Leverian collection

Leverian collection The Leverian collection was a natural history and ethnographic collection assembled by Ashton Lever. It was noted in particular for the content it acquired from the voyages of Captain James Cook.

For three decades it was on display in London, being broken up by auction in 1806.The first public location of the collection was the Holophusikon (or Holophusicon), also known as the Leverian Museum, at Leicester House, on Leicester Square in London, England, from 1775 to 1786. After it passed from Lever's ownership, it was displayed for nearly 20 years more near the south end of Blackfriars Bridge. When there it was often known as the Museum Leverianum.At AlkringtonLever collected fossils, shells, and animals for many years, accumulating a large collection at his home at Alkrington, near Manchester. He was swamped with visitors, whom he allowed to view his collection for free, so much so that he had to insist that visitors that arrived on foot would not be admitted. He decided to exhibit the collection in London as a commercial venture, charging an entrance fee.At Leicester HouseLever acquired a lease of Leicester House in 1774, converting the principal rooms on the first floor into a single large gallery running the length of the house, and opened his museum in February 1775, with around 25,000 exhibits valued at over £40,000. The display included many natural and ethnographic items gathered by Captain James Cook on his voyages. The museum took its name from its supposedly universal coverage of natural history, and was essentially a huge cabinet of curiosities.

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