Professor Webb's interest in collecting was sparked at the very beginning of his career, when he worked as assistant to the Director of the Natural History Museum and had ample opportunity to meet colleagues from the other South Kensington Museums. Initially interested in silver and tribal art, Webb switched to Asian works of art in the late 1960’s after losing the bulk of his silver in a burglary. Over the course of nearly twenty years, he forged a close friendship with William Clayton, a reputable London dealer and connoisseur of Oriental works based on Bury Street, St James. Clayton specialised in jade and ceramics, two fields that Webb came to particularly concentrate on in his collecting and acquiring of artworks. Meticulous about record keeping, Professor Webb filed receipts for all his purchases, which are possible to view today alongside the collection for sale. Webb died at 96 in 2011 in his house in Hampstead Garden Suburb, surrounded by his collection.
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