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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Edward Gray's Fantastic Harringay Art Collection

Edward Gray's Fantastic Harringay Art Collection

The first owner of Harringay House had an art collection that was described by art experts in the early nineteenth century as "one of the finest small collections of pictures in the country".

He seems to have been particularly fond of of the Dutch masters. One part of his collection was acquired during the aftermath of the French Revolution.

The collection included a number of works by Reubens, Rembrandt, Van Dyck and Titian to name but a few.

The few items collected here are those for which I've been able to gather images.

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Comment by Liz on December 6, 2008 at 20:13
The entire collection was acquired by James Morrison according to this reproduced article referenced from Oxford Art online, and most of it stayed in Morrison's hands after acquisition.
Comment by Helen1 on December 7, 2008 at 13:25
A search for Edward Gray Harringay on http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/search/ locates the following two records (I haven't gone any further than this, but someone might like to?):

Online Document PROB 11/1901Will of Edward Gray Harringay House near Hornsey , Middlesex . Will of Edward Gray Harringay House near Hornsey , Middlesex Date: 1838.
Source: DocumentsOnline (images of documents from The National Archives)

Information relating to document ref. no. R 178/44Name: Gray, Edward Address: Harringay House, Hornsey, Middlesex, Amounderness Occupation: Esq. Contents: copy will, codicil, commission, Misc: ALSO CONTAINS RETURN TO COMMISSION. [Lancashire Record Office, Western Deaneries of the...] Date: 1842.
Source: Access to Archives (A2A): not kept at The National Archives
Comment by Liz on December 7, 2008 at 13:56
Thanks Helen, I think Hugh has already got hold of Gray's will from doing the research for his wikipedia articles.
Comment by Hugh on June 1, 2015 at 3:17

Here's the story of what happend to Gray's paintings after his death:

In July 1838 self-made businessman James Morrison, one of the richest men in England, made the acquaintance of the art dealer William Buchanan, a 'bluff Regency character, with a racy manner, a vile tongue and a taste for hair-raising speculations'. Their complicated, often acrimonious financial dealings lasted for many years as each tried to make money through the other (Morrison advancing fine cash, Buchanan locating fine pictures). Just after Morrison's offer for Basildon was accepted, Buchanan proposed that he should buy the entire collection of Edward Gray of Harringay House, Hornsey, one hundred and thirty four pictures, for 15,000 pounds sterling, selling off the majority at a profit.

On 30 January 1839 Morrison agreed 'to stand in the shoes of Buchanan' and to take the pictures for 15,000 pounds sterling with the intention of selling off the majority at a profit. When Morrison made a list of the twenty-two favourites be would keep, the majority were Dutch. 

With edits, but chiefly a quotation from: "'A casket to enclose pictorial gems': in 1838 James Morrison, one of the richest men in England commissioned the architect J.B. Papworth to complete, decorate and furnish Basildon Park in Berkshire as a setting for his art collection. It was the culmination of a long relationship between architect and patron, but, as Caroline Dakers explains, it ended unhappily.." The Free Library. 2004 Apollo Magazine Ltd. 31 May. 2015 http://www.thefreelibrary.com/%27A+casket+to+enclose+pictorial+gems...

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