities such as Paris, Munich, Rome, and Milan. It confirms that there were local suppliers, though not specialised print dealers. It reveals the various collecting methods that Marchese adopted to obtain prints from Malta. The ‘Primo Costo’ is a rare type of document which gives invaluable insight into European print trading, making it essential for studying collecting practices. Marchese recorded the names of continental and local dealers, auctioneers, and other suppliers. The manuscript also refers to other Maltese collectors. Using the information found in the ‘Primo Costo,’ this paper will identify key figures not only within the Maltese print market but also within the European one.

Krystle Attard Trevisan is a PhD Candidate at the Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London.

Register here to view this talk via Zoom.

To view the talk via The Wallace Collection’s YouTube channel, please click here.

Some of the previous seminars are now available on YouTube.

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