Items located at Larmer Gardens and King John's House on Pitt-Rivers' estate

Larmer Gardens:

These pleasure gardens were established on Pitt-Rivers estate and were very popular. They are still open today. Pitt-Rivers arranged for a small number of decorative items to be placed in the grounds for his visitors' education and amusement. Others seemed to have been stored there for a short time. 27 objects in total are listed as being placed at the Larmer Gardens. These were:

  • Two vases from Cyprus, obtained from the Cesnola-Lawrence collection and acquired via Sothebys in 1883 [Add.9455vol1_p242 /2-3]
  • Three necklaces from Africa (held in the 'green room store', later moved to Rushmore) [Add.9455vol1_p264 /4-6]
  • Three necklaces from Tasmania, Australia (held in the 'green room store', later moved to Rushmore) [Add.9455vol1_p265 /1-3]
  • Ornaments from many places (held in the 'store room', later moved to Rushmore) [Add.9455vol1_p265 /4-7]
  • A pair of circular tables with 'slabs of antique Egyptian porphyry on metal gilt tripods chased with satyr’s masks' purchased at Christie's in 1885 (located in 'stone room') [Add.9455vol2_p115 /4]
  • 'Picture Subject a Lady writing...' purchased from Christie's, located in 'Larmer dining room' [Add.9455vol2_p125 /4]
  • A pair of Square Scagliola Porphry Columns with rams’ heads and festoons of flowers in relief, and statuary marble slabs at the top purchased at Christie's in 1887 [Add.9455vol2_p330 /5]
  • Persian plate obtained at Sasson in 1892 (located in the 'Oriental room') [Add.9455vol3_p871 /3]
  • Two teak carvings of Burmese animals (located in the 'General's room') [Add.9455vol3_p1001 /3-3]
  • A pair of Kashmiri silver candlesticks (located in the 'top golf room') [Add.9455vol3_p1187 /1
  • Two carved wooden ends of houses from Burma 'used for building purposes' and bought from Fenton & Sons [Add.9455vol4_p1283 /1-2]
  • An 'old spinet' made in 1778 which was located in the 'golf room' [Add.9455vol4_p1297 /1]

In addition there was an embroidered table-cloth bought from Lady Blackett which had been exhibited at Larmer Exhibition in September 1895 which was actually located at Rushmore after purchase. [Add.9455vol3_p1225 /2]

To find out more about Larmer Grounds go here.

King John's House

174 objects were listed as being located at King John's House. It was set up to show some of his fine art collection and Far Eastern collections. He seems to have divided his second collection more or less as a museum such as the British, Ashmolean or Fitzwilliam museum of today might. Ethnographic or social history items are not considered in the same galleries as items of Oriental art such as Japanese ceramics, or European oil paintings or watercolours. So proud was Pitt-Rivers of this collection that one of his privately printed catalogues was devoted to its objects. These will be considered in detail elsewhere on this website. To find out more about King John's House go here.


AP, 1 June 2010

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