Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

Thursday, 21 March 2013

A missing print found.

When Roy Ford became the Mayor of Margate  in 1998 this led to many changes on how the Margate Charter Trustees worked. One of the changes was image, especially the hospitality offered to visiting dignitaries. So the whole decor of the Mayors parlour was changed along with the office layout.
This soon led to a complete audit and sort out of all assets held by the Margate Charter Trustees. The downstairs vault that had a become a convenient store for the unloved and unwanted items was cleared out . Amongst  all the items "discovered" in the vault was a print titled "Margate from the Dane" circa 1850. The print showed all the signs of  neglect and had damp stains. There was no list  number or any other identification that could establish its provenance. I even checked with the Margate Museum and they drew a blank.
The good thing was that the Charter Trustees fell in love with the print and decided to have it restored and re framed. I cannot remember who did the restoration but end result was truly amazing. The rescued  print now hangs on the wall in the Mayors parlour and is one of the many prints that is admired by visitors.
Using Margate Historical Society archives I was soon to establish that this print was part of the Rowe bequest.
Now considering that the Rowe bequest was bequeathed to the Borough of Margate and was transferred to the ownership of Kent County Council and Thanet District Council in 1974. The question I ask is how can such print be missing from any audit when both authorities should have an audit list of all the items they acquired from the Rowe bequest.
Lets face it , if this item can just disappear from the Rowe bequest it does raise the question how many items have suffered the same fate in the past.


Ian Driver said...

Hi Tony just to let you know that the Council's Governance & Audit Committee voted to refer the issue of the management of the Council's art and artefacts collections to the Overview and Scrutiny Panel

ian driver

MAC said...

Tony - this may well be a duplicate, but the Margate Catalogue shows "View of Margate from the Dane, dedicated to the undermentioned by W. Clifton" as accession no. 1849, New list ref.7235, Old List 524.

It was photographed and a digital image kept on the museum's database.

From very feeble memory, I think it was in Northdown House, when I last saw it.

It would be nice to know if the restored one and it are one and the same - do you have any way of chacking?

MAC said...

or even checking!

Tom Clarke said...

Tony, if the missing items were donated, and thus became public property, surely, in light of your suspicions of theft, this matter should be passed to the police. They are the professionals in such matters whereas Overview & Scrutiny are at best a bunch of well meaning amateurs. Getting the police in would also avoid suggestions of any kind of insider dealing or cover up.

Tony Ovenden said...

A good point Tom. At present all I got is a few suspicions dating as far back as the 1980's. The Beatles programme was discovered missing 1994 and it would be a needle in a haystack for the police to investigate. I think once the audit is completed the picture would be clearer.