Analysing the English Collections at the Pitt Rivers Museum

Shielding the Pitt Rivers Collection

Alison Petch,
Researcher 'The Other Within' project

Augustus Henry Lane Fox Pitt Rivers. 1998.271.66

Augustus Henry Lane Fox Pitt Rivers. 1998.271.66

In 1992 I unwittingly took part in an act of vandalism—the partial removal of possibly the last extant display dating from 1887 that had survived in the Museum. [1] As part of the re-display of the weapons in the Upper Gallery I and my colleagues dismantled part of a display of parrying shields from the north-west corner of the Court of the Museum (the display had been sited above the wall cases). In the past this corner had been used for displaying defensive weapons, such as parrying shields, and armour. The Times of London on 7 February 1887 had described the display as part of an article on the newly opened displays in the Court of the Pitt Rivers Museum:

Among the most instructive of General Pitt Rivers's series is one which early engaged his attention, relating to the development of the shield. If asked the question how the Roman soldier came to ensconce himself behind his huge buckler, one would be apt to take it as a matter of course that a shield was always intended as a screen. But the real course of human invention, as shown by the facts, does not always correspond with probable guesses, and it is here seen that the defence of the rude Australian or African was no screen, but a narrow weapon, little more than a parrying-stick, grasped in the middle, wherewith, my mere dexterity of fence, he held himself unharmed against a shower of spears. The parrying-shield lasted on into modern civilized warfare, represented even by the Highland target, whose value as a defence was due to its bearer's quick eye and ready hand. Thus it appears that the use of the shield as a shelter did not belong to its first purpose, but was due to special development of an earlier and nobler weapon.

A letter from Edward Burnett Tylor to Pitt Rivers [2] confirms the location of the parrying shields displays:

I was beginning to speak to you about the idea of a 3d [i.e. threepenny] Guide to the Pitt Rivers Museum when something else intervened and the subject did not come up again. The idea arose from the old Strangers Guide to the University Museum being now out of print and the Delegates wishing me to make arrangements to get a new one into shape. ... The space ... would be too limited for anything of the nature of a Catalogue but a ground-plan might be given with directions to the stranger where to find some of the principal series. For instance, he might be informed that on entering, he would find in the Court Cases to right and left specimens illustrative of the development of fire-arms from the matchlocks to the wheel-flint, and percussion types. Further to the left, he would come to the wall-case showing the development of the shield from the parrying-stick, and of metal armour from ... defensive coverings.' [letter dated October 4 1888, L541 Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum, Pitt Rivers papers]

When we removed these shields I was not aware of this documentation, nor was I aware that none of the original Pitt Rivers-influenced displays had survived even in part (this was only confirmed when I catalogued the collection as part of a three year research project between 1995-1998). Many of the shields we removed were put on display as part of the new shield cases in the Upper Gallery of the Museum where members of the public can still see them.

Augustus Henry Lane Fox Pitt Rivers (1827-1900) has always been known for his interest in the development of technology and his creation of typological series:

For an educational museum, specimens should be selected that are useful in displaying sequence. These should be arranged so as to show how one form has led to another. When there is actual evidence of the dates of the objects, of course the arrangement must be for the most part in the order of dates. But when, as in the case of most prehistoric objects and many of the arts of savage nations, the dates cannot be given, then recourse must be had to the sequence of type, and that is what I term “Typology”. It is not an accepted term, and I am not aware that it has been applied before to the study of sequence of the types of the arts. But it appears to me that a name is wanted for this branch of investigation, which the term “Typology’ supplies. If it were taken to imply the study of fixed types as characteristic of particular phases of the arts, it would be erroneous. It includes the growth, varieties, and developments of the several types. It supplies the want of dates by showing how certain forms must have preceded or followed others in the order of their development, or in the sequence of their adoption. It may be said, as a rule, that simple forms have preceded complex ones ... but it is not always the case for, in many instances, progress consists in eliminating superfluous complexity, and reducing the expenditure of time and labour. We have in this, as in all mundane affairs, to deal with degeneracy and decay, as well as progressive growth ... Typology forms a tree of progress and distinguishes the leading shoots from the minor branches ... In some cases the number of missing links makes it impossible to determine the true succession of forms. In such cases recourse must be had to survivals ... in which the successive links, being made of wood or perishable materials, have decayed. But a theoretical, and fairly accurate development, may nearly always be traced amongst the arts of savages by objects in present use. Typological sequence, or typological continuity, may be said to be established when the true succession of forms have been brought out.' [Pitt Rivers, 1891: 117]

As Henry Balfour, who applied his methodology to the development of the Pitt Rivers Museum at Oxford, explained:

... in classifying his ethnological material, [Pitt Rivers] adopted a principal system of groups into which objects of like form or function from all over the world were associated to form series, each of which illustrated as completely as possible the varieties under which a given art, industry or appliance occurred. Within these main groups objects belonging to the same region were usually associated together in local sub-groups. And wherever amongst the implements or other objects exhibited in a given series there seemed to be suggested a sequence of ideas, shedding light upon the probable stages in the evolution of this particular class, these objects were specially brought into juxtaposition. This special grouping to illustrate sequence was particularly applied to objects from the same region as being, from their local relationships, calculated better to illustrate an actual continuity. As far as possible the seemingly more primitive and generalized forms—those simple types which usually approach most nearly to natural forms, or whose use is associated with primitive ideas—were placed at the beginning of each series, and the more complex and specialised forms were arranged towards the end. The primary object of this method of classification by series was to demonstrate, either actually or hypothetically, the origin, development, and continuity of the material arts, and to illustrate the variations whereby the more complex and specialized forms belonging to the higher conditions of culture have been evolved by successive slight improvements from the simple, rudimentary and generalized forms of a primitive culture. The earlier stages of these sequence series were more especially the object of investigation, the later developments being in the greater number of cases omitted or merely suggested. It was necessary for Colonel Lane Fox to restrict the extent of the series, any one of which, if developed to the full extent, would easily have filled a good-sized museum. The earlier stages, moreover, were less familiar, and presented fewer complications. The general principles of his theory were as adequately demonstrated by the ruder appliances of uncivilized races as by the more elaborate products of peoples of higher culture; and, moreover, there was doubtless a great attraction in attacking that end of the development series which offered the prospect at least of finality, inasmuch as there was always a chance of discovering the absolute origin of a given series. Hence the major part of his collection consisted in specimens procured from savage and barbaric races, amongst whom the more rudimentary forms of appliances are for the most part to be found. [Balfour, 1904: 3-4]

One of the typologies Pitt Rivers was most interested in was weaponry. His general interest in this matter had developed through his professional interest in the development of rifles for the British Army and it first extended to weaponry before encompassing all items of material culture. Commentators' attention has previously been most drawn to Pitt Rivers' discussion of the development of fire-arms or other forms of offensive weapon but I wish in this paper to concentrate on his interest in one form of defensive weaponry, the shield.

Pitt Rivers' interest in shields

Pitt Rivers often published papers about weapons, the most famous of which was probably 'Primitive Warfare', a series of lectures delivered by him at the Royal United Services Institution in three successive years on June 28, 1867, June 5 1868 and June 18 1869, later posthumously published as part of The Evolution of Culture in 1906. He never specifically published a paper that dealt only with shields, however his most detailed publication on weaponry did mention them frequently. His basic 'theory' about shields appeared to be:

I ventured to put forward, that the square, oblong, and circular targets are defensive weapons of comparatively recent origin, being represented in the primitive stage of culture by a simple parrying-stick, derived originally from the club. The club is, as a general rule, the only defensive guard employed by races in the lowest stage of culture. These seem to have been replaced by parrying-sticks, held in the centre, and subsequently hollowed to receive the hand, or furnished with hand-guards, forming rudimentary shields...' [Pitt Rivers, 1906: 149-150]

In 'Primitive Warfare I' Pitt Rivers compared the weapons of man with the natural defensive qualities of animals (hides, plates, scales, for defensive weapons for example). He commented:

... the broad shield does not appear to have been developed until after mankind had acquired sufficient constructive skill to have been able to form shields of lighter and more suitable material than is afforded by the shell of the turtle.' [Pitt Rivers, 1906: 65]

He discussed the use of hides as forms of natural shields, for example the use of crocodile skin. When citing examples he often referred to objects in the Institution's museum collection, rather than his own. He believed that shields made from other materials, but covered with hide, were later examples of a survival of this form. Sometimes he deviates from theories backed up by physical evidence from artefacts and embarks upon pure speculation:

It has often struck me as remarkable that the shells of the tortoise and turtle, which are so widely distributed and so easily captured, and which would appear to furnish shields ready made to the hand of man, should seldom, if ever, in so far as I have been able to learn, be used by savages for that purpose. This may, however, be accounted for by the fact that broad shields of that particular form, though common in more advanced civilizations, are never found in the hands of savages, at least in those localities in which the turtle, or large tortoise, is available.' [Pitt Rivers, 1906: 65]

He eventually reverted to talking about shields towards the end of 'Primitive Warfare II: On the resemblance of the weapons of early man, their variation, continuity, and the development of form', where he talked about the transition of clubs to shields in Australia and Africa. As he explains:

... The club head formed by the divergent roots of a tree offers great advantages in enabling the warrior to catch the arrows in their flight ... By degrees, instead of using the club as a general weapon, offensive and defensive, especial forms would be used for defence, whilst others would be retained for offensive purposes; but the shield for some time would continue to be used merely as a parrying weapon. Such it is in Australia. In its most primitive form, it is merely a kind of stick with an aperture cut through it for the centre of the hand. The fore-part varies with the shape of the stem out of which it was made, in some it is round, in others flat. This form appears to have branched off into two varieties; one developed laterally, and at last assumed the form of a pointed oval ... these are frequently scored on the front with grooves to catch the lance points. The other variety appears to have assumed a pointed form in front, so as to make the spear glance off to one side ... The Australians are exceedingly skilful in parrying with these shields. One of the feats of the Australians now in this country, consists in parrying cricket balls thrown with full force by three persons at the same time.' [2] [Pitt Rivers, 1906: 136-7]

Having concluded that the development of parrying shields in Africa shared a common path with that of Australia, he looked at the general development of the shield:

All these antique shields have one other feature in common with the shields of existing aborigines, viz. that they are held by a handle in the centre. It was only in a more advanced age, when armies began to fall into serried ranks, that the broad shield was introduced and held upon the left arm, a mode of carrying it ill adapted to the requirements of the light-armed combatants. Besides the oval, the shield took other forms, but appears always to have been narrow in its earliest developments ... No connexion that I am aware of is known to have existed between these remote tribes, which are of totally different races, but the forms of the shields here represented must, I think, have been derived from a common source.' [Pitt Rivers, 1906: 138]

All his discussion of shields throughout these three lectures, are as examples to further his arguments regarding:

(1) 'the resemblances which exists between the weapons of savages and early races and the weapons with which nature has furnished animals for their defence.' [Pitt Rivers, 1906: 89]
(2) 'the resemblance to each other of the weapons of races sometimes widely separated ... to [consider] ... the great problem of our day, viz. the origin of mankind, or rather the origin of human arts ...' [Pitt Rivers, 1906: 89]

Plate XVI Primitive Warfare II by Pitt Rivers

Plate XVI Primitive Warfare II by Pitt Rivers

Note that the illustration shown here is a copy of the illustration that Pitt Rivers used in his lecture, all the shield forms mentioned can be found on this chart. Plate XVI of 'Primitive Warfare II' showing the development of the shield forms. Used by Pitt Rivers to illustrate his talks to the Royal United Services Institution.

Pitt Rivers wrote about shields once more, as part of his catalogue of the display of his collection at Bethnal Green Museum and South Kensington Museum. He mentioned what he knew, or surmised, of early shield forms, based upon physical evidence of bronze shields found in the United Kingdom and compared them to other forms. He made his usual point that slow evolution rather than sudden revolution was typical of technological design:

We may be certain, however, that no nation ever suddenly adopted a weapon of new and unusual form, unless it was copied from strangers. Where the weapon is indigenous the fashion always varies gradually, so that a continuous development is seen, and this stability of form enables us to judge by analogy, and proceeding from the known to the unknown, in the case of these early weapons to supply the greater probability the information that is wanting. [Pitt Rivers 1874/ 1879: 11-12]

He believed that Australian shields developed from the simple parrying sticks to the long oval form. According to him, 'in the Asiatic isles' there was a 'still more advanced stage' which was not dissimilar to the Australian parrying shield in construction. He then referred to the Indian shields made of antelope horn and the wider African shields, which according to him were 'corresponding to the more advanced stage of development which prevails in the Asiatic archipelago'. [Pitt Rivers 1874/ 1879: 12] He used evidence from authors such as Clapperton, Grant and Speke to confirm his beliefs. He then discussed the shields used in antiquity. As he often did, he used the 'modern' ethnographic proof to fill in holes in the archaeological evidence. His conclusions were:

All the earlier forms of shields are held by a handle in the rear of the centre; this, however, entirely occupied one hand. ... As a general rule, though not without exception, the circular shield must be regarded as the more modern form, and is employed chiefly by horsemen ... The Scotch were amongst the last to use the circular target [a form of shield], and as a last vestige of this form of weapon, Grosse mentions that some of the 42nd Highlanders carried it in Flanders in 1747. These remarks will enable the reader to appreciate the following forms [Screens 3 and East Wall], and to fill up in imagination the gaps which are wanting to complete a continuous history of the shield.' [Pitt Rivers 1874/ 1879: 12-13]

Pitt Rivers' ethnographic shield collection

In his first collection, now owned by the University of Oxford, approximately 46 per cent of the total collection was made up of tools and weapons, with 'definite weapons' representing 14 per cent of the total collection (there are a significant number of axes which are counted as both tools and weapons which confuse these figures). There are 70 shields or shield-related items in total, divided between the continents as follows:


Number of shields

% of all shields in Pitt Rivers founding collection



















Note that 21% of the African shields are actually models, or as Pitt Rivers called them, 'facsimiles'.

It is not known when Pitt Rivers first obtained a shield, or, indeed, what that first shield was. Most of the shields must have been acquired by 1874 when they were displayed at the Bethnal Green Museum and written about in the catalogue. The earliest that we know about is a Solomon Islands shield from H.M. Denham acquired in 1855 [1884.140.10]. He obtained a Conibo shield from Peru from E. Bartlett in 1865 [1884.30.63] and there are also two African (Dinka and Zande) shields collected by John Petherick [1884.30.21 and 1884.30.33] which he obtained by 1868 possibly via an auction at Mr Bullock, of High Holborn, London. He also obtained some Malaka shields from Edward Belcher, possibly via the Royal United Services Institution in 1872. It is likely that several shields were obtained much earlier than this, but the dates are not recorded.

Oval basketry shield from the Zande of Sudan collected by John Petherick. 1884.30.33

Oval basketry shield from the Zande of Sudan collected by John Petherick. 1884.30.33

The image shows an oval basketry shield with wooden handle and slightly raised central boss, Zande, southern Sudan. Obtained in 1858 by John Petherick, and shipped back to England in 1859. Acquired by Pitt Rivers at an auction of Petherick's material, held by Mr Bullock of High Holborn, London, on 27th June 1862, as lot 60. Rivers subsequently sent this object to Bethnal Green Museum for display, as part of the first batch of objects sent there, probably in 1874.]

All of the shields are deemed to be ethnographic except for five—two Saxon iron umbos from Suffolk and Lincolnshire, two further umbos that are not provenanced beyond being from England, and a final iron umbo from Denmark. Therefore, only 2 of the European shields are possibly not archaeological, a brass shield which was said to be fifteenth century, and a brass umbo of no date, which was possibly English. I shall not examine these items in any more detail. Pitt Rivers' general collection is dominating by items from Europe (roughly 58 per cent of his collections are provenanced to Europe), but in the case of shields the European items are not particularly distinguished (or well documented) and it is clear that he concentrated principally on non-European shields of various types. Someone other than Pitt Rivers collected all of these shields in the field.

Three of the shields are models, all from African originals, one a model of an African parrying shield (copied from an original in the Royal United Services Museum), the second a model of a small parrying shield from the Mundu, Sudan (copied from the original in the Christy collection) and the final model is a copy of an Ancient Egyptian parrying shield (a copy of a shield from the Louvre) [1884.30.22 - 24 respectively]. Four related objects, which are not included in this paper, are four so-called dance-shields from the Massim area of Papua New Guinea.

Pitt Rivers discussed his shield collection in the 1874 (reprinted 1879) catalogue of the displays at Bethnal Green Museum. This was written to accompany a visit to the displays and therefore gives a text-based view of the collection as it was displayed at that time. They were displays on Screen 2 of the East Wall and were titled 'Defensive Armour. Shields'. Pitt Rivers's introduction to this section summarises his views on the development of shields, which he introduces by saying:

Although the shield is now regarded as a barbarous weapon, long since laid aside by all civilized nations, we have evidence, in many savage races of a condition of culture, in which, even this simple contrivance for the defence of the body, had not been thought of. Amongst the Tahitans and Sandwich Islanders no shield was used, and one of the chief exercises in preparation for war consisted in practising to ward off the missiles of the assailant with spears and clubs. ... ' [Pitt Rivers, 1874/ 1879: 6]

He then discusses the development of the form, with parrying sticks and shields:

The following specimens are arranged to illustrate the principle of the gradual development of the shield from the simple club or parrying stick, the gradual widening of the stick or club held in the centre, with the addition of a contrivance to cover the hand, until at last the long narrow shield is produced, and this ultimately develops into the broad shield, constructed to cover the body from the missiles and thrusts of the assailant. This gradual development of the shield is thus traced in three regions, viz., Australia, Central India, and Africa, and corresponds to the supposed original distribution of the Australoid race...' [Pitt Rivers, 1874/ 1879: 6-7]

The three regions of the world mentioned in the above passage are indeed the three best represented in his shield collection. 57 shields are listed as being displayed at Bethnal Green. In 1997 I based a project, which looked at the use of on-line resources for the teaching of anthropology, upon the shield displays on Screen 2 of Bethnal Green Museum, and the web resource created during this project by Sandra Dudley and myself is still available at http://pittweb.prm.ox.ac.uk/Kent/index.html:

Table 1: Shields displayed on Screens 2 and 3 and the East Wall, Bethnal Green and South Kensington Museums 1874-1884

Bethnal Green display number and description based on 1874 catalogue entry Current PRM accession number
Parrying shields Screen 2

44 'Simplest form of parrying shield' ... Probably North Australia' 1884.30.3
44a Small Australian tamarang 1884.100.53
45 Tamarang Australia 1884.30.4
46 Tamarang Australia 1884.30.5
47 Tamarang Australia 1884.30.6
48 Tamarang Australia 1884.30.7
49 Murukanye [Australia] 1884.30.8
50 Murukanye [Australia] 1884.30.9
51 Murukanye [Australia] 1884.30.10
52 Heileman Western Australia 1884.30.11
53 Heileman Western Australia 1884.30.12
54 Heileman Western Australia 1884.63.1
55 Heileman Western Australia 1884.30.13
56 Mulabakka Australia 1884.30.14
57 Mulabakka Australia 1884.30.16
58 Mulabakka Australia 1884.30.17
59 Mulabakka Australia 1884.30.18
60 Oblong shield Australia 1884.30.20
61 Bow shaped parrying shield Dinka, East Central Africa 1884.30.21
62 Facsimile of Dinka, Sudan shield 1884.30.22
63 Facsimile of Mundu, Sudan shield 1884.30.23
64 Facsimile of Egyptian shield 1884.30.24
65 Hide shield 'Kaffir' 1884.30.35
66 Elephant hide shield Fan, Gaboon 1884.30.34
67 Elephant hide shield Fan, Gaboon 1884.30.32
68 Wicker shield Neam Nam, Central Africa 1884.30.33
69 Antelope horn parrying shield India 1884.30.25
70 Antelope horn parrying shield India 1884.30.26
71 Antelope horn parrying shield with small shield India 1884.30.27
72 Antelope horn instrument, possibly dervish crutch India 1884.58.56
73 Parrying shield, Molucca Islands 1884.30.28
74 Parrying shield, Molucca Islands 1884.30.29
75 Parrying shield, Molucca Islands 1884.30.30
76 Parrying shield, Molucca Islands 1884.30.31
77 Dyak shield 1884.30.36
78 Dyak shield with hair 1884.30.37
79 Wicker shield Ysabel Island 1884.140.8
79a Wicker shield Ysabel Island 1884.30.140.9

European shields Screen 3
80 Iron umbo Suffolk 1884.30.52
81 Iron Umbo, Lincolnshire 1884.30.53
82 Iron boss, English 1884.30.54
83 Iron buckler, Italian Not accessioned by PRM
84 Wood buckler, Italian Not accessioned by PRM
85 Iron buckler, 16th century Not accessioned by PRM
86 Archer's shield 15th century Not accessioned by PRM
87 Buckler Not accessioned by PRM
88 Brass shield 1884.30.50

Circular shields East Wall
89 Hide shield, Conibo South America 1884.30.63
90 Hide shield, North American Indian 1884.30.64
91 Black shield, India 1884.30.49
92 Wicker shield, Chinese 1884.30.46
93 Hide shield, India 1884.30.48
94 Wood shield, Abyssinia 1884.30.61
95 Oval hide shield Nubia 1884.30.57
96 Circular hide shield Somaulis East Africa 1884.30.62
97 Rhino horn shield Arabs Zanguebar [sic] 1884.30.58
98 Rhino horn shield 1884.30.59

give access to all the information available about each of the shields on Screen 2 [the parrying shields] including current descriptions, photographs and measurements.

It can be seen from the list above that some of the artefacts listed as being part of the Pitt Rivers Collection in 1874 / 1879 have not been accessioned by the Pitt Rivers Museum. Not all the artefacts on display before 1884 transferred to Oxford, some (mostly agricultural implements) were returned to Pitt Rivers and probably put on display at his personal museum at Farnham, Dorset. It may be that these items were also returned, or that they are in the Pitt Rivers Museum but were not accessioned by the Museum. The Pitt Rivers collection was not fully catalogued until some thirty years after they were transferred to Oxford and to date (mid March 2006) some 2,000 artefacts from the founding collection have been found unentered and belatedly accessioned.

All the other shields on these screens and wall have been matched to items found in the Pitt Rivers Museum. It can be seen from the PRM accession numbers that the ordering of the series was not maintained once the collection was transferred to Oxford (it seems that Ernest Seymour Thomas, Balfour's assistant, who compiled the accession books, mostly worked with the objects as he found them in situ in the Museum). Today the shield displays contain objects from many different donors and it is not possible to see any of these type series in reality. The web pages do allow you to compare and contrast the photographs of the objects to get an idea of the reasons why Pitt Rivers fixed the series order as he did.

Pitt Rivers continued to acquire shields after 1874; a few are listed in the Pitt Rivers Museum accession books as having been transferred from London. Others were purchased for his private collections in Dorset. He obtained shields at this time from dealers, including Eva Cutter of Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury who he approached in 1896 to see if she had any Indonesian 'Dyak' [Iban] shields. Unfortunately, she had just sold two and had none in stock [Letter B409, Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum, Pitt Rivers papers]

Pitt Rivers' display of shields

1993.21.2 Riot shield donated by Thames Valley Police

1993.21.2 Riot shield donated by Thames Valley Police

It is clear that all the displays of shields at Bethnal Green, South Kensington Museum and the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford illustrated his theoretical belief that parrying sticks were the earliest form of shield and that the form broadened, leading finally to the round 'target'. Interestingly Pitt Rivers' collection of shields, which was never large, concentrated much more on the parrying shield end of the development and included relatively few broad oval shields or targets. It is interesting to see how speculate how Pitt Rivers would have viewed the regular use of shields in everyday (riot) policing throughout the world. The shield displays in the Upper Gallery of the Musuem today do include an example of a Thames Valley Police Force standard riot shield. However, the shield displays in 2006 do not seek to show how the form developed, but the many varieties in form that have been found throughout the world, and throughout time, of this most useful form of defence.


My thanks to John Simmons and John Todd for their information about the PRM shield displays and to Rachael Sparks for the information about the Sudanese shields.


Henry Balfour. 1904 Presidential Address to the Anthropological Section of BAAS: The Relationship of Museums to the Study of Anthropology. Journal of the Anthropological Institute 34 [1904] 10-19, Museums Journal vol 3 June 1904 pp 396-408.
Mark Bowden. 1991. Pitt Rivers - The life and archaeological work of Lt. General Augustus Henry Lane Fox Pitt Rivers DCL FRS FSA. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
Augustus Henry Lane Fox Pitt Rivers. 1874. Catalogue of the Anthropological Collection lent by Colonel Lane Fox for exhibition in the Bethnal Green branch of the South Kensington Museum June 1874 Parts I and II. London, Science and Art Department of the Committee of Council on Education HMSO [Re-issued 1879]
Augustus Henry Lane Fox Pitt Rivers. 1891. Typological Museums, as exemplified by the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford and his provincial museum in Farnham Dorset Journal of the Society of Arts 40 [1891] pp. 115-22
Augustus Henry Lane Fox Pitt Rivers 1906 [ed. J.L. Myers, introduction by Henry Balfour] The Evolution of Culture and other essays Oxford UK, Clarendon Press


[1] I am assuming by stating 1887 that Balfour positioned Pitt Rivers's display of parrying shields by this date. The shield display was removed in order to relocate some of the shields in the new shield displays in the Upper Gallery. The remainder of this display was dismantled some years later to enable some rewiring work.
[2] Both the names Lane Fox and Pitt Rivers are used for Augustus Henry Lane Fox Pitt Rivers in this webpage, they both refer to the same person who was known by the latter name after 1880.
[3] This presumably took place during the famous tour of the UK by an Australian Aboriginal cricket team in 1868 (10 years before a 'white' Australian tour of the UK), see D.J. Mulvaney and Rex Harcourt, Cricket Walkabout Melbourne University Press 1967/ 1988. According to http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/Gallery/nativetour/aborig.htm, they had to 'mount exhibitions of 'Australian' and 'native sports', including boomerang and spear throwing, after every match.' According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1868_Aboriginal_cricket_tour_of_England, ' Dick-a-Dick held a narrow parrying shield and would have people throw cricket balls at him which he warded off with the shield.'

To find out more about Pitt Rivers and his collections go to here.

 Technologies & Materials