Charles Flower


Artists who created the catalogues

Charles E. Flower is the first of the named cataloguers/ artists on the volumes. No cataloguer is named for volume 1. By the side of the third entry on page 1016 of volume 3 it states in an added note:

'All the drawings from page 741 to this page [1016] were drawn by Charles Flower'

This suggests, to this author at least, that the drawings in volume one and two and those from page 1017 on in volume 3 were probably prepared by another assistant.

Charles Flower was one of Pitt-Rivers' assistants. A portrait of him is shown on page 105 of Bowden's biography of Pitt-Rivers. He arrived at Rushmore in 1890 and stayed in the General's employ for four years. [Bowden, 1991: 106] According to Thompson he was paid £72 per annum. [Thompson, 1977: 94] However, he must have remained in contact with Pitt-Rivers or at least donated a painting to a local as he is listed in the catalogue of an art exhibition held in September 1895 in the Larmer Grounds: '35. Gold Hill, Shaftesbury. By Mr. C.E. Flower. Exhibited by Mr. T.E. Gatehouse, Ludwell.'

A letter from him is held in the Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum Pitt-Rivers papers:


Ansd Oct 12/ 94

84 Sistra Road
Balham, S.W.
Oct 7th 94

Dear Sir,

I have applied for the position of draughtsman for the Egyptian Exploration Fund, and should feel gratified if you will give me, at your earliest convenience, a testimonial which I can produce on application.

I remain
Dear Sir
Yr. obedient servant
Charles E. Flower

Genl Pitt Rivers

[Oct 1/90 to Sept 15/94]

This letter therefore confirms the dates that Flower worked as a draughtsman for Pitt-Rivers. L1198 is a letter from The Meisenbach Co. Ltd. of West Norwood seeking references for Flower from Pitt-Rivers so he presumably did not work for the EES. L1199 is a copy letter from Pitt-Rivers giving him a short, but good, reference, and suggesting that Flower's best recommendation is the drawings he had had reproduced by Meisenbach (presumably on Pitt-Rivers' request).

This is possibly the Charles Edwin Flower (1871-?)? If this artist is the one that worked with Pitt-Rivers then he went on to draw landscapes in Germany and the Channel Islands as well as around England. See here. The 1901 census lists this person as Charles L [sic] Flower, born Merton, Surrey living in Penge, Kent ‘artist and draughtsman’. He seems a likely candidate to be the same person.

Further Reading

Bowden, Mark 1991. Pitt Rivers: The Life and Archaeological Work of Lieutenant-General Augustus Henry Lane Fox Pitt Rivers, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Thompson, Michael and Colin Renfrew. 1999. ‘The catalogues of the Pitt-Rivers Museum, Farnham, Dorset’ Antiquity vol. 73 (no. 280) pp. 377-392

Thompson, M.W. 1977 General Pitt-Rivers Moonraker Press

AP, 2010.

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