Independent report

Report of the Spoliation Advisory Panel in respect of a Gothic relief in ivory, now in the possession of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

Report of the Spoliation Advisory Panel in respect of a Gothic relief in ivory, now in the possession of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

Documents

Report of the Spoliation Advisory Panel in respect of a Gothic relief in ivory, now in the possession of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

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Report of the Spoliation Advisory Panel in respect of a Gothic relief in ivory, now in the possession of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Request an accessible format.

If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email publications@culture.gsi.gov.uk. Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

Details

The Spoliation Advisory Panel considered a claim on behalf of the Estate of the late Gerta Silberberg, for a rare secular Gothic ivory relief showing a man and woman playing chess, originally from the collection of Max Silberberg, a German Jewish businessman and art collector. The ivory is now in the possession of the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, University of Oxford.

Following the coming to power of the Nazis in 1933, Max Silberberg and his family were forced to sell their large villa and subsequently sold the majority of their artwork, including the ivory, at auction in Berlin in 1935 and 1936.

The Panel concluded that whilst the coming to power of the Nazis must have had an adverse effect on the family, there is considerable evidence that Max Silberberg was in personal financial difficulties, necessitating the sale of his art collection.

Having considered all the evidence, the Panel concluded that this was neither a forced sale nor a sale at an under value and that Max Siberberg received the proceeds of the sale. The Panel’s final conclusion was therefore that the moral claim for the return of the ivory was insufficiently strong to warrant a recommendation of restitution or the making of an ex gratia payment.

The Spoliation Advisory Panel was designated by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport as the Advisory Panel for the purposes of considering the claim. The Panel was established in 2000.

Published 10 February 2016