Friday, December 12, 2008

Death, Taxes and Pre-Raphaelite Art

What do death and taxes have to do with Pre-Raphealite Art?

It seems that in today's tough economic times, Britain's millionaires are turning to their art collections when it comes time to pay the tax man. The U.K. Treasury recently accepted an art collection worth over £15 million ($22.4 million) as payment in lieu of inheritance tax. The collection of rare artworks includes paintings by J.M.W. Turner (including the watercolor Carisbrook Castle) as well as some fabulous works by members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, including Sir Edward Burne-Jones and Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

Among the more eccentric items in the collection is the embroidered undershirt owned by British naval hero Lord Horatio Nelson--now there's a conversation piece.

The good news is that at least a few of these objects will now be in the public domain. The Treasury has announced that several of the paintings will be returning to the five National Trust houses from which they originally come.

For more information: U.K. Receives £15M Collection in Lieu of Death Duties at
Image: JMW Turner, Carisbrook Castle, 1827(in Public domain)


willow said...

Too bad I don't have any famous under garments to pay my taxes with. ;^)

M.Kate said...

Margaret, what a heading..I was wondering that it had in common..It will be such a pity to part with such an expensive painting to pay debt but I am sure he had no choice. Happy weekend :)

Melanie said...

Good to hear that some of the paintings will end back up where they were intended to hang. Going round Rufford Old Hall it was a joy to see some of the art restored to the place.

Art should definately be seen and not left in some vault or other. I wish less was based in London though as most people in England dislike having to travel there -expense and overcrowding. Birmingham is more central but less prestigious. It would be good if there were more travelling exhibitions but in this changing economic climate, I suspect there will be less because of the expense involved.

Margaret said...

I definitely agree, Melanie! It's amazing how many people "collect art" only to have it collect dust in basement somewhere. What is the use if you don't get a chance to enjoy it?

skatej said...

It's nice to think about the paintings being in the public for everyone to see. I'm with Willow, though, I wish I had an embroidered undershirt to pay my bills.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

That had to be a painful payment.
However, it is wonderful that these works will now be viewed and valued by the public.

PIGNOUF said...

Joyeux Noël Margaret...:)