Barton Place catalogue

Archival Material

Paul Oppé, Barton Place catalogue, unpublished: 1915

The Barton Place catalogue is a list compiled by Paul Oppé of the drawings inherited through Towne's bequest by Maria Sophia Merivale (1853-1928) and Judith Ann Merivale (1860-1945), two sisters who lived together at 4 Parktown, Oxford. These two possessed most of Towne's works known to have existed in 1915, as well as Towne's "lovely Portfolio Stand"1 but over 40 drawings became the property of their cousin Emily Harriet Buckingham (1853-1923), and other family members inherited paintings and drawings then and later. Oppé marked the verso of each drawing in the catalogue with the letters BP in a circle, followed by a number which corresponds to the list; many of Oppé's markings remain on Towne's drawings. Oppé's list formed part of a larger inventory of belongings from Barton Place, now lost.

The copy of the catalogue used here, from the Towne records at Agnew's, is a photocopy of Judith Merivale's own handwritten catalogue, and includes her notes of the sales and gifts of drawings between 1915 and her death in 1945. The title page reads: "Mr.A.Paul Oppe's Catalogue of Drawings by Francis Towne from the Barton Place collection inherited by M.S.Merivlae & Judith A.Merivale in May 1915 when the home was broken up after the death of Aunt Anna, last surviving daughter of our grandfather John Herman to whom Mr. Towne had bequeathed them. Space is left in this list for the drawings selected by Emily Buckingham, most of which have since been sold through Agnew. JAM.April 1924".

A transcription of the catalogue is available for download; in the far left column are given the numbers of the works in the catalogue raisonné which come from Barton Place.

Maria Sophia Merivale ,1853-1928
Merivale family
Adolph Paul Oppé ,1878-1957
Judith Ann Merivale ,1860-1945
Merivale family


  1. 1 Paul Oppé Records, letter from Emily Buckingham to Oppé c.1915. Other remnants of Towne's property included a painting by Gainsborough (see the note at FT025); two works by William Pars, one (BP249) now at the Huntingdon Library, San Marino, and the other, a view of Florence, still owned by the Merivale family; a print after Hackert (see FT650); and (judging from Oppé 1920, pp.115-116 ), engravings after Pars's landscapes of Switzerland made by William Woollett. On 12 April 1946 Judith Merivale's executors sold to Agnew's (no.4556) a Swiss view by Samuel Hieronymous Grimm (1733-1794) dated 1774, which may well also have been owned by Towne.