S&SWM PR papers L236

St Fiacre | Finistere | 27 July 1886

My dear Sir

Owing to the death of the old Monsieur du Chatellier of the chateau de Kernuz, near Pont L'abbé, I was chosen as one of the experts to value his fine collection of antiquities etc etc.

I think you told me when at Huelgoat that you had visited this collection, and I recollect your showing me a portion of gold chain (found in that neighbourhood) which you had bought at Quimper.

Allow me to ask whether it has a clasp or hook to attach it by when when [sic] worn, as the silver smith you bought it from says it had.

M. du Chatellier has the other half of the same chain about a foot in length. His silversmith obtained it from a little girl, who found it in a field which had just been ploughed up, and gave the child a trumpery silver ring for it, pretending that it was not gold! since then the child has become a "domestique" in M. du C's family and retailed this circumstance etc.

He M. du C. would like to know if your portion had really a clasp or hook of any kind. also the length of your portion.

He has sent you a copy of his pamphlet on the unique menhir found in 1878 at Kervadel en Ploubannee and [insert](now set up in M. de [sic] C's grounds) [end insert] far from Pont Labbé, but it may have been returned as they last letter to you of the 22nd Many last as they [word illegible] addressed the Pengwern Road* with the words "Gone away" written on the back of the envelope.

Yesterday I heard from Mr [illegible] at Wath near Ripen & he gives me your address 4 Grosvenor Gardens, so I lose no time in writing for the above information. Hoping that I am not giving you too much trouble.

I remain yours very truly
J.W. Lukis

This letter appears to relate to Add.9455vol3_p765 /3, described in the CUL catalogue as:

'Description of object:  c. Gold chain probably Gallo-Roman found in a field at Pont Labbe Brittany in 1878 ... (all removed to Rushmore) [Drawing]
Add.9455vol3_frontflyverso: Note ‘Missing Gold Chain 765
Deposited at:  Removed from 4 Grosvenor Gardens
Removed to: to Rushmore Gold case
Added: Oak lecturn case Rushmore corridor [in red]

* The name is definitely written 'Pengwern' but of course this was Penywern Road, where Pitt-Rivers lived until 1881. The contents of this letter would suggest that the author was William Collings Lukis (1817-1892) who wrote about the megaliths of Brittany, but the signature clearly says J.W. Lukis. W.C. Lukis died in Wath, which seems to confirm the possibility.

M. du Chatellier, was in fact Armand Maufras du Chatellier, a historian, who restored the castle.

The standing stone referred to now appears to be in the Musee de Antiquites Nationales, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, the nearest place to it appears to be Plobannalec-Lesconil.

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

prm logo