29 APRIL 1905, Page 7

The Wallace Collection. By A. L. Baldry. (Goupil and Co.

21s.)—Mr. Baldry's account of the way in which this great collection became national property is not a little instructive. We are made to realise how nearly this museum was lost to us by the folly of the Treasury officials. Sir Richard Wallace in his lifetime proposed to give his works of art to the country. The officials made difficulties because Hertford House was only leasehold, and referred the proposal back to its author for amendment. Imagine the profligate pedantry of refusing a collection worth one or two millions because of a technical difficulty about a leasehold, a difficulty which eventually proved no obstacle ! After this rebuff Sir Richard Wallace made no more proposals, but left the whole collection absolutely to his wife, and it was her generosity which forced a reluctant Treasury to take the gift for a grateful nation. Besides the story of the formation of the collection, we are given in the book before us a detailed account of the collection itself in its various departments. A mass of information is put before us in a readable form, which with the illustrations make a useful book of reference for the Hertford House Gallery.