Possible Pitt-Rivers' second collection artefacts 3

Objects that are said to be part of Pitt-Rivers' second collection but cannot be found in the catalogue held by Cambridge University Library

Part III

Staffordshire plate said to be from Farnham Museum sold Christie's 2010

See here for Part I of this article.

See here for Part II of this article


Below is information about several artefacts that have been identified as being from the second collection but cannot be matched by the project researcher to entries in the catalogue held by Cambridge University Library [CUL].

Articles said to be from the Pitt-Rivers' second collection (or his private collection)

1. An item was sold by Christie's on 10-11 June 2010, as part of the Syd Levethan: The Longridge Collection sale 7920 in King Street London saleroom which it appears might have originated with Pitt-Rivers' second collection. It is a Staffordshire press-moulded slipware plate by Samuel Malkin of St George and the Dragon of circa 1730 [see first image on page]. It is described as being 'With raised dark and light-brown slip decoration showing St. George crowned and slaying the dragon with a lance, an inscribed escutheon above the horse's flank, the raised initials SM beneath the horse, within a tooled serrated rim 14¼ in. (36.2 cm.) diam.' It appears to have been sold by Stella Pitt-Rivers from Farnham Museum, Dorset at Frank Falkner, sale Sotheby's, 29 May 1956, lot 70. It was exhibited at London, Burlington Fine Arts Club, Catalogue of a Collection of Early English Earthenware and other Works of Art, 1913, p. 43, Case C, no. 16. It was sold for £175,250 to an unknown buyer.

A Staffordshire plate sold at Christie's 8.11.99

2. A very similar item was sold by Christie's in King Street London on 8 November 1999 [sale 6208], lot 4 for £52,100 also said to have been obtained from the Pitt-Rivers Museum at Farnham and described as

'A Staffordshire slipware Royal equestrian press-moulded shallow dish Circa 1715, perhaps Samuel Malkin The pale-brown body covered in a rich cream crackled slip, and with George I astride a stallion to the right, decorated in dark-brown slip with light-brown details to his peruque, saddle-cloth, bridle, and horse's ears, mane and muzzle, and outlined with raised rouletted decoration, above a dark-brown slip stylised foliate crown, the raised initials GR flanking the Monarch's head, within a piecrust rim 13 in. (34.5 cm.) diam.'

Chinese jar sold by Christie's on 7.11.2006

3. Another lot sold by Christie's said to have been previously owned by Pitt-Rivers was lot 184 sold by the King Street, London branch on 7 November 2006 for £78,000 to an unknown buyer. This was described as 'A VERY RARE WUCAI 'HUNDRED-DEER' JAR WANLI (1573-1619) Brightly enamelled around the body in green, yellow, iron-red and brown enamels with the auspicious 'hundred deer' design, the animals depicted resting, grazing and at playful leisure in landscape scenes, between a band of stylised lappets to the foot rim and hanging leaf motifs suspended from a scrollwork border to the shoulder, the neck with floral sprays, the underside unglazed 13 7/8 in. (35.3 cm.) high THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN Provenance Pitt Rivers Museum, Farnham, Dorset'

4. An item was sold by Christie's in King Street, London on 27 October 2004 sale 7110 'Fine Antiquities' which cannot be matched to the catalogue of the second collection. It was described by Christie's as:

Monkey sold by Christie's 27 October 2004

'a fragment of a Corinthian monkey flask, the rim emerging from the top of the monkey's head, with spotted and black painted decoration, early 6th Century B.C., 2¼ in. (5.5 cm.) high (3) acquired in London, 1993; formerly Lieutenant-General A.H.L.F. Pitt-Rivers collection (1827-1900'. it formed a lot with 2 other pieces, not said to be owned by Pitt-Rivers', which together were sold for £956.

5. Christie's, Paris also sold an Asante gold pendant on 12 June 2003, which cannot be matched to the catalogue (if it can it must be listed on pages 15 or 16 of volume 2 as that is when a number of similar items are listed, but it does not appear to match any of the drawings). It was sold for Euros 353 to an unknown buyer and appears to have been owned previously by a Madame van den Abbeele. Christie's described it as:

PENDENTIF EN OR-FETICHE ASHANTI De forme circulaire représentant une fleur encadrée de bandeaux de motifs géométriques. Diamètre: 4.3 cm Provenance: Lt.Gen.A.H.L.F. Pitt Rivers, Farnham, Dorset  Literature: Bastin, M.-L., Utotombo, l'Art d'Afrique noire dans les collections privées belges, Brussels, 1988, p.157, no.83 Exhibited Brussels, 1988, no.83

Asante pendant sold in Christie's Paris in 2003
6. A pandanus belt from the Marshall Islands was sold by Christie's in Amsterdam on 24 May 2000 Lot 219 described as a
fine and rare Marshall Islands fibre belt Composed of numerous strips of pandanus leaf tightly bound together by woven black-dyed and natural pandanus leaf, twisted fibre ties 92cm. long Lt.Gen. A.H.L.-F. Pitt-Rivers, Farnham, Dorset A label with the belt read: Thick Belt of many strips of pandarus leaf, covered by worked pandanus pattern in black & white. Worn only by the chiefs. Marshall Island

This cannot be matched to any items listed in the second collection's catalogue. There are quite a few belts listed from Oceania, but none match this description and neither do waist ornaments. The belt sold for 8,728 US dollars to an unknown buyer.

7. Records of sales at auction houses before 2000 online rarely have  photographs of the objects in question which makes making matches against the second catalogue much harder. However, sometimes there are no similar items listed in the catalogue which would suggest that they are not listed therein. An example might be Lot 309 sold on 28 February 1996 at Christie's London, described as a 'A beech batelle applied with a paper label inscribed BATELLE FOR WASHING CLOTHES. ST MALO BRITTANY 18.. -- 13¼in. (33.6cm) long Pitt Rivers collection'.

Plant fibre belt from Marshall Islands

8. Items were sold at Christie's London on 15 October 1993 Lot 136 for £220 described as 'KIP, William. Wiltoniae Comitatus Herbida, [London: Georgii Bishop & Ioannis Norton, 1607], hand-coloured engraved map (some dampstains at margins), 300 x 410mm., framed and glazed; another map by Kip, and 2 documents on vellum with wax seals, one seal depicting Queen Elizabeth I (defective). Formerly in the Pitt Rivers Museum, Farnham.

9. No mention can be found in the catalogue of the second collection of two items sold by Christie's on 11 October 1991, Lot 327 described as 'TWO POUCHES: one of rounded form the other rectangular, each sewn on one side with green, white and faceted blue, purple and gold beads, the smaller with large gold initial 'F' and the nameAlexis, the larger with Greetings Alexis and the inital 'F' within a shield, both with shell and bead tassels, perhaps Canada 15.5cm. and 21cm. long (2) formerly in the Pitt Rivers Museum, Farnham, Dorset. They were sold for £110.

10. Another item which cannot be matched is an item sold by Christie's in the same sale (11.10.1991) forming part of Lot 190 ‘... a Maori adze blade of grey green stone, inscribed: Found at Purakanui, New Zealand, Hyam's March 1899; and ...  formerly in the Pitt Rivers Museum, Farnham, Dorset Lt. Gen. A.H.L.F. Pitt Rivers ... the adze blade bought at Hyam's, March 1899'.

11. A few items have been listed in other sources which relate to items perhaps used for display purposes in the Farnham Museum. For example, Lot 244 at the Christie's sale on 18 July 1991 at London 24 hand-tinted photogravures by J. Lowy of the national costumes of Austria, described by Christie's as ''Oesterr - ung. National-Trachten', early 1900s Twenty-four hand-tinted photogravures, 7½ x 5in., mounted on card, printed title, series number, photographer and publisher R. Lechner credits on mounts, each framed. (24). They were sold for £242.

New Guinea lime spatula

13. Another item was sold by Christie's, London, which cannot be matched. It was sold on 17 July 1991 as Lot 109 and said to have been previously in the Pitt-Rivers Museum, Farnham, described as 'An 18th century Flemish or North German fruitwood Corpus Christi, the perizonium tied to the Saviour's right, His arms lacking -- 13in. high.'

14. Another item which does not match any entries in the catalogue of the second collection is that which was sold by Christie's in London on 18 June 1991 as Lot 471 described as 'A PAIR OF BATANGA BELLOWS, with skin membrane, old label, 52cm. long; a hippopotamus tooth charm, the cut tooth bound at one end with green and black striped hide, 19.5cm. long. The label reads: "Bellows used by natives of Batanga Africa. The skins over the hollows[sic] basins are raised and pressed down alternately, so as to produce a constant blast."

New Guinea lime spatula

15. Another item, a lime spatula, now in a private collection, is shown here in two images. It has been described by its present owner as: 'Lime spatula. Length: 9”. Massim area, New Guinea. Fine-grained dark wood for use in betel nut preparation with lighter lime-bleached areas and residue on blade. Woodlark-style split-carved clapper handle. Ex Pitt-Rivers Museum, England. Very fine block text painted on blade, “EAST CAPE, N. GUINEA / CALVERT COLL: STEVENS’ LOT 256. 1897. P.” This item is not listed in the catalogue. It seems likely that it was probably sold to Pitt-Rivers in November 1897. Other items are listed in the catalogue as having been acquired from a Stevens Auction Rooms sale from the Calvert collection at this time. It is not clear why this object was omitted.

Lacquer box sold Christies London May 2011

16. Another item which cannot be matched to the second collection was sold on 10 May 2011 at Christie's London sale 7964, described as 'A SMALL CARVED CINNABAR LACQUER BOX AND COVER 18TH CENTURY Of circular shape, the cover carved through the red lacquer to an ochre ground with two writhing dragons amongst cloud scrolls, the box similarly decorated 3¼ in. (8.3 cm.) diam.' it sold for £3000 to an unknown buyer.

From the same sale [Christie's London 7964] Lot 59 is another Chinese vessel described as: 'A RARE SMALL CARVED RED LACQUER VESSEL AND COVER, FANGDING 18TH CENTURY The rectangular vessel raised on four slender splayed feet, carved in relief on the sides with taotie masks formed by detached elements, those on the long sides centred by a notched flange repeated at the corners, with a pair of bail handles rising from the rim, the cover with canted sides similarly decorated below a carved jade ruyi-form finial, the interior in gilt 6 1/8 in. (15.5 cm.) high.

This sold for £18,750 to an unknown buyer. It cannot be matched to any entry in the catalogue of the second collection.

Chinese vessel sold at Christie's 10 May 2011 Lot 59

At an Antiquities sale on 3 July 1996 at Christie's London, a "A large Gallo-Roman green glass goblet  4th Century A.D.  On wide flaring folded foot, the base pushed-in with prominent conical point in the interior, the conical body tapering towards a wide straight-sided neck with everted cut-off rim 6¼in. (16cm.) high Provenance: The base inscribed in white ink "Found at Amiens. Bt of Rollin. June [18]91".

Lt. Gen. A. H. L. F. Pitt-Rivers Collection and formerly in the Pitt-Rivers Museum, Farnham, Dorset." was sold for £4,025 to an unknown buyer. This goblet is not recorded in the catalogue of the second collection though another object were purchased from Rollin on 26 June 1891, see Add.9455vol3_p751 /6, a Roman bow fibula from the Egger collection. If this object was part of the Pitt-Rivers collection it is not clear why it was not recorded in the catalogue. [NB this object is not illustrated in the on-line Christie's records].

17. An Egyptian Polychrome and Gilt Cartonnage Mummy Mask, late Ptolemaic Period, circa 100-30 B.C. wearing a broad collar composed of eight rows of floral and foliate beads, and blue-green tripartite wig with headband centering a sun-disk and winged scarab in front, the eye-rims and eyebrows, long cosmetic lines, and tapering eyebrows painted in the same pigment as the wig, the irises painted black, two identical inscriptions in mirror image on either side of the sun-disk each translating, "Words to be said by Osiris who presides over the West."

Provence given by Sotheby's in 2015, from a private collector in the Netherlands

Sir W.M. Flinders Petrie (1853-1942), found by him at Hawara in the late 19th/early 20th century
Augustus H. Lane Fox Pitt-Rivers (1827-1900), Farnham, acquired from the above
Alexander Lane Fox Pitt-Rivers, Farnham, by descent
George H. Lane Fox Pitt-Rivers, Farnham, by descent
Stella Pitt-Rivers, Farnham, acquired from the above (Sotheby's, London, July 14th, 1975, no. 122, illus.)

Cf. G. Grimm, Die Römischen Mumienmasken aus Ägypten, Wiesbaden, 1974, pl. 2, 1 and 2. Height 18 in. 45.8 cm.

Written on object 'Gilt Stucco Head Roman VIth Century AD From Hawara, Egypt Petrie'

Sold on 3 June 2015 Sotheby's New York Egyptian, Classical and Western Asiatic Antiquities lot 16 for 175,000 US dollars 

See here

NB This cannot be matched to CUL catalogues.

AP, August 2010/ updated November 2010, updated May 2011.

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