S&SWM PR papers L767


[Ansd Nov 7 / 91 Photo x catalogue returned]

Bryce-Wright | 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

Pitt-Rivers does not appear to have bought this Collection.



Bryce-Wright | 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

There is no Chinese sickle listed in the second collection catalogue so perhaps Bryce Wright was unable to find it.



L1091 Honduras objects  copyright S&SWM PR papers

199 Wardour St W. | London Nov. 2nd 94


I have at last been enabled to follow up & discover the owner of the Great Honduras Flint implement & as promised I communicate with you first about it. It was found with a series of other specimens as per list enclosed in Honduras about 20 years ago. The owner is aware of the other specimens extant & has really never been willing to dispose of it. Since I have been in communication with him I have tried every means to get him to consent to sell it alone but fruitless.

He has however consented to sell the whole find & I can offer it to you for 50£ the whole.

I have seen the Implement which is in fine condition & is 12 1/2 inches long & 3 inches wide. I have not seen any of the other objects but the list explains them.

I have got the refusal for a day or so [illegible] so if you would like to procure them and will say I will take them provided the fine Implement is as stated. I will procure them at once & send them. I am afraid any day of them being offered elsewhere so should be pleased to have the honour of an early reply.

In writing to me the gentleman alludes to those known.

I enclose a reduced sketch of the Implement & also of portion of a carved stone vase.

Yours obediently
Bryce Wright

Lt. Genl. A Pitt-Rivers, F.R.S.

Complete List of the Collection
British Honduras

No 1. Unique Serrated Flint Implement 12 1/2 in. long

No 2. Ovoid Flint Implement 7 1/2 inches long

No 3. Ovoid Flint Implement 3 3/4 inches long

No 4. Portion of Carved Stone Vase

No 5. Portion of Carved Stone Vase

No 6. Stone Whistle

No 7. Fragment of terra cotta vase with a pattern

No 8. Fragment of terra cotta vase with a pattern

No 9. Fragment of terra cotta vase with a pattern

No 10. Handle of terra cotta vase

No 11. Terra cotta beads (44 in all)

No 12. Human head

No 13. Hand & part of Arm.

No 14. Foot & part of leg.

No 15. Hand with Cup & Ball

No 16. Owl's Head

No 17. Animals head

No 18. Animals head

No 19. Animals head

No 20. Animals head

No 21. Animals head

No 22 Obsidian Core.

The above constitute the Find having been discovered in one place in Honduras about 20 years ago.

Not belonging to the find but included in the Collection

No 23. A Carib Stone Implement

No 24. Shell Implement, Barbadoes

These items are not listed in the catalogue of the second collection so presumably Pitt-Rivers decided not to buy them.

Another letter from Bryce Wright dated 7.3.1889 is given here.

Transcribed by AP for Rethinking Pitt-Rivers May/ June 2011

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