Page:Dictionary of National Biography, Second Supplement, volume 3.djvu/266

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
Salting
Salvin
256

find in them the same satisfaction. In the province of Western art he was fairly catholic: Italian and Spanish majolica, small sculptures in all materials, enamels, jewellery, bronze statuettes and medals, and all the varied productions of the artist craftsmen of the Middle Ages and Renaissance—these he collected with persistency and unfailing enthusiasm, and in many of the classes his collection is unrivalled. Pictures and drawings had less attraction for him, though he bought both, and he developed in his later years a passion for pictures by Corot, paying the inflated prices of the day. Another phase of collecting more in keeping with his normal tastes was that of English miniature portraits. Of these he had a superb series, many of them of high historical interest, and by the great artists from Tudor times to the eighteenth century. In addition he had also a few admirable antiques, bronzes, terra cottas, and the like. No matter what new style of collecting he took up, he sought only the finest specimens of their kind.

Although Salting was a familiar figure at Christie's sale rooms, and was well known to the great foreign collectors and dealers, his reputation hardly became a continental one until the Spitzer sale in 1893. To attend this sale he spent some time in Paris, where he endeavoured to lead the same simple life as at home, while bidding for himself in the sale room and spending there some 40,000l. on fine works of art.

Salting died in his rooms at the Thatched House Club on 12 Dec. 1909, and was buried at Brompton cemetery. Though he was not generally suspected of possessing any genius for finance, he left a fortune of 1,287,900l. net, a sum vastly greater than that inherited from his father. Despite his procrastinating and undecided character, which led intimate friends to foretell that he would die intestate, he made a will dated 11 Oct. 1889. There were small bequests of money to the London hospitals, and to relatives and friends, the residuary legatee of his pecuniary estate being his niece, Lady Binning, daughter of his late brother. But he divided his collections among the National Gallery, the British Museum, and the Victoria and Albert Museum (at South Kensington), the main portion going to the last. The trustees of the first two had the power to select such of his pictures and prints and drawings as they thought fit. The bequest to the Victoria and Albert Museum was conditional on the objects being 'not distributed over the various sections, but kept all together according to the various specialities of my exhibits.' This reasonable condition serves the double purpose of providing the most appropriate monument of a munificent benefactor, and enables the public to measure the importance of the gift, which would have been impossible if the collection had been distributed over the whole museum. Further, such an arrangement provides in the future the means of judging of the standard of taste prevailing in the nineteenth century. The Salting collection was first opened to the public at South Kensington on 22 March 1911.

[Eton College Register; Sydney University Register; The Times, 14, 15, 17, 23, 25, 28, 31 Dec. 1909; 26 and 28 Jan. 1910, and 23 March 1911; private information from relatives and friends; personal knowledge; there is a good portrait from a photograph in The Salting Collection (V. & A. Museum), 1911.]

C. R.

SALVIN, FRANCIS HENRY (1817–1904), writer on falconry and cormorant-fishing, born at Croxdale Hall on 4 April 1817, was fifth and youngest son of William Thomas Salvin, of Croxdale Hall, Durham, by his wife Anna Maria, daughter of John Webbe-Weston, of Sutton Place, Surrey. Educated at Ampleforth, a Roman catholic school in Yorkshire, he served for several years in the militia, joining the 3rd battalion of the York and Lancaster regiment in 1839 and retiring with the rank of captain in 1864. In 1857 he inherited from his uncle, Thomas Monnington Webbe-Weston, the fine old Tudor mansion Sutton Place, near Guildford, but he usually lived at Whitmoor House, another residence on the estate. An early love of hawking was stimulated by an acquaintance with John Tong, assistant falconer to Col. Thomas Thornton (1757–1823) [q. v.].

In 1843 Salvin made a highly successful hawking tour with John Pells (employed by the hereditary grand falconer of England) through the north of England; and when quartered with his regiment at remote places in Ireland he used to fly falcons at rooks and magpies. Near Fermoy in 1857 he killed in four months eighty-four of these birds. He also for some years kept goshawks and made successful flights with them at mountain hares, rabbits and water-hens. He invented a portable bow-perch for these birds. He was a prominent member from 1870 of the old Hawking Club which met on the Wiltshire downs.

Salvin was also the first to revive successfully in England the old sport of fishing