Dealers Correspondence A-J

B series S&SWM PR papers

Here are a selection of the letters from various dealers who Pitt-Rivers dealt with when amassing his second collection. They are all held by Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum Pitt-Rivers papers, in the business section of the archive and copyright remains with them:

Index of dealers with letters below:

Bryce Wright

Carter & Co. Poole

William Cross

W.D. Cutter

E. Cutter

S. Egger

Halstaff & Hannaford


Hirsch (on behalf of Ludwig Lindenschmit, Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum)


B403 Copyright S&SWM PR papers

B403 Bryce Wright

Bryce-Wright | Mineralogist & Expert in Gems & Precious Stones | The Museum 26, Savile Row, W.

March 7th 89


I have a good armlet & a gold hair ornament you might like to see - The armlet is as follows [Drawing] & the ornament of spiral this [drawing] but [illegible] extend Gold with twisted Ends also a series of Maori [illegible]

I remain, Sir,
Yours obediently
Bryce Wright

Lieut Genl Pitt Rivers FRS

Pitt-Rivers does not appear to have purchased either of these items, or at least they are not listed in the catalogue of the second collection. Other letters from Bryce Wright can be found here


B404 Carter & Co.

Ansd Sept 19/95

Telegraphic Address: Carters Pottery, Poole Telephone No 19 | Carter & Co. Encaustic Tile Works Poole Dorset | Decorative Art Potters | Manufacturers of every description of tiles for floors, wall, hearths, Cheeks, Grates, &c &c Decorative Faience, Mosaic, Lustres &c | O.C. Aug 31st 1895

General Pitt Rivers | Rushmore, near Salisbury


We have much pleasure in sending today packed in one box and carriage paid, a few sample vases addressed to you at Tisbury Station till called for. We regret that we have not been able to send some better and more elaborate articles. We have however only commenced this department a few months. Had the notice been longer we should have been able to have done something specially. We trust however on a future occasion if we might be allowed to send something that the assortment may be more varied and of a higher art merit. One of the vases is a ruby lustre; the production of this class of ware we have given a great deal of time and attention to. We enclose in the box 2 or 3 cards if you wish to place anything against the articles to identify these with us.


We are, Sir,
Yours faithfully
Charles [illegible]

Telegraphic Address: Carters Pottery, Poole Telephone No 19 | Carter & Co. Encaustic Tile Works Poole Dorset | Decorative Art Potters | Manufacturers of every description of tiles for floors, wall, hearths, Cheeks, Grates, &c &c Decorative Faience, Mosaic, Lustres &c | 1022 O.C. Sept 20th. 1895

Mr Harold Gray | Rushmore, Salisbury

Dear Sir,

Your favour duly to hand for which we thank you. We are pleased to hear that General Pitt Rivers purposes permanently exhibiting the specimens we sent. As they were of so simple a character we should be very glad if the General would allow us to make no charge. The exhibiting will doubtless be of some extent an advertisement for us. We are making some more elaborate articles of the same description and we hope on a future occasion if we are asked to send anything that our specimens may be of a higher merit.

We are, Sir,
Yours faithfully

See Add.9455vol3_p1199 /1 and on for these objects. Pitt-Rivers did not request more items from them, or at least if he did they are not listed in the catalogue of the second collection.


B407 Cross of Liverpool

Ansd Dec 6/98

December 2nd 1898

Cross, Liverpool | Telephone No. 6491

To General A. Pitt-Rivers | Rushmore | Salisbury

Mr Cross begs most respectfully to inform Gen. A. Pitt-Rivers that he is sending the Benin objects and others this day by passenger train to Tisbury station. Upon the other side is a complete list. Among the Benin bronzes, there is out of especial interest, it is the figure probably of a priest in solid bronze and upon which are curiously worked figures of a Cross, Beads, Girdle, etc. Mr Cross has had probably more Benin specimens through his hands than anyone living, yet he has not had anything to compare with this figure, to which he places an especial value, because it indicates with some sort of definiteness the origin and date of these specimens, however General A Pitt-Rivers will perhaps communicate directly they are inspected & state the value of any specimens detected [?] A connosseiur who called here to see these specimens wished Mr Cross to reserve four of them for him but having previously written to General A. Pitt-Rivers Mr Cross declined to reserve them.

List of specimens sent

* 1 [insert] solid [end insert] Benin bronze figure, with Cross, Beads, Girdle

1 [Benin bronze figure] with crest on head from Kings juju home

1 [Benin bronze figure] form Queens compound

1 Gold Coast bronze weight from Prempets palace

1 River Niger (Asaba) state court spear

[Added?] (not sent) 1 Wood stool Gold Coast

1 four bladed paddle River Benin

2 two bladded paddles River Benin

1 ivory war horn, Rings house, Benin city

1 Ancient head of an extinct race of Indians from Peru. A curious type with low forehead, large cheekbones and coarse black hair much resembling the Malay head.

PS Mr Cross has not sent the stool he thinks it is not required

Mr Cross has not at present either laughing jackasses or wallabys but he will inform Gen. A. Pitt-Rivers the first he receives. At this season of the year he has not much in stock, about 28 lions 6 tigers 23 panthers, 2 black panthers 27 polar bears 23 cassowaries 200 baboons apes & monkeys 200 pythons, a Rhinoceros, 2 Gigantic pythons 24 feet, perhaps however some of the lesser things would be taken. A small herd of 10 golden agouti £12 10/- pretty [illegible] breed & live on the lawn. Coati mundi. Crown Cranes. Norfolk Prairie Marmot. Macaws. Tame crested screamer fallows one, Canada geese. Mile geese. Bran [?] geese. Arctic snow geese. A miniature Shetland pony 34 inches Rare Amazons & [illegible] Lories Large purple Gali... Nicobar pigeons, Abyssinian francolins 12 large ...., a fine Argentine game bird size of a pheasant which bid fair to become naturalized in England.

Also following Museum specimens

Giant hippopotamus head

Giant elephant head

Giant Elephant skin, head & all perfect to stuff (Barnums largest) Giant Red Kangaroo perfect to stuff, Lions, Lionesses, Tigers, Panthers, perfect to stuff 3 Enormous Snakes 23 feet long skeleton and skin perfect to stuff Python reticulata 4 Elephant feet to mount as snuff-holders, tobacco jars etc 1 Orang Outang to mount 1 Giant Himalayan Bear 3 Egyptian mummies

The objects Pitt-Rivers purchased from Cross are Add.9455vol6_p1779 /1 and on


B408 W.D. Cutter

W.D. Cutter 36 Gt Russell Street Bloomsbury W.C. | London Oct 13th 1882

General Pitt Rivers | Rushmore | Salisbury


I sent off the ebonised plate stands today packed in a box, for this size the lowest price I could get them for was 3/0 each & I hope they will meet your approval.

I beg to remain,
Your obedient Servt
W.D. Cutter

There is no record in the second collection catalogue of Pitt-Rivers purchasing anything from Cutter in 1882


B409 E. Cutter

From Miss E. Cutter 36 Great Russell Street Bloomsbury London W.C. Antiquities, Curiosities, Natural History Specimens | Oct 21st 1896 To Genl Pitt Rivers Rushmore Salisbury

Dear Sir

I regret to say I have no Dyak shields just now, I sold two last week. I will write to you should I get any.

I remain
Yours truly
E. Cutter

Pitt-Rivers did not purchase a 'Dyak' shield from Cutter, or least one is not recorded in the second collection catalogue.


B412 S. Egger

Budapest Lloydgebaude |Saison Carlsbad Malteserkreuz | S. Egger & Comp. Münz- und Antiquitäten-handlung Wien, Kohlmarkt 8, Wallnerstrasse 1 | Vienna 12th December 1881

Dear Sir

After much troubles it succeeded us to acquire a very nice Celtic sword which we allow us to offer you.

The last price of it is £20.-.- and it is of an especially form and size. We request for a very soon answer, as we cannot reserve a piece like that for a long time.

We remain Dear Sir from very truly

S. Egger Co

Drawing [drawing attached]

Honble | General Pitt Rivers | London

Pitt-Rivers does not appear to have purchased this sword, or at least it is not listed in the catalogues for the founding or second collections.


B416 Halstaff & Hannaford

Ansd Aug 3/95

Halstaff & Hannaford | 228 Regent Street | Dealers and Importers of fine Japanese & other foreign goods, porcelain, lacquer, ivory carving, enamels, metals etc. | Established 1825 | July 31 1895


We have just received some very fine quality Old metal sword guards Iron and bronze two of which are beautifully inlaid with enamel, two or three are Shibuitchi and Shakudo all of them are 17th or 18th Century pieces, and by well known masters, I would esteem it a great favour if you would kindly allow me to send them down to you to see, there is 16 of them, & could be sent by Parcel Post, but I feel sure you would be interested as I have never had any as good before Awaiting the favour of a reply

Yours obediently
for Halstaff & Hannaford
JH Housman

Pitt-Rivers did obtain 2 tsubas from Halstaff & Hannaford but in June 1895 so presumably these are not from this batch, see Add.9455vol3_p1130 /2-3.


B417 Hann

Ansd Sept 4/96

107 Praed St | Paddington | Aug 29.96

W. Hann presents his compliments to Major Pitt Rivers and has taken the liberty to enclose a list of Paintings (on Bark) of Gods which are for disposal Knowing that Major Pitt Rivers is an authority in such matters.

The paintings can be seen in London at any time or could be sent for inspection

[Printed list attached with card which says Imperial Cycle Bazaar, not transcribed]

These items do not appear in the catalogue of the second collection, they are apparently Buddhist.


B421 Hirsch (on behalf of Ludwig Lindenschmit, Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum)

George Hirsch, Speditions-Geschäft | Reichsbank Giro-Conto. | Mainz den 25th Sept 1882

To General Pitt Rivers 4 Grosvenor Gdns London W.


Dr Lindenschmidt, the director of the "Romisch-Germanisches-Central-Museum" of this town has instructed me to forward two cases, containing metal goods, to your address at the same time asking me to reimburse myself on delivery for £95.13/- as well as for my own charges thereof. I beg to inform you that there will be an additional fee of at least 50/- to be paid in that case, which however would be avoided by your sending me a cheque for the amount aforesaid.

Please let me know by return of post whether you wish me to pay on receipt of the goods or whether you will send a cheque.

Your obedt servant
George Hirsch


George Hirsch, Speditions-Geschäft | Reichsbank Giro-Conto. | Mainz den 7th Oct 1882

To General Pitt Rivers 4 Grosvenor Gdns London W.


I beg to confirm my letter of 25th Sept and having had no reply from you whatever I have shipped the two cases viz ROM 1/2 to London  via Rotterdam [illegible] Messrs Langstaff, Ehrenberg & Pollack of 60 King William Street E.C. will deliver same to you against payment of £97.2/-

You will also please to pay their charges on these goods & oblige

Your obedt servant
George Hirsch

These objects are Add.9455vol2_p344 /1 and following


B422 Hyams

Frank Hyams | 167 New Bond Street | London W. January 3rd 1899 | Also at Dunedin New Zealand | By special appointment Their Excellencies Sir Wm Jervois The Earl of Onslow The Earl of Glasgow

Dear Sir

I am this day in receipt of your dated 2nd Am sorry I havse not a catalogue.

The many curios I have at above address are from my museum in New Zealand

I should be glad if when next in London you could find time to visit my rooms as I am sure there are many things you would be interested in.

The working of the New Zealand greenstone into artistic articles has been [illegible] for many years I am now able to show some specimens of same

I am, dear Sir
Your obediently
[illegible but presumably Frank] Hyams

General Pitt-Rivers | Rushmore | Salisbury

Pitt-Rivers did purchase some items from Hyams in February, May and November 1899.

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

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