The following items are transcriptions from letters in the Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum's Pitt-Rivers papers.

They appear to mention artefacts that have been acquired by Pitt-Rivers but are not listed in the catalogue of the second collection:



Jan'y 5. 1889


I send you by desire of Lord Stanley of Alderley by parcels post a box containing a skeleton and fragments of bones, teeth, and a piece of charcoal; they were found about 300 yards to the East of the excavations at Porthdafarch which are described in Mr Hanleys book; the place where they were found was covered with about 6 feet in depth of sand; the sand was carried away for building purposes about 10 or 12 years since, and underneath the sand was a circular layer of charcoal powder of about 30 feet in diameter, Mr Stanley had this bed of charcoal carefully examined and several fragments of bone, teeth &c were found; at the extreme Southern end of this charcoal layer, the tenant was digging for a foundation for a wall, when he found the skeleton, the fragments of bones, teeth &c which I have sent. the skeleton was [insert] in the subsoil a little [end insert] below the level of the charcoal bed: the piece of charcoal is the only piece found, the remainder of the layer being in powder.

I have the honor to be


Your most obed ser

Thos S Elliott

To Gen'l Pitt-Rivers


 L281 copyright S&SWM


14 King St
Jany 13/ 87

Genl. Pitt Rivers


I have sent the old sun dial per rail to day as you directed.

As stated in my last note, the dial was found some years ago at the old estate of Pitsligo, and was in the hands of the man who found it up till the time of his death, and I bought it from the person who bought it at the sale of the finders assets.

It is supposed that the dial had belonged to the family who owned Pitsligo at the date which appears upon the dial, owing to its having been found there, but of course it cannot be said for certain, that it did. Pitsligo is in the north east corner of Aberdeenshire.

Trusting the package may reach you safely I am

Your obedient servant

Geo Sim

[With the letter are three pencil drawings on a long sheet of paper, presumably of the sundial shown here]



Gussage St Michael
by Cranborne
August 18 1887

Dear Sir,

I am obliged to you for your letter of the 15th inst.

I have communicated with Mr. T.J. Turnbull the Agent of the Earl of Shaftesbury. He says "if the Secretary for General Pitt Rivers will write to me I will give him the name of the owner of the flint celt recently found at Woodlands from whom it may be obtained."

I have no doubt that it will find its way to the Farnham Museum and I shall be glad to see it there. It is an unusually perfect one. I measured it with a tape I had in my pocket. It is 6 3/4 inches long and 2 1/4 inches wide at the broad end.

All the relics that have been found in this Parish for the last 20 yrs, have been found without exception, I believe, on Lord Angleseys property. Some 10 yrs ago the half of a Roman quern, in a perfect state of preservation, was found at Harley. I remember seeing it at the time, but cannot ascertain what has become of it.

A small axe head of iron (no the Saxon type) was also ploughed up there. A piece of worked bone flat on one side was also picked up. My children have repeatedly brought from the neighbourhood pieces of pottery, apparently fragments of amphorae, in which possibly wine and oil had been imported. The coin 1st 2nd and 3rd brass ranged from Hadrian to Constantine the 2nd. They [2 words illegible] value to a collector, but locally interesting, as indicating Roman occupation.

Two & perhaps 3, had been exposed to the [word[s] illegible] of fire. Some were so oxidised as to be scarcely decipherable.

Fibulae have been found on ploughed ground in the occupation of T H Kendell and H. Ford. Worked flints what Mr Evans would I suppose call duck bill scrapers are found on or by the supposed British trackway where it crosses the road to Wyke Farm, and [3 words illegible] There a celt of polished flint was found.

I am
yrs truly
J.H. Ward



27, New Canal,
Aug't 22, 1887

Dear Sir

I am sending you some of the old tobacco pipes, found here, in making the drains & in gardens.

I hardly know whether they will be worth your acceptance for your very interesting Museum at Farnham.

There is a nice paper on the pipes by my late friend Edward Stevens in his Jottings for the Salisbury Meeting of the W.A.&N.H. Society in August 1876. It has been reissued by his son. I think last year. May I thank you for the very pleasant & enjoyable day at Rushmore on the 19th. I hardly know when I have had such a delightful day.

faithfully yours
W.D Wilkes

Gen'l Pitt-Rivers


2 Rupell Chambers
Bury Street WC
Aug. 24. 1887

My dear Sir

Allow me to thank you very heartily for the beautiful volume on Your Excavations w'ch I received yesterday. It will not only be very useful, but a pleasant memorial of your kindness & hospitality when we visited Rushmore.

I was much interested by seeing the coral necklace in your collection at Farnham,* for I once procured a very similar one from Umrît (Marathus) on the Phenician Coast. It is curious that the other recorded specimen found in England should have been found in Cornwall, w'ch is supposed to have been under Phonician [sic] influence. I am

very faithfully yours
Greville J. Chester

*There is no coral necklace listed in the CUL catalogue except for one from Benin acquired over ten years after 1887, there is also no items listed from Cornwall, this item therefore is know to have been in the Farnham Museum by 1887 but not listed in the catalogue of the second collection, or not listed with sufficient detail to be matchable.


Ratcliffe College

27 Sept 1887

Dear General Pitt Rivers

Absence from home, & the getting my school under way at the beginning of the year, must be my excuses for not sending sooner the specimens of Grecian pottery I promised for your Museum. They were all found by me in the ground, mostly 8 ft deep in the valley between the Museion & Puyx, the seat of rock built or pre-historic Athens This part, being without the walls, & not in sight of the Acropolis, though distant from it only 1/2 a mile, has not been inhabited since the days of Pericles. The remains of hundreds f dwellings, now [insert] unearthed to be [end insert] seen these are all cut in the rock, with sometimes stairs cut in the rock leading to an upper storey, into a house higher up. The narrow alley, between the house & rut-cut road before them, is still traceable. For some account of how and when I found these specimens see "Archaeological Journal" vol XCII at page 8 of my art. on 'Archaeology at Athens".

I shall deem it a great favour if you will let me know whether the pieces of pottery I have found are worthy of any observation. Almost all are [illegible], slightly glazed. Any light you can throw upon them will be very welcome & I have as yet but no opinion of any expert upon them. Mr [name illegible] Count de [illegible] an eminent [disciple illegible] at Vanus, gave me three small specimens of Jade from the veins discovered by him at "Roquedos", Morbihan 9 years ago (see my act. of the time in "Athenaeum" of Sept 3rd, top of page [insert] last vol. [end insert] [illegible] end) He thinks the jade hatchets found in tumuli not Oriental but identical with those  [illegible] from jadeite. If you [illegible] specimen I shall be glad to give [2 words illegible] Believe [3 words illegible]

Joseph Hirst

There are no sherds from Greece, or Athens, listed in the catalogue of the second collection. Father Joseph Hirst was the Headmaster of the Catholic school Ratcliffe College near Leicester from 1880-1895. Nothing is known of his archaeological interest (that I can find).


Shere Guildford

Oct 8 1887

My dear General

It has been a great relief to my mind to hear that you have consented to place the British fetish I ventured to send you in your Museum. My wife thought you could not possibly think my intentions honourable, but I maintained that an ethnologist's mind can see merits in the rudest productions which are not seen by the ignorant.

There is a very old man hereabouts, who makes these scarecrows & when he dies there will be no more demand for them. Encouraged by your reception I send you now a little Madonna from the great pilgrimage place of Eurisiedeln - there you know exactly whom & what the figure represents, but if it were the symbol of a lost religion, could any Ethnologist explain it or reconstruct it? This is I not expensive to make. There is a great manufactory at Munich, but these productions are too artistic - in the streets near St Sulpice at Paris there are shops full of saints & at Cöln also I have seen many, but they must be rudely carved to be instructive & interesting - one might pick up many in a tour through Southern Germany - If you appreciate my little Madonna, I think I can offer you some other little objects.

Yrs sincerely

Arthur Russell

This is Arthur John Edward Russell who is listed in the catalogue of the second collection as giving 4 things, but not this fetish. However the Madonna is Add.9455vol2_p352 /3


Calne Wllts
Nov. 15. 87

My dear Sir

I have, according to your desire, written to Mr Peter Reid the Vice Consul at Puerto in Teneriffe to obtain & forward to Tisbury Sta. the things you mention as of use for your museum: * I have referred him to you and no doubt you will hear from him in due course

It has give [sic] me pleasure to be of use in so interesting a matter; & if I can pick up anything in the Engadine this winter illustrative of manners & customs there it will please me to offer it you on my return

Allow me to remain
truly yours
C.V. Goddard

*There do not appear to be any other items from Tenerife mentioned other than those already listed from Goddard


Rectory Tuesday

Dear General Rivers

I would not for the world do anything that w. cause you annoyance. As you grant me permission to shoot Rabbits, I will gladly waive any claim I may have. I am glad I sent you the key. I have one or two more relics that I have dug up here & will send them.

Yrs very truly

G.H. Waterfall

There are other objects from Waterfall, but not a key. L545 at end also from Waterfall says ‘I enclose a key which I dug up in my garden – quite as old as the one a similar looking one at the Museum !!


31, Bateman Street,

165 Piccadilly
Aug: 28th 1889


You asked me to get a doll for you in Icelandic Costume.

I have the doll, or if you prefere [sic] a full size old costume complete, you can take which you like. I shall be here for some little time, but should like to know when you would be likely to come here & look at the Costumes, as I go home Saturdays till Tuesdays, as a rule, and sometimes, am not here all day.

I remain,
Yours faithfully,
Sigridr  E. Magnusson

To General Pitt Rivers

Pitt-Rivers seems to have acquired neither the doll nor the full sized costume according to the catalogue of the second collection



I can give a written garrantee [sic] that they are all real antiquities

2 Harpur Street

London W.C.

18th August 91


Knowing that you sometimes buy curious antiquities & having two rare & curious pieces which I should like to part with I venture to send you a sketch of them

One is a scolds bridle 16th century & the other is a boar hounds collar used when hunting the boar early 16th century The scolds bridge came out of the Chateau-de-Kyhrg in Winterture & the collar came from Schloss Ungor Poland Should you care to see them I can forward them on to you

Yours very truly

S.J. Whawell

Gen'l Pitt Rivers

[2 drawings annotated 'this open on an hinge to allow water being administered to the victim']


Thames Bank,
Gt. Marlow

Sept. 17.94

Dear Gen. Pitt Rivers,

I have packed up, ready to send off by railway tomorrow, the 6 Norwegian tapestry counterpanes. I cannot find my note of the name of the house where the piece "G" came from; but shall doubtless come across it eventually: but meanwhile as "Skjager" is the parish the name of the actual house would perhaps have no great interest to you.

I am sending (by post) a copy of the Brit: Assoc: Report on the Wild Cattle; & also a copy of the catalogue of my Scandinavian Exhibition of 1891 *, which I hope may interest you.

All the pieces of tapestry have been in my possession upwards of 10 years, & very few are likely to be in the market in future. All the parishes whence they come, are in Gunbrands Dalen; & they were probably woven in one or other of the two parishes, Vaage & Lom.

I was much disappointed to learn that you had some of the old blood of the White Cattle, & then to fail to see them: I must hope for better luck on my next visit to Farnham,; as one of the British public, allow me to thank you for providing so much of interest, with every facility for seeing it.

I hope you will try Reindeer again: I cannot help thinking that with some contrivances, & looking after, they ought to be capable of being nursed through 2 or 3 English summers; & probably after about that time they would have become acclimatized.

Yrs very faithfully

Alfred H. Cocks

These items do not appear to have been acquired by Pitt-Rivers, they are certainly not listed in the catalogue of the second collection


Ansd Feb. 7/95 8/- offered 8/- sent on Feb. 11/95

17 Cistern St


Your name having been mentioned to me by your later gamekeeper Mr G. Bennett as a collector of antiquities and having an axe used in warfare prior to the Roman Invasion I take the liberty of submitting it to you for your inspection an [sic] with a view to purchase It was found by me in the bog at Ascot 3 years ago next June I being at that time an allotment holder thereon. I have Sir obtained the opinion of several Gentlemen used in these matters and they are agreed in thinking it to be of some value to an antiquary.

Trusting you will pardon the liberty I have taken

I remain
Yours Respectfully
John Peters

P.S. I have forwarded the axe per Parcels Post

These items are not listed in the catalogue of the second collection

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