Ever since his years as an expert at Christie's, William Iselin has maintained
close ties with museum curators and directors who rely on him for advice in
sourcing future purchases as well as independent help in evaluating and
appraising their collections.
An important Renaissance walnut cabinet attributed to Hughes Sambin
Most recently, the RISD Museum acquired through Iselin a rococo marquetry commode by the French cabinet-maker Charles Cressent (d.1768) for their permanent collection.
In late 2016 he arranged the sale of an important Renaissance cabinet attributed to Hugues
Sambin from an English private collection to the Société des Amis du Louvre on
behalf of the musée du Louvre.
In April 2015, he completed the private sale to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston of the last sofa
from the famed Dundas suite which remained in the family of the heirs of Sir Lawrence Dundas,
Bt., in a transaction done with Robert Holden Ltd.
In the past, he has sourced in the Paris trade a historical Louis XVI gilt bronze clock and a marquetry
secretary by Leleu for the Michael Rosenberg Foundation at the Dallas Museum of Art. He also
located and bid on in a small Paris auction a remarkable Anglo-Indian ivory candelabrum for the
Peabody Essex Museum in Salem.
Over the years, numerous American institutions and curators
have called on his expertise to conduct in-depth reviews their collections, including the Toledo
Museum of Art, the Carnegie Institute of Art, the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Cleveland
Museum of Art and the Art Institute of Chicago.
He also provides advice on conservation to museum curators, helping them find the appropriate
professional to carry out the work. Recently, he arranged for a Paris workshop
to conserve the original gilding on a pair of 18th Century chairs
belonging to the Toledo Museum of Art. Other similar restoration projects have
included the extensive conservation of an English gilt bronze musical clock
made for the Chinese market that belongs to the New Orleans Museum of Art and
was damaged during Hurricane Katrina while in a local workshop. The project was
handled by a London based specialist and he oversaw all aspects of it on behalf
of the museum.