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Valuable antiques gifted to Ashmolean Museum
About 500 objects, which belonged to antiques collector Michael Wellby who died last year, will go on show at the museum in Beaumont Street.
Prof Tim Wilson, keeper of the museum’s Department of Western Art, said: "The Ashmolean is extremely grateful to Michael and his family.
“This is the most important accession of objects of this sort to any UK museum since the bequest of objects from Waddesdon Manor by Ferdinand Rothschild to the British Museum in 1898."
Mr Wellby's family were involved in the silver trade and he became an expert in German silver and a regular at auctions where he built up his collection.
The collection includes a silver gilt ewer made in Portugal in the 16th century and a lapis lazuli bowl with gold mounts made in Prague in about 1608.
A selection of items will go on show in a temporary display next month before the entire collection is displayed in a permanent gallery.