Treasures of London – Freud’s collection of antiquities…

August 23, 2013

Freud's-DeskThis group of antiquities sits upon the desk of Sigmund Freud – the “founding father” of psychoanalysis –  at what was his home in Hampstead.

It’s part of an extensive collection of around 2,000 items which is on display at house – now the Freud Museum – located at 20 Maresfield Gardens.

The antiquities – which include Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and Oriental artefacts fill a series of cabinets and sit on almost every available surface in Freud’s study including the desk upon which Freud typically wrote until the early hours of the morning.

Collected by Freud from the 1890s onward, they include everything from a bronze statuette of the Greek goddess Athena (dating from the 1st or 2nd century AD – it’s mentioned in one of his manuscripts and, one of Freud’s favorite objects, was one of only three items he chose to have smuggled out of Vienna when his entire collection was threatened in 1938), a small bronze head of the Egyptian God Osiris believed to date from between 1075-716 BC, and a silver Roman ring featuring a blue glass intaglio depicting a pastoral scene which dates from between the 1st century BC and the 1st century AD (it was given as a gift from Freud to German psychoanalyst Ernst Simmel in 1928).

The museum has launched a conservation fund to repair and conserve the most fragile of the items and is aiming to raise £40,000 for the work. It follows a successful campaign earlier this year to raise funds for the conservation of Freud’s famous couch, brought from his former home in Vienna (seen in the background of this image).

Freud and his family lived at the home after escaping from Austria following the country’s annexation by Nazi Germany in 1938. It remained the family home until the death of Freud’s daughter, Anna, in 1982. The museum opened to the public in 1986.

PICTURE: Courtesy of the Freud Museum.

WHERE: Freud Museum, 20 Maresfield Gardens, Hampstead (nearest Tube stations are Finchley Road and Swiss Cottage);  WHEN: Noon to 5pm, Wednesday to Sunday; COST: £6 adults; £4.50 seniors; £3 concessions (including children 12-16); children under 12 free; WEBSITE: www.freud.org.uk.

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One Response to “Treasures of London – Freud’s collection of antiquities…”


  1. Years ago, I was very interested in Freud’s escape from Austria to Britain and I was particularly interested in his house-museum in Hampstead. But I didn’t even mention his antiquities which, as you noted, included Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and Oriental artefacts.

    Thanks for the link
    Hels

    http://melbourneblogger.blogspot.com.au/2010/05/anton-sauerwald-and-sigmund-freud-1938.html

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