Dr Silvia Davoli

  • History of Collecting and Taste 18th and 19th century
  • Provenance Research
  • Aesthetic and cultural syncretism

I hold a Ph.D. in Cultural History and History of Art that focuses on the collections of Eastern and European art formed by the Parisian banker and Republican Henry Cernuschi (1821-1896) (forthcoming publication with Brill Publishers). My specialization in the History of Collections reflects my research methodology, which privileges a multidisciplinary and cultural approach, encompassing the material and economic realities and the history of mentalities. I am also specialised in provenance research as a way to illuminate the social, economic and historic context in which objects were produced and collected. My current research focuses on Orientalism and Jewish collecting culture.


I am member of the steering committee of the Society for the History of Collecting: https://societyhistorycollecting.org

Featured Publication
Lost Treasures of Strawberry Hill

Lost Treasures of Strawberry Hill: Masterpieces from Horace Walpole's Collection (Scala Arts Publishers Inc., 2018)


Strawberry Hill, a fantasy gothic revival castle, was conceived and built by the influential art historian and antiquarian Horace Walpole (1717-1797) with his art collection in mind. For a new exhibition opening in October 2018 many pieces from his collection, which was dispersed at auction in 1842, will be reunited for the first time and displayed in their original settings within the castle. This beautifully illustrated accompanying book will describe the complex relationship between the house and its works of art, and allow a deeper understanding of the context and processes of Walpole's collecting and its relationship to the house.