S&SWM PR papers Part IV L601 - L800

Here are transcriptions of some of the letters between L601-800 in Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum Pitt-Rivers papers

If you would like to see the originals of these letters then please contact Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum.

Part IV

There follows transcriptions of all the letters deemed relevant to the Rethinking Pitt-Rivers research project in the Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum's Pitt-Rivers papers collection. They were transcribed in May / June 2011. It is hoped that all the letters in the collection (relevant to this project or not) can be scanned and made available in the near future.

For letters L1-600 and from L801 on see other Parts

S&SWM L601-800



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



R. Istituto di Studi Superiori in Firenze

Direzione del Museo Zoologico dei Vertebrati

Firenze le 22 Sept 1889

Dear Sir

I do not know whether you remember me, but I have not forgotten the very pleasant and instructive visit I paid in your company to your splendid and unique Ethnological Museum, then at South Kensington, in 1882; when you so kindly showed me your wonderful series illustrating the evolution of weapons & implements.

Since then I have been engaged in accumulating notes and materials for a comparative study of what might be called the Last Days of the Stone Age. In this not easy task I have been very fortunate and fairly successful, and although not a few lacunae exist in the collection of types of such implements & weapons which I have formed for the purpose, yet I believe that I shall soon be able to begin my work in earnest.

In this it is my intention to follow in some respects the path which you have traced in so masterly a manner. I have the catalogue of your collection, published by the Science & Art Department, with which you kindly favored me as also some of your later papers published by the Anthropological Institute; but all my efforts have up to the present proved vain in trying to get a copy of your Lectures on Primitive warfare, published in the Journal of the Royal United Service Institution in 1867-69. I have not even been able to see that work of yours to read it and take notes, and I only know by a few quotations which I have come across that it would be of great value to me for the investigations I am making.

I have therefore taken the liberty of addressing myself to you, and would be very grateful if you could even lend me a copy, which I would return as soon as read.

I need not add, after what I have said, that in case you had any duplicates of stone implements for which you have no worthier destination you would do me a very great favor and perhaps fill up some important lacuna, if you would kindly let me have them for the collection which I have formed, which is destined for the National Ethnological Museum of Italy. From what I have said before you will gather that the stone implements &c of modern savages are those which have a special interest for me, the older and prehistoric implements have been collected merely for comparative purposes.

In any way I trust that you will consider the end in view, pardon the liberty I have taken, and with [insert] the [end insert] expression of my highest consideration and best wishes believe me

Truly yours
Enrico H. Giglioli
Vice President of the Anthropological Society of Italy

General Pitt-Rivers
&c &c &c



Society of Arts
John Street, Adelphi
London W.C.

24th March 1891

Dear Sir

Mr Wheatley has given me your letter. I am sure that the Council would readily welcome a Paper from yourself on the subject you suggest - the uses and arrangements of Museums.* Our arrangements for the present Session are complete, but if you will permit me I will put the Paper down for the Session which begins in November next.

As you are aware the subject of Museums is one with which the Society in past times has dealt largely. It had a great deal to do with the establishment of the South Kensington Museum

Yours faithfullyH.J. Wood

Gen'l A. Pitt Rivers F.R.S.





March 30th, 1891

My dear Sir,

I am much obliged to you for your letter of the 24th inst. I am aware of the important part that was taken by the Society of Arts in regard to Technical Museums, and the great value they have had in promoting education in Art. My subject is neither Museums of Reference like the British Museum, nor Technical Museums like South Kensington, but Typological Museums, using the term in its natural history sense, as applied to the history of the arts, and their value as a means of general education, especially for the working classes, and the sample is my Museum at Oxford, for which the University voted £10,000 to construct a building for it.

I am going to give an opening address at Oxford at the end of April, and after that, if it suited your Society at any time, I would send a paper on the subject with diagrams.

Yours very truly

A. Pitt-Rivers



[D'Alviella Ans'd]

Oxford May 1891

Dear Sir

I have been to your Lecture last Thursday at the Oxford Museum and took such an interest in it that I take the liberty of sending to you a book I have just published on the Migration of Symbols. You will see, by a glance at the figures, especially in the last chapter, that I have particularly devoted my attention to these passages of one form to another, which you have worked out with such a success in case of implements and architectural Designs.

Perhaps it will interest you to know that there is at Brussels a museum proposed on the plan carried out at Oxford, thanks to your magnificent gifts, viz on the principle of Development. But, as it is part of a larger scheme for a People's Palace I do not know when and how for it will be carried out

I remain

Your's [sic] sincerely

[illegible] Alviella

Hibbert Lecturer for 1891

P.S. I have borrowed from you, I believe, my fig. 41 p. 129 If I have not quoted my source more fully, it is because I had to take it second hand from a French book.



Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge

July 26 1891

Dear Sir,

May I remind you of your kind promise to present to the Cambridge Museum a set of your models of early Crosses?

Mr St John Hope suggests that possibly you might be willing to allow him to send direct to Cambridge the set which is now at Burlington House.

I am
Yours very faithfully
J. Hen. Middleton
Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum

Lt Gen. Pitt Rivers




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']


NB following letter not on website



Nash Mills

Hemel Hempstead

Aug 29th 1891

My dear Pitt-Rivers

I do not know any scythe-blades like your cut – it is more curved than usual and the arrangement for securing it to the snathe [?] seems different from that of any that I remember It is altogether much smaller in its proportions than those of Roman date found at Great Chesterford (Arch Jorn XIII 10) but I see no reason why it should not be Romano British. Please thank Mrs Pitt Rivers for her kind note. I am at present kept in by a lame knee but I hope shortly to be sound again If I lose my [illegible] would it suit you if I come for a night or two at Rushmore about Sept 23rd?

With kind regards

Yours most truly

John Evans



[Ans'd Told to send it on approval Sep 18/91]

439 Old Kent Road S.E.

1st September 1891


Through the death of my mother I come into possession of an ancient antique Arms Crest and Motto of your noble ancestor which was engraved so far back as some time in the seventeenth century it having been in one family over 100 years. It is a steel engraving in splendid preservation and very nicely mounted and framed and measures about 12 by 14 inches.

Having made some genealogical researches and after tracing, searching and researching I find that this ancient antique Arms Crest and Motto were those of that great and celebrated nobleman George Pitt Baron Rivers of Stratfieldsay one of the [illegible] of his majesty's bedchamber colonel of the militia of the county of Dorset and Doctors of Laws. This nobleman was born 1720, and several times elected to represent the borough of Shaftesbury in the county of Dorset. He was constituted Nov'r 1761 envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentary to the court of Turin, which office he resigned in the year 1768, and was farther appointed March 1770 ambassador extraordinary and minister plenipotentary to the court of Madrid. He returned to this country on the following year, and was created by King George the third Baron Rivers of Stratfieldsay. He was constituted 13 May 1780 Lord Lieutenant and custor [illegible] of the county of Southampton which office he exchanged 6th April 1782 for that of one of the Lords of his majesty's bedchamber.

Being in straitened circumstances and thinking you would like to possess this very old piece I venture to ask you whether you would purchase the same for which I should be pleased to accept 1 guinea and would send it on first for your approval.

An early answer will greatly oblige as I shall refrain from disposing until I have received your reply

I have the honor to be Sir

Your most obedient Servant

Ernest Day



4 Douro Place
Kensington Cr.
Sept 2/91

Dear General Pitt Rivers

The portrait of Mrs Grove is so nearly finished that in a couple of days it will be ready for you to see at your convenience.

The frame is here & seems to me a very good one.

I should be glad to know if you are coming to Town shortly as I would like to show the picture to you myself. But I am anxious to get to work in the country and if you are not likely to be in Town soon I will with your permission leave the portrait where it is - so that you could see it whenever it suited you to call

Believe me to be
Yours very truly
Fred S Beaumont



12 Rue Tour Notre Dame


September 3, 1891

Monsieur Le Général

Last year I did myself the honour to enquire on behalf of the Boulogne  Museum Committee whether you would kindly extend your liberality so far as to present to the Museum a set of our Celtic Crosses.

In the letter with which you honoured me, you mentioned that my request could not meet with an immediate reply, because owing to the length of time required for preparing and finishing off the casts, there were not yet ready for distribution. [sic]

I am induced to renew my application now, because a recent accession of Roman and medieval antiquities will ere long necessitate a general rearrangement of some galleries, so that we would avail ourselves of the opportunity to properly accommodate your gift if you would favourably entertain the request preferred.

I beg to subscribe myself Monsieur Le Général

[illegible].J. Vaillant

Secrétaire de la Committee des Musees de Boulogne &c &c



17 Doughty Street
Russell Square
London W.C.
Sept 10. 1891

Dear General Pitt Rivers

Doubtless you see the Times regularly, but in case you care to have an extra copy of today's paper containing the account I have written of your Museum &c, I am sending one to you. When the discussion first arose upon County Museums, I wrote to Mr Moberley Bell the manager, & asked him if he wd like an account of an actually existent one, outlining in my note your own Institution. He answered that he shd be extremely glad to have it, & accordingly I sent it to him. I hope you will consider that at least it gives an accurate idea of Farnham, & I certainly thought in the present correspondence it wd have a particularly a propos interest. Both the St James's Gazette & the Globe comment upon the description of the place this evening.

I am glad you like the Meisenbach "process" [1] We of the Daily Graphic are great admirers of it, & some of our artists who have had their own work reproduced by it say it always seems to convey their own ideas which seem often to be lost in other processes. I hope you are well, & that the present fine weather is bringing large gatherings to Farnham & the Larmer tree. These last three fine days are giving them all great joy at the Naval Exhibition, where I was last night for the splendid sham fight they are giving once a week, & Sir William Dowell told me these days had brought the highest three days attendance they had had since it was opened.

With kind remembrances to Mrs Pitt Rivers

Believe me
Yours Very truly
M.F. Billington



Ans'd Oct. 1/91]


Sept. 16. 1891

Dear Sir,

As I wish to have the pleasure of knowing that the work of the Committee of the Manchester Art Museum is known to you, to whom all persons who care for human welfare ought to be grateful, I venture to send you various papers which describe the work.

I have been very much pleased to find that the advice given on page 28 of "Suggestions for a Guidebook to Life" has been taken by a considerable number of Manchester boys.

Should you ever visit Manchester, you would rewarded [?] in a service for which we should be very grateful if you would go through our Museum and give us advice as to its development. We have formed and placed in one of its rooms the first chapter of the Primer of Art which owes much of its interest to your successes. I am, dear Sir,

Yours faithfully

T.C. Horsfall

P.S. I do not know if your attention has been called to the need for connecting elementary schools with Museums. The [illegible] accompanying paper deals with that subject.

General Pitt Rivers



[Ans'd by telegram Sep. 22]

4 Douro Place
Kensington W
Sept 20 '91

Dear General Pitt Rivers

As I have finished my work in London I write to let you know that I leave Town on Tuesday Evening next - but that my house & studio will be left in charge of a servant who will have instructions to let you in to see Mrs Groves portrait which remains in my studio - should you call.

Perhaps you would like the picture sent direct to Rushmore in which case - if you will send me a line my frame maker shall despatch it.

Letters will be immediately forwarded to me from here after I leave.

I am sorry not to have had the pleasure of seeing you here & of having your opinion of the portrait - which I trust may be favourable.

Believe me to be
yours very truly
Fred S. Beaumont



[Ans'd Sept.23/91]

East St

Dear Sir

The Rev'd C.V. Goddard of Chideock has just called upon me relative to the 'Antique Skillet' with inscription on handle, which he is purchasing on your behalf.

Altho' I am not at all anxious about selling, I am willing to pack safely in box, & post carriage as far as it will go by Rail, if you will kindly give me name of station to which I must address it.

I have had numerous enquiries about it & could have sold times over, but refused: I would not part with it now, were it not going into a Museum where it will be more cared for & greatly admired.

You will I am sure be delighted with it & when you have seen it, I shall be pleased to hear from you to that effect.

Yours very faithfully
F. Smith Bucknole

I have a 'Breeches Bible' dated 1592 which I would sell for same price, viz £5, but I am told it is worth much more. I have been offered a Polyglot Bible, beautifully bound, which cost considerably over £5, in exchange for it. If you cared to have it I would enclose with skillet FB

General Pitt Rivers



[Genl will go to see them Oct 1/91]

2 Harpur Street W.C.
21st Sept 91


The lowest price for the scolds bridle & the boar hounds collar is £9= I believe that you purchased some very early Swiss halbards at Christies some few months ago which were my property. I have in my house some very rare and interesting arms & weapons which did not go to Christie's to be sold but which I would part with now If you are in Town soon you might please give me a call & oblige

Yours truly
S.J. Whawell

To Genl. Pitt Rivers




4 Douro Place
Kensington W
Sept 22nd / 91

Dear General Pitt Rivers

I have received your telegram & have instructed the frame-maker - Ellis - 14 Queens Rd Bayswater - to pack the picture & start it to you as soon as possible and I have told him to write you exactly when you may expect the picture.

Hoping you will receive it safely

Believe me to be
Yours very truly
Fred S. Beaumont



[Beaumont Cheque £150 sent]

c/o Mrs Harnon
Channel Islands
Oct 8 / 91

Dear General Pitt Rivers

Your kind letter has only reached me today owing to a gale delaying the mails. It gratified me much that on the whole Mrs Groves picture gives you such satisfaction. Your criticisms are so much in accordance with my own intentions in the picture that I think & hope I may be able to please you in the various points also, that you speak of when I see it afresh - before it goes into the Academy where I think you said you would allow me to send it.

You will see by my address that I have come over to the Channel Islands where I had the intention of staying till after Xmas to avoid the dull weather which last year for days together put a stop to my work.

I should very much like to do your daughter Mrs Scott & her little girl - and should be very unwilling to lose the chance of it by putting it off - but really these three months in London - the light is so poor at its best and so bad at its worst that as I learnt to my cost last year, it is not fair to any sitter or to myself to try to paint a portrait then. It only wastes their time & mine & I cannot do my best work.

If you wish the picture to be done for next years Academy there would be time if I began by the middle of January or even the end when the light should begin to improve.

Can you persuade your daughter to let me do it then when I should have a fair chance of doing her justice & of pleasing you.

With regard to price - I could not afford to do the figures for the same price as the one and I should have to ask 200 pounds.

We - my wife & I - have had lovely weather here with summer sunshine, excepting the last two days and I am making studies of drapery and one or two figure pictures with sea & rocks as I am anxious to keep at any rate part of each year for picture painting - and not stick to portrait work only - as I think each must help the other. I should like to paint another portrait for you after my writers study & work and see whether you do not think I have got on in many ways.

I should be much obliged if you would send the cheque to me here at above address.

I dont know whether you would prefer paying for the frame direct to Ellis the framemaker or in one cheque with mine. The price is £21 -

Again thanking you for your most kind letter. Believe me to be

very truly yours

Fred S. Beaumont




[Ans'd July 9 [sic], 1891]

Peatcliffe Lales [?]
Nov '2 / 91

My dear General

Many thanks for your note and for the cheque which arrived quite safely. I have not heard about fresh trouble with the Guards at first hand but I feel sure that things are not as they should be. It is due I am told to the fact that the majority of the non-commissioned officers are so young and inexperienced. They have introduced an accommodation which I think suitable namely that a battalion of the Guards is in future to be always stationed in the Mediterranean.

A few words now about the curios. I was a little afraid you might think the pewter plates dear As I did not know how far you had studied them. As a matter of fact [word illegible] you have got which represent almost every style are remarkable & I feel sure Franks would have jumped at them. Next time you go to the Museum you must look at what they have got. You will see one in time I gave them some time ago. You will see others at [illegible] in the Museum and also at Nuremberg. They are mostly stamped with makers names and were made either in Switzerland or South Germany. They were made in imitation I believe of Briots [2 words illegible] and it is curious how closely allied [illegible] of the designs are to those on the Flanders pots. They have friezes of electors with the [illegible] in the middle etc etc. I believe Cripps told me he had made a collection of the marks on them. 1 or 3 of yours must have been very carefully put aside in linen as they are wonderfully fresh. It is curious that in England & apparently in France whence pewter was so much used they should not have made plates with the raised designs. The English & French specimens I have seen are decorated with incised coats of arms chiefly. You must not hold me responsible for their price as I shewed you the note from the dealer and you asked me to send for them & [3 words illegible] I think they are very cheap.

The other things I bought for myself & when I unpacked them I thought they were much more valuable to your collection The two Roman pots from the Rhine  I thought very characteristic & they are interesting to us because they are so very like in [illegible] to the posts made by the Romans in Hampshire & the Marshes. Cologne and Nevers were the real capitals of Rome north of the Alps and it was to the Rhine rather than to Italy that Roman Britain was attached.

I want you also to notice the 2 Roman rings  I was told at Cologne that there is evidence to shew there was a manufacture of these rings on the Rhine in Roman times. They are found chiefly at Suizy I believe & I thought the 2 specimens I got were exceptionally good ones. You must not keep these things out of consideration to me I will gladly have them if you dont want them but I thought they filled up 2 or 3 gaps in your collection & I thought also I secured them at a reasonable price.

I now want to mention something else. I have had offered to me a rather remarkable & interesting collection of things & I am going to buy some of them for myself. They are a class of objects which I fancy greatly namely things made fro the Great Japanese d.... [illegible] who as you know are all ruined & are selling off. The choicest Japanese work I have seen is that which was devoted to the ornaments etc used by these old nobles of Japan & in a very short time they will all have disappeared. The things I am referring to are 2 saddles made of wood and covered with beautiful old [illegible] birds etc. and some of their fine stirrups which you have seen no doubt, great box stirrups entirely covered with lovely diapers and all different. Some have [illegible] on them others a kind of niello others are inlaid with mother of pearl etc

I dont care to keep pairs of stirrups for they are big things and one of a kind is enough for me. I am going to receive a saddle and more of the stirrups. Would you like any of these things. I could think there  are two saddles of which you could have one and 3 pairs of stirrups of which I should like to keep a specimen of each. The saddle & 3 stirrups would come I think to about £20.0.0 I only mention this because I thought you might like to have an opportunity of securing them. You can see a saddle of a similar kind & 3 or 3 stirrups in the British Museum. Perhaps you will let me know

I was dining with Franks on Friday He was talking much about you and saying he thought as we all think you are a most remarkable person in knowledge and enthusiasm. Franks is [illegible] that you should become President of the Antiquaries. I think you are under some misapprehension as to his having objected to your things remaining in London. He spoke to me in very different terms & I think I know him better than anybody. You would I know have been pleased to hear the very complimentary terms w. which you were spoken of.

Pray give my very kind regards to your kind and most hospitable wife I shall not readily forget my very happy visit to you & I hope if you can make any use of me you will do so & that you will let me come & see you again

Yours most truly

Henry H. Howorth




NB this is a typed copy letter, found within the letter from Professor Flower (British Museum, Natural History Dept) which prompted it. In his letter Flower thanks Pitt-Rivers for a copy of his address on Typological Museums given to the Society of the Arts and remarks 'It is very curious that your plan for a round archaeological museum is exactly similar to one which I have had for some time in view but never published for a natural history museum which should combine extinct with living forms in an orderly and instructive manner. The sketch opposite will give a rough idea although I have worked out the plan in greater detail ...' (see scan of the page of the letter here for Flower's sketch).

Rushmore, Salibury

November 9th, 1891

Dear Professor Flower,

I did not know that you had special views with respect to a circular building, though I can quite understand that the same idea would independently suggest itself to any one studying the arrangement of a Museum for archaeological or natural history purposes, on the principles of displaying evolution. The concentric circles adapt themselves both by their size and position, for the exhibition of the expanding varieties of an evolutionary arrangement. When I first mooted the subject, in my address to the Anthropological Section at the Bath meeting, Evans, who I think approved of the idea, said he thought it was remote from realisation, and so no bout it may be, but I feel as certain as possible that, eventually, it will be done. Your present building will be used for something else [insert in handwriting] or it might be converted into a Nat'l History Reference Museum [end insert] and we shall have two large Rotunda as Educational Museums, one for Natural History, and one for the Arts. For the Arts to which of course I confine my suggestions, the Museum should consist chiefly, in not entirely, of reproductions and models; so as not to interfere with the Reference Museums, and also because, by using reproductions, a better selection can be made of those forms which display evolution. It would not of course be attempted to include everything, otherwise something like the World's size, would be required to exhibit the whole history of the World's products, but the series would be confined to those branches, in which continuity could be best displayed; and I am also much impressed with the belief, that models explaining the gisement of the objects exhibited, will take a large place in future exhibitions.

In my small way here, I have carried out this plan, in my new little Museum in the village of Farnham, where I have now about 40 models showing the position of things discovered, the relics being exhibited in the cases adjoining. I hope some day to show you this little Museum, to which I have lately added a new room; though of course, on so small a scale, it would be useless to attempt a circular arrangement. Twice the sum that Mr Blundell Maple gave a few days ago for a horse, £40,000, that might die tomorrow, would be enough to build a suitable structure in iron and glass, that might be built of stone afterwards.

I wish it might be brought about.

[in handwriting] Yours very truly

A. Pitt Rivers




[Ansd Wansdyke paper sent]

Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society

Nov 9 1891

Clyffe Vicarage,

Wootton Bassett, Wilts.

Dear General Pitt Rivers,

I hope that the current number of our magazine will be out before long - and I am getting together the material for the next number. I should be glad therefore if you could let me have your notes on the Wansdyke excavations soon.

I saw in N. Devon the other day a sort of vessel which was new to me - a wooden pitcher made of staves. Rather a good looking sort of thing - they are commonly used on the borders of Exmoor It struck me that you might possibly like one for your museum [insert] if you havent one already [end insert] The cost is I believe 4 or 5 shillings

[salutation illegible]

Ed. H. Goddard



[Ansd Nov 7 / 91 Photo x catalogue returned]

Mineralogist & Expert in Gems & Precious Stones
The Museum 26 Savile Row W
pro tem 166 Wardour St
London W

Nov ii 91

Dear Sir,

I have for sale a very fine and beautiful collection of Stone Implements from the West Indies which I wish to bring before your notice.

Perhaps you will excuse my mentioning the Reason of my leaving my Museum & the difficulties which I have had to go through - my Landlord of the whole Block of buildings containing my Museum failed & I had to pay the whole of the rent due to him about 300£ per quarter. I not sleeping on the premises & not coming within the Lodgers Act - I paid it twice when [illegible] my position was untenable the whole of my Museum which I had spent so much on was lost to me & every thing in it. I shall soon however have other business premises when I will send my new Circular - ad interim letters addressed to me 166 Wardour St find me. The collection I have at present in hand is really a very fine one more particularly through the condition of the implements which is the finest for their class I have seen.

They were collected during a lifetime by a French Engineer who resided at the Islands. He brought them to France exhibiting them at the Trocadero & other Exhibitions receiving 5 medals.

During his lifetime it was impossible to buy them he asking no less than 400£ then descending to 250£. He died they went to a relation who being dead also they have again gone into strange hands & I am now in a position to sell the whole for 120£.

They are arranged up on Tablets [illegible] by brass bands.

Although I have not Photo's of the whole I have secured Photo's [sic] of 9 tablets, out of 14, which I have the Honor of enclosing for your inspection herewith. You will see at once there are some very fine weapons the large axe in centre of No 6 measures no less than 14 inches in length whilst the fine axe shaped one Photo nNo. 12 measures over 12 inches in length. The half moon smooth implements are very rare I believe. I enclose also a complete catalogue of the collection which you will see numbers 250 specimens.

I regret there is no Photo of series 14 which in my mind is one of the not the best [sic] There are 27 on this Tablet

I have secured the Collection & will guarentee to ship it free of carriage & at the price stated. If you purchased the collection it would have the effect of reinstating me very quickly nearly at once in business & for which I should always be grateful.

Next spring I shall have for Sale a very large & important collection certainly finer than any that for years has been in the market.

I have not dilated upon the specimens as you will see very quickly what they are but I wish particularly to say that accept the 53 specimens mentioned at the end of the catalogue all are in very fine condition not rough specimens but on the contrary the smooth were polished & evidently the pick of what the Islands produce.

I certainly think it is the best collection as a whole that has come from that part of the world to Europe.

There is I believe a lot of M.S. papers relatng to the History of individual specimens where every specimen has its distinct locality on it.

It is a collection I could confidently recommend anybody to buy & my experience as you are aware has now extended over some years

Hoping to have a favourable answer I remain, Sir,

Yours most obediantly


Gen'l A.H.F Pitt-Rivers, FRS



Mineralogist & Expert in Gems & Precious Stones
The Museum 26 Savile Row W
pro tem 166 Wardour St

Nov 11th 91

Dear Sir,

I have the Honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter with the Photos of the West Indian Collection returned. I greatly regret you do not care for it - were you to see the state of the specimens I think you would have liked them

Perhaps you would like to make me an offer?

I have the Chinese sickle somewhere but dont know where to place my hands on it. I will however search at once

I called at your town residence just before I received your late answer and the Servant said you would be in town this next week.

If you could give me a call (& let me know when) I would be at Wardour St. or I will call at your residence if you will permit me & bring the sickle if I can find it & one or two other things. I have no set address for a week or two.

I remain, Sir,
Your obedient servant

A post card to 166 Wardour St will always find me

Gen'l Pitt Rivers FRS




Bentcliffe Eales [sic]

Nov 14th 91

My dear General

Many thanks for your note. There can really be no doubt that the real name of the Roman embossed pots with red varnish is aretine where they were made where the debris still occur and whence potters emigrated to Cologne & Treves where they imitated them. I am not sure that three antiquaries who [illegible] class the highly finished pieces found in Britain as Malean [?] are right. I have a notion that they could make just as good pots glass etc on the Rhine as anywhere I dont know what signs to discriminate the Italian pots by. There was also a large manufactory of the same ware at Clermont Ferrand. I have bought both pots & moulds there and also duffers all found in the place. and pots with similar names of potters have occurred in Britain. It may be that the finer ones are from Clermont & not from the Rhine. The name Samian is assuredly a misnomer. Pots were made at Samos 200 years before Christ of which there

A... [illegible] ones were possibly imitations, at least P[illegible] thinks so.

The [illegible] I told you about is a Japanese called Kataska & his address is 32 George Street Hanover Square. He has a good deal of knowledge but in my opinion is very dear

There is a man called Lasham in Bond Street who has some fine things & is a very decent fellow

The stirrups & saddle I had sent to your address If you dont care for them I will have them sent for as I have another friend who is collecting. I have got a set myself and think them very interesting I hope you are very flourishing

Yours very sincerely

Harry H. Howorth




20 Nov '91

Dear General

I take the liberty of sending you some rough outlines of a few antique relics that have lately come into my possession from a friend of Wimborne where they were found; on the site, I am told of the old Town Mill, which originally belonged to the Monastery, & stood near the river south of the Town. The things are in a good state of preservation & having been found at a spot within [illegible insert] the outer boundary of Cranborne Chase I thought they might afford you the greater interest; at any rate I will with pleasure request yr. acceptance for either yr Tollard or Farnham Museum on receipt of yr reply favouring the presentation, & would sned them as soon as an opportunity offers.

In reference to my sketches I will just observe that the Spur is a good specimen I should think of the Norman period: & is an excellent example of the "Prick Spur". At the extremity of one of the arms there are two small rivets which no doubt fastened the strap of or attachment to the boot. The other things consist principally of knives which are in good preservation, with the exception of the loss of their bone or wooden handles. Fig. 11 is, I think, a most interesting example of an early pocket knife, which was evidently invented before the use of the spring. The handle consists of two iron plates which form both sheath & handle, the blade still in situ & is apparently sound, but I have not attempted to open it. Fig. 8 is a Fork, which retains its handle, apparently formed of bone. Fig. 9 is either an implement or weapon, it reminds me of the Angon, Teutonic javelin figured by C.R. Smith in Coll Antiq vol 5. pl. XI but being neither barbed nor socketed I suppose it was not intended for use as a weapon. There are several other things of less note, as, Two antique keys, (good) - Two large headed nails three rings two of these, the largest, I thought might be brass or bronze. but on lightly rubbing with fine sandpaper I thought they were metallic and had been gilt.

I should put down these articles of late Norman or early English, 11th or 12th century. But I should like to know what you think of them. I had almost forgotten a queer sort of iron article which I take to be a weighing machine.

I would take the things to the Museum myself but fear the reason is too far advanced for me to venture so far.

Believe me, Dear Gen'l

Yours very truly

T.W. Wake Smart



Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society

Nov 21 1891

Clyffe Vicarage,
Wootton Bassett, Wilts.

Dear General Pitt Rivers,

Thanks for the Wansdyke paper received today. You shall receive proof of it for correction as soon as it is in print which may not be for some little while yet.

I have written to a friend in N. Devon asking him to procure and send you one of the wooden pitchers when he has an opportunity. I will let you know the cost thereof.

We have no account of King John's House in our magazine - and as only a limited number of [insert] our [end insert] members have access to your Book upon it I think it is very desirable that an account should appear in it. if possible in the next number that will include the report of our Wilton meeting & excursions.

Could you find time to write us a short account of it, giving the most important points as to its History, & restorations & present use.

I should be very grateful if you could do this. Anytime within the next three months would do very well

I am
Faithfully yrs
Ed. H. Goddard




Cranborne 25 Nov. '91

Dear General

I quite omitted to mention that I have also several bits of pottery which are said to have been found with the other things, each of them shews strong glaze of common yellowish colour. I made particulars requests to be favoured with further details of the find, but I have received no other than the things were found in an excavation 10 or 12 ft deep on the site of the old Town Mill.

It would give me much pleasure if you favoured me with a call, but it is a long drive and the days are short, and I could send a parcel to you by our [illegible] Cart to Long Critchel if you can get it from thence. I have sent you a copy of my paper in the forthcoming Vol: of the Field Club, recently received from the Printer, if you will kindly accept it. I think you will say that Mr Monke's drawings of the [illegible] are remarkably well done.

I must trouble you with a postscript to this note in reference to yr mention of Bokerley and am, dear General,

Yours very truly

T.W.W. Smart

[PS not transcribed]



Thursday Nov. 26/ 91

Dear General

I am extremely sorry to bore you with another note today, but it is necessary to me to do so in consequence of some information I have received this afternoon from the young person who brought me the things from her friend in Wimborne, she certainly gave me to understand that I might do what I pleased with them. The owner being a stranger to me I thought the treatment way almost too liberal, but I took her at her word. I am now told that she w'd wish to have them again, & I have requested the young person to write to her friend by today's post & let her know how matters stand, viz that I have offered them to you for the Farnham Museum and that you would gladly accept them. Whether the owner (Mrs Hopkins) in Wimborne is fishing for a honorarium I do not know but it looks like it. I hope I shall know her answer very soon, & will immediately on receipt let you know. I need hardly say that this worries me very much but I hope it will be soon made straight. The things will certainly remain in my hands for second day to come & I should be pleased to shew them to you

Yours truly

T.W.W. Smart

Lieut Genl A Pitt Rivers FRS &c



[Ans'd Dec. 3/91]

Thames Bank,
Gt. Marlow

Dec. 1. 91.


I heard from Mr Gosselin / R. Archaeological Inst'e/, this morning, that you had been making enquiries concerning my collection of Scandinavian objects lately exhibited there, especially the Tapestry.

I am sorry to say the whole collection is for sale, as my Father means to dispose of this house, & I am not likely to have space &c. for its wherever I settle.

The British Museum have bought all the prehistoric Norwegian things & a few medieval - viz (in the catalogue) Nos. 3 to 69 inclusive [insert] also Icelandic bone-skates No. 184 [end insert];* the S. Kensington have bought 3 Tapestry sleigh-cushions Nos. 202, 205, 206; & have not yet made up their minds whether they will take the Lapland hand-weaving apparatus, No. 152.**

Balfour, for you Oxford collection has bought the Danish Kitchen Midden things, Nos. 1 & 2. Iron spade tip, 135. Root-rope. 137. Seven Lapland bone spoons 154-160. Lapland needle case 165. Lapland modern snaphaunce rifle 173. Iceland stone hammer 188. ***

I do not myself know the market value of these things, & have been puzzled to put a price on the things already sold.

I am
Faithfully yours
Alfred Heneage Cocks

Balfour would have bought several other things, he says the funds at his disposal are exhausted.

Gen. Pitt-Rivers FRS &c.



34 Charing Cross Road
Leicester Square
London W.C. Dec'br 8th 1891

Please address: Geo. R. Harding

Harold Gray Esq.

Dear Sir

In reply to your favour I beg to say that General Pitt Rivers is mistaken about the Tiles.*

I bought them in October 1887 from an employé [sic] of the Indo-European Telegraph Coy. who himself bought them from the interior of Persia where they were stolen from a ruined Mosque or other temple, the building being watched by soldiers who instantly shot any person doing so, but that these were obtained during the night; they are Persian of the 12th Cent. I sold several to the British Museum** and others to various private collectors.

I may add that there are only 3 tiles now left in stock

I am Dear Sir
Yours obediently
Geo. R. Harding



University Museum, Oxford

Dec. 14. 1891

Dear General Pitt-Rivers

I have had the notice of your Society of Arts paper for Wed'y evening, and as Mrs Tylor will be in town I hope to go up & join her & be present.

I wonder whether the Tower [of London] authorities would make it possible to fill one or two gaps in the Firearms Series by models. It could be well too I think to have a model of the Old English Yew Bow, and the "cloth-yard shaft", unless there is any possibility of original specimens

Believe me
Yours [illegible]
Edward B Tylor

Transcribed by AP May/ June 2011 as part of the Rethinking Pitt-Rivers project

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