S&SWM PR papers L2201 to end of L series

S&SWM PR papers L2201- end of L series


32 Prescot Street | Halifax | 2/X/98

General Pitt-Rivers F.R.S.

My dear Sir

The photographs to hand with thanks.

I enjoyed my visit to Rushmore the only drawback being your absence however Mrs Pitt-Rivers was most kind. You have certainly a very good collection of Benin articles & in so far as my memory serves me more representative than that of the British Museum; Read seems to have missed opportunity after opportunity by letting articles go past him

I am sending the carved ivory & coc not on approval, as it will be more satisfactory for you to see what you are purchasing. I have pointed out to my brother that I think the prices (£8.-.- & £5.-.-) are too high & have suggested to him [insert] that [end insert] £6.-.- & £4.-.- would be reasonable. He is away at present but will be back in the course of 3 or 4 days when I have no doubt he will fall-in with my views.

The Studio will shortly publish a fairly exhaustive paper for me on the toreutic work of Benin & I have also a short paper on personal ornaments from Benin forthcoming in the Bulletin of the Philadelphia Museum. I will send you reprints as soon as I get them.

I enclose a list of Benin articles in your collection of which I would be much obliged if you could let me have photographs.

With Lady Grove I left a reprint of my brother's on the Benin Expedition & also a reprint of Major Lennard's paper on the Bendi expedition. You will no doubt have received them.

Im the Pitt-Rivers Museum at Oxford there is a Tasmanian fire drill; can you tell me whether it was in the Barnard Davis collection & if so whence did he get it? The Tasmanian protector Robinson was after leaving Tasmania, protector of aborigines in Victoria & he has mixed up Tasmanian & Victorian articles. I would be much obliged if you could throw some light on this matter?

Yours very truly
Henry Ling Roth

Photographs of Benin articles

p. 1623 Ivory mask

1624 Staff

1629 ditto ivory

1682 double bladed paddle

1695 head ornament

1697 agate head dress

1711 necklace

1712 box lid (?)

1714 coral wisk [sic]

1718 brass box

1674 Brass powder flask

1717 staff ("line" period)

? wooden panel [drawing]

? armlet perforated, with figures



4 Warwick Studios

Kensington W


To General Pitt Rivers

Dear Sir

I am doing the Annunciation panel in enamel over again, remedying the defects you pointed out. It will be finished very soon when I will send it on to you. I have thought a great deal about the Lama [sic – presumably Larmer] you wrote about as forming a subject for enamel. I should like to do it very much.

- introducing figures in a play as you suggested

- Could you send you send me photographs or drawings of the place upon which I might make a design – which I should be very glad to submit to you before carrying out

Yours faithfully

Alexander Fisher



Memorandum | Arthur Conyers | Blandford [business address]

Oct'r 7 1898

To: General Pitt Rivers


I am taking the liberty to send you a pice [sic] of wood which has been dug up whilst making the new line at Blandford it is very much like a horse foot and I thought it might interest you.

I Remain
Your Obed Servant


General Pitt Rivers begs to thank Mr Conyers for the piece of wood in form of horse's foot found at Blandford



28 Oct 1898 | British Museum | London W.C.

My dear General

I am very sorry to hear of your being laid up again. It is not promising just at the beginning of the winter

My man went away without sending the figure (Benin) that you bought from Forbes - but it went off yesterday to Tisbury station.

AS to the two plaques from the Foreign Office. I informed them on the 27 July that you had agreed to take Nos 310 & 311 at £7 & £9 I presume they expected you to send them a cheque. However I will write today to say that you are ready to receive them & pay for them. & you will hear definitely soon

Yours very truly
Charles H Read

I hope I shall in time receive your fourth vol: which I hear is out - you will remember that I kept Sir Wollaston's copy - returning you mine



Cheque sent Nov 2/98 £16

Downing Street, London | 31st October 1898

Niger Coast Protectorate


We are informed by Mr C.H. Read of the British Museum that you are desirous of purchasing two more plaques - Nos 310 and 311 - from Benin City, the prices of which are £7 and £9 each respectively. If therefore you will send us a cheque for £16 we will hand the plaques over to Mr Harding of St James's Square to pack and despatch as he did on a former occasion, and we suggest that you should instruct him accordingly.

I am,
Your Obedient Servant,

E [illegible]

General Pitt Rivers, D.C.L. | Rushmore | Salisbury



The Free Public Museums. Liverpool | Nov 1st 1898

General Pitt Rivers | Rushmore Salisbury

Dear Sir,

Your letter of the 27th Oct to Dr Forbes (who is now on his way to Socotra) has been opened by Mrs Forbes & handed to me. I understood Dr Forbes to say that he was enclosing you [sic] telegram to Mr Read at the British Museum with a request to forward the Benin figure to you & thought you had received it. I am writing to Mr Read tonight to ask him to kindly forward it on to you as requested if such has not already been done

I am, Dear Sir,
Yours truly
P. Entwistile
Asst. Curator



Ansd Dec 3/98

Nash Mills | Hemel Hempstead | Dec'r 1 1898

My dear Pitt Rivers

We are off to Egypt in ten days time. Is there anything that I can do for you there? We shall probably get up as far as the second cataract - I saw Sir John Lubbock last night and I was sorry that he could not give a better account of your health. I hear that the 4th volume of your Excavations is out. May I venture to make an application for a copy or is it "dans le commerce" With our united kind regards believe me

yours sincerely
John Evans



6 Dec 1898 | British Museum | London W.C.

My dear General

I can settle your tiles. They are from Pegu not India & represent Jatakar. The whole story is too long to give you in a letter but you can find a great deal more than I know & pictures besides, in the Indian Antiquary XXII p. 727 in a paper by Col. Temple, Sir Richard's son.

We have highly finished and throughly artistic glazed tiles from Persia dated AD 1261 - I scarcely think these Pegu tiles are earlier than that though they may be.

Your last letter had a melancholy strain that rather distressed me. I am glad to hear you talk of a new room & its arrangement. I will try and come down some time early in the year if I may.

Yours very truly
Charles H Read



Cloth Copy * | Sent Dec 29/98

Ethnographical Department | (Pitt Rivers Collection) | University Museum | Oxford | 23.12.98

Dear General Pitt Rivers

I should greatly like to have the 4th vol of your "Excavations" to complete the set which you have so kindly sent me. I look forward to reading your recent results, as also to possessing another of the splendid volumes. I hope that your health has been better of late. With kind regards and many thanks in anticipation of receiving your new volume

yrs very truly
Henry Balfour




Ethnographical Department | (Pitt Rivers Collection) | University Museum | Oxford | 4.1.99

Dear General Pitt Rivers

Very many thanks for the new volume of Excavations, which has duly arrived. It is a truly splendid work, & I look forward to reading its contents, particularly the parts referring to Bronze Age. I have for a long time been anxious to place in this Museum some portrait of yourself, but I have so far not come across any published engraving or other representation which I could purchase, so I am writing in the hopes that you may have one which you could spare, & which you would be kind enough to give to the Museum. I am anxious in every way to identify as fully as possible your name with the Museum, & I am sure that some portrait would greatly further this object. I am sure that you will forgive me asking you.

With kind regards and again many thanks

Believe me
Yrs very truly
Henry Balfour



Ansd Feb 20/99

Mr H. Clayton Manisty presents his compliments to General Pitt-Rivers and begs to enclose a Roman coin found last summer (1898) in Silchester Camp.

As Mr Manisty understands that Genl. Rivers is interested in coins & has a splendid Museum at the Larmer Tree (which he hopes to visit) he offers the coin at such sum as Genl. Rivers shall consider a fair value as Mr Manisty is not a collector.

Hayling Island

10th Jany 1899



Ansd Feb 8/99 Coin not received at all | Manisty

Mr H. Clayton Manisty presents his compliments to General Pitt-Rivers and wishes to mention that some weeks ago, he sent to General Rivers a note, enclosing a Roman coin taken last summer out of the Roman city at Silchester, Hants Hearing that General Rivers was a Collector & had a Museum in Dorsetshire Mr Manisty offered it at such price as might be deemed reasonable.

Mr Manisty fears the letter must have miscarried

Hayling Island

5th Feby 1899



Manisty | Ansd Feb. 10/99

Mr H. Clayton Manisty begs to thank General Pitt-Rivers for his letter of the 8th inst.

Mr Manisty foolishly did not register his letter posted some weeks ago from here (Hayling Island) [insert] addressed "Rushmore, Dorset" [end insert] & enclosing a Roman coin in good state of preservation bearing a Roman Head inside with laurel [insert] or other [end insert] leaves on the side & several letters on the other "Vot." in the centre

Mr Manisty is making inquiries but fears nothing can be made out satisfactorily.

Mr Manisty had fully intended to leave the coin in person, when residing in Wiltshire last & had obtained the coin within two miles of Silchester by mere accident Mr Manisty would be extremely obliged if General Pitt-Rivers could instruct his Clerk to kindly send him a "Guide" which he saw when in Wiltshire and will remit stamps on learning the amount.

The guide [insert] to Tollard Royal &c [end insert] was written by General Pitt-Rivers

Hayling Island



Ansd. Feb 23/99 1/- sent for Coin

Mr H. Clayton Manisty begs to thank Genl Pitt Rivers for his note of the 20th inst and while regretting that the Roman Coin is of so little value hopes that Genl. Pitt Rivers will add it to his Collection.

Mr Manisty has handed part of Genl. Pitt Rivers letter to the Postal Authorities with whom he was in communication. If a copy of Genl. Pitt Rivers Guide to the Larmer Tree &c (any old copy will do) can be found, Mr Manisty would be extremely obliged by its being sent to him at this address and Mr Manisty hopes to visit Tollard Royal in the Summer & obtain the new guide.

Hayling Island

21st Feby 1899



Forbes Ansd

Shillingstone | Dorset | May 29th

Dear General Pitt Rivers

A curious old clock was taken down from Shillingstone church tower about 6 years ago, & is about to be thrown away. it has two weights, one an enormous stone, & the other iron covered with lead, they hung on ropes, the whole structure was extremely simple the clock had no face & only struck the hours, it had to be wound up every day. If you think it would be worth preserving for the Museum, Mr Gascoigne will be glad to give it to you & I can get it taken as far as Gunville fi you could send for it from there, it seems to me a pity to let it be destroyed. I hope you are better than when I saw you in the winter?

Believe me,
Yours sincerely
Julia Forbes



Forbes Ansd June 14/99

Shillingstone | Dorset | June 10th

Dear General Pitt Rivers

I sent my cart all the way to the Museum with the clock which I hope you will find interesting. I can find out nothing about it, though I had an interesting conversation with the old clerk now 84 years old, who woud it up for 50 years, & remembered deer stealing, when the deer was concealed in the church tower, also that some men, two sons of the then clerk, who were afterwards transported for burglary were concealed in the tower for several weeks. I am very sorry to hear that you are so unwell.

Yours sincerely
Julia Forbes



Answered as to safe arrival 31 August 1899

4 Warwick Studios | Kensington | 29 August 1899

To General Pitt Rivers

Dear Sir

I have done the little annunciation panel over again. It has been exhibited at the Royal Academy. I have put it in a hammered silver frame which is partly gilt as being more suitable to the design. Sir Edward Pointer admired it very much. In work of this character the faces and hands are not expected to have all that finish and refinement which can be obtained in a painted enamel. If you do not want the silver setting I will remove it and put it into a wooden frame as before. The extra cost of this frame is £10. I shall be very sorry to alter it as so many people have admired it. I know that this enamel is very much better in every way than the other and hope that you will think so. It has been a pleasure for me to do it although there is much more work in it

Yours faithfully

Alex Fisher

I send it with this by post



26 Sept 1899 | British Museum | London W.C.

My dear General

I have heard divers accounts of you lately - I hope the best of them are true. I had intended to propose paying you a visit before the British Assocn meeting at Dover but I could not manage it. You may have seen some account of my address to Section II but I now send you a separate copy in case it may interest you. I have ventured to quote your work as you will see.

You have been getting some good things lately I heard. The Benin plaque with the tearing up of an ax is a curious one I know of one other of the same subject which I hope to get one of these days.

Yours very truly
Charles H Read



Post card sent to say the Genl was ill 24th Nov '99

Bartlow Station | Horseheath, | Cambridgeshire | 9.XI.1899

To Lieutenant General Pitt-Rivers F.R.S.

Dear Sir

For the last few years I have been much interested in the history of keys, & have appreciated your "Development and Distribution of Primitive Locks and Keys" to the full

Having a small collection of keys of my own, I have spent a considerable time in searching for information whereby I might classify it - now it occurs to me that the result of my efforts may be of use to others who have a similar interest in keys. Therefore I am arranging drawings of keys with authentic dates, collected from varied sources, chronologically from the Roman Period [insert] in Britain [end insert] up to the 18th century; Can you kindly give me any assistane in the way of references of keys to which an authentic date may be attached. My weakest period is, of course, from the 11th - 13th centuries, the greater part of my examples for the period have had to take from mss seals, stonework, & similar sources.

Please forgive the liberty I have taken in troubling you!

Yours very truly
(Miss) Catherine P. Parsons



36 Lowndes Sq | Decb 24th

Dear General,

Let me wish you a happy Xmas & prosperous New Year I send you the headdress from Beveno [sic Baveno] but I have not done it with either silk or I hair I found it so difficult. The photograph shows exactly how it is worn. I also send you the photographs of the Bull, and some others I daresay Mrs Pitt Rivers would like them and please give the one of the children to Mr Lionel as he grouped them. Grove moved which is a pity.

I will have the staircase printed on Platino [illegible] as Willy said then improve it very much with pencil or paint brush.

All here are well including Polly

Yrs very quickly

Agnes Dalton-Fitzgerald



14, St Giles | Oxford

Dear Gen Pitt Rivers

I can only send you one lock the other is locked up by means of another a third Chinese padlock of which I have mislaid the key & which I cannot succeed in picking To open this depress A as [illegible] arrow then plate C can be drawn outwards this allows plate D at the other end to be turned round half a revolution and then the long plate at bottom of the lock can be slid out exposing the keyhole

In hast

HN Moseley


[Another sheet, it is not clear if it is related, it is presumably part of another letter]

Development of Primitive Locks and Keys

Line 6 Clou French a nail add ?? Clout English provincial a boot nail

Line 7 from bottom [illegible] "too late" from zero to put. The connection between these two words in which the quantity of the e is different is very uncertain. It is still more improbable that the connection if it must be through the meaning given namely "when the bar is put up. I have this from a very expert classic. It would probably be more judicious to omit reference to zero too late as such is not necessary to the argument.

page 4 line 9 from bottom after "Pad" Dutch a path insert ?Pfad German a path

Page 8 line 6 I cant make out the three tumblers in the plate referred to a word or two more of explanation in the text or explanation of the Plate might be of advantage

NB In the first two pages several additional connections as to Capital letters require to be made



NB It is clear from the context and the catalogue of the second collection that this letter must date from 22.10.1891, however when the S&SWM PR papers were arranged this was not known so it was placed with the undated items

Ansd Objects purchased

Bentcliffe Eccles | October 22nd

My dear General

When I was at Rushmore you will remember I had a note from a man at Zurich offering some pewter plates. You said you would like them if I sent for them. They have arrived and are I think very good and as fresh as if made yesterday. You will see one of them has a portrait of Gustavus Adolphus & the heroes of the 30 years war & they are all different. I am sending them on by rail.

Another case of things has been sent me from Cologne which I think very cheap & which are in your way if you care to have them. If not you will send them back

This contains 2 Roman [insert] gold [end insert] rings [insert] cut with cameos from [end insert] Sinzig on the Rhine. They are good specimens & there is a notion that there was a manufactory there in Roman times

2 Roman pots from Cologne interesting because they are very like similar ones made in Britain one is a pretty shape & is just like a nother one in the British Museum. They represent very well the provincial vases of the Roman & show how close England the Rhine were to each other in Roman times. [sic]

3 A curious wooden disc with a man & woman on one side and a musical party on the other probably early 17th century & used for stamping cakes

4 2 pots which I think curious one is of the form which was used in Cologne in early times and  has impressed patterns. They are very seldom perfect. The other is of Frecken ware with oak leaves in relief You will see how the foot of each ring is exactly the same

5 A reliquary in silver gilt a good specimen of this kind of thing of the 17th century. They are seldom [illegible] and this is quite genuine.

The pewter plates from Meyer are 16-0-0

The other things from Cologne 12-0-0




I hope they will arrive safely, give my best regards to Mrs Pitt Rivers. Yours very truly

Henry H. Howorth


L2528 *

Bentcliffe Eccles | Nov 24th

My dear General

Many thanks for your interesting letter. Since I wrote you before I have spent an evening at Franks' as he wanted to show me a famous Gold Cup about which he will no doubt speak to you.

We also had a talk about Samian Ware, on which subject I do not agree with either Franks or Reade. I do not think there is the slightest evidence that ware in the least resembling what he calls Samian, was ever made at Samos, & I think the name has arisen from a misunderstanding in a passage of Pliny - Now we do know that ware of a similar [insert] though [end insert] but not of the same [illegible] was made at [illegible] Fragments, moulds & I believe duffers have been found at Arezzo. The ware is red, is moulded, & although lighter, is generically the same as the pieces which came from Clermont & of which I got several specimens there & I have no doubt myself, that the potters of Clermont were a colony from Arezzo or from Ciret [illegible] just as the Rhine potters were a colony from Clermont. If you are to have a generic name I think the best is the name of the place to which we can ultimately trace the manufacture. I dont object to calling all porcelain china or to calling English faience English delft, but I do object to calling all shells cockles & mussels, & giving the name Samian to ware that has absolutely nothing to do with Samos & I don't follow Franks' illustration about majolica, which was so called because the original pieces came from Majorca/ The saddles & stirrups which I spoke to you about were in a warehouse in the City, and when I got your letter, I told them to divide the collection in two one half of it being for myself, the other half I told them to put into a box, carefully packed & to leave them at your home. I thought they were all godo & beautiful specimens of work, & I am sure they all belonged to Daimios I told them to book them all to me You must not worry there is no smallest obligation for you to take them unless they quite suit you as I believe Hilton Price is anxious for some & would have them & if not these people quite understand they are to take them back again.

With our very kind regards to you all

Yours very truly

Henry H. Howorth




Dear General Pitt-Rivers

I write one line to say that my collection of Hittite and Phoenician things will continue to be on Exhibition at the Archaeol: Institute all through next week.

I am sure you will be delighted by a sight of Petrie's antiquities now on view in the Egyptian Hall.

I have been out of Town & unable to call for my textiles. Might I ask you to send them me by parcel post?

Petrie thinks some of the Textiles are so old as 200 or 300 years BC:- he agrees with me in thinking that the purple patterns are of the 4th century AD - he found a coin with some of that description.

Yours sincerely

Greville J. Chester

If you like it, I can give you a rude ancient Egyptian doll with the hair represented by beads for your Oxford Collection



Ansd Accepted


Dear Sir,

We have the honour to offer for your acceptance an Artist's Proof of the Etching of the late Prof. H.N. Moseley, which has been executed at the charges of some of his former Pupils at Oxford.

The few copies printed are being distributed to the Morphological Laboratory and other Institutions at Oxford; to the various Societies of which he was so distinguished a member; to his Wife and a few of his more intimate Friends; and to those of his Pupils who have subscribed towards the Memorial.

We beg to remain, dear Sir,
Yours faithfully
Sydney J. Hickson }
Gilbert C. Bourne  }  Committee
G. Herbert Fowler  }

It is requested that the acknowledgement of this circular be accompanied by a statement of the address to which the Etching should be sent, and directed to G. Herbert Fowler, The Zoological Laboratory, University College, London, W.C.

Gen. Pitt Rivers




Dear Gen: Pitt Rivers

Please make any selection you like for enlargement from the accompanying photos of Nepal & its people - you can have ever so many more if you like. I observe that the bills for Aug 26th are out, & so we must keep that date for the papers.

My eldest brother can go to Gaunts & represent the family!

Yours very sincerely
M.F. Billington

Any details you wd like to know about the photos I will gladly supply. Those coloured in wash are among the selection illustrating my article in the September Pearsons Magazine




57 Mount Ararat | Richmond | Oct 23rd

Dear Sir,

I thank you for your kind interview yesterday and having consulted Mr Sparkes * and my parents. I shall be pleased to have the honour of being appointed as a member of your staff, and as such you may rely upon my endeavour to give you the greatest satisfaction.

I am very desirous of continuing my connection with S. Kensington, which I hope to do by working there in the evenings **

If I am fortunate enough to be appointed, will you kindly let me know when I am to commence work.

I am, dear Sir,
Your obedient Servant
Claude W. Gray

General Pitt Rivers | London



Dear General Pitt Rivers

Mr Wareham called today, & he examined all my bric a brac, & he said that all the China including the tiles would be wellworth 25 guineas. And that a purchaser would have to give more if he bought them out of a shop. I write to ask you whether you would give me 25 guineas & let me convey the whole of the china & tiles to your house in Grosvenor Gardens. You will be sorry to hear that my dear father aged 86 had a [illegible] stroke Saturday & is not expected to live

I am so thankful to be with him. I havse been nowhere since Saturday, though my nurse is part of Lady Salisbury's party. I sent my [illegible] & neice Edith Piggott

Yrs sincerely
Isabel Burton

23 Dorset St | Portman Sq | July 29

This letter must date after the death of Richard Francis Burton in October 1891, Isabel Burton disposed of his collection and manuscripts.



Words on Fijian "Lali"

Lord Stanmore

Rushmore | Salisbury

Lord The Wind Great

I translate Ratu "Lord" and not "Chief" because Ratu is a title of birth and not of office. Every chiefs child is from birth "Ratu" (m) or "Adi" (f) but not "Turaja" TURAJA which implies the office of chief. Whatever his official rank whether Rako Tui or a simple village officer the personal title of born Fijian is always Ratu e.g. Ratu Epeli Roko Tin Tai Leon = Sir John Smith Governor of Sierra Leone.

NB In Fijian C has the sound of Th

G [has the sound of] ng

D [has the sound of] nd





Dear Gen Pitt Rivers

Please mount & treat the photographs exactly as you think best. If you wd like any more of my collection I shall be most pleased to send them, I will bring over your brass lamp, & one of the other examples of the rare old hewari work to show if you like. I think you will be able to get a good map of Nepal from Stanfords 32 Cockspurs St W., but there is also an excellent one [insert] on a small scale [end insert] in the Times atlas, & your draughtsman possibly could make an enlargement in bold line from that? And, if you liked to send me that before, I could trace onto it in colour the route one follows to enter the country. The Sisagushi pass is 5,300 & the Chandragiri 6,900 Ht elevation.

I hear that a great friend of mine is going in for the Chief Command of the London Fire Brigade - Would it be asking you too much one day in the course of a week or so, to submit a few words concerning him & his qualifications to Sir John Lubbock, as, the more known about him, the better his chance I think.

Lady Glyn told me yesterday they hoped to get your band on the 26th, so I suppose now the 27th is definitely my fixture

Yours very Truly
M.F. Billington



Transcribed for the Rethinking Pitt-Rivers project by AP August 2011


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