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date: 19 September 2019

Barlow, Sir (James) Alan (Noel)locked

(b London, Dec 25, 1881; d Wendover, Bucks, Feb 28, 1968).
  • S. J. Vernoit

Extract

(Noel)

(b London, Dec 25, 1881; d Wendover, Bucks, Feb 28, 1968).

English civil servant and collector of Islamic and Chinese art. The eldest son of Sir Thomas Barlow, royal physician and president of the Royal College of Physicians, he was educated at Marlborough and Corpus Christi College, Oxford. In 1906 he was appointed to a clerkship in the House of Commons, by 1933 he was principal private secretary to the Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald, and from 1934 to 1948 he served at the Treasury. He began collecting Oriental ceramics in 1900 and started acquiring Islamic pottery five years later, amassing a comprehensive collection with a special emphasis on Ottoman and Iranian items within 20 years. He built up his collection of Chinese art in the early 1920s, when several British collectors led by George Eumorfopoulos acquired objects excavated in China. Barlow preferred early austere Chinese pottery with little polychrome decoration. During the 1920s and 1930s he also continued to acquire Islamic items, and some of his pieces were shown in ...

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Dictionary of National Biography, 63 vols and suppls (London, 1885–)