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24-26 High Street, B4 7SL Birmingham, United Kingdom
In 1922, one of the finest and largest collections of Egyptian Antiquities ever to have been held in private hands was offered for sale through the auction house of Sotheby’s in London. The event, widely publicized through both press and word of mouth, attracted the attention of Egyptologists, museum curators, private collectors and agents, all vying to own a piece of this world famous compendium of ancient Egyptian artefacts. The man behind this magnificent collection has, however, remained one of Egyptology’s lesser known characters, despite playing an important and active role in contributing to what is considered to be the Golden Age of Egyptology.
The Reverend William MacGregor (1842–1937), vicar and benefactor of St Editha’s in Tamworth, Staffordshire, was a prominent member of the Egypt Exploration Society and of the University of Liverpool’s Institute of Archaeology. He helped finance many excavations and frequently assisted actively in the field.
Through his involvement in this flourishing period of Egyptology, MacGregor was afforded rare opportunities to amass a fine and unique collection of antiquities and his museum became instrumental in promoting the field of Egyptology. Whilst the collection is now scattered around the world, items such as the ivory label of King Den in the British Museum and ‘MacGregor Man’ in the Ashmolean Museum, still educate and fascinate us today with many pieces regarded as important examples of Egyptian art.
Speaker: Beverly Rogers
Tickets cost £6 and are available on the door.