S&SWM PR papers L1401-L1600


McKenny Hughes

18 Hills Road | Cambridge | Sept 24 1895

My dear Pitt Rivers

You once showed me a solution proving the evolution of the boomerang from the battle axe - Did you ever publish tat and if so can you give me the reference.

Have you noticed the curious resemblance between the battle axe that leads up to the boomerang and the front ribs of the cetacean - [Drawing] The front ribs do not lie flat to the side of the animal but at right angles to it and the blade of the rib is slightly bent so as to appear shamfered alternately as in a boomerang. Now the bone was too heavy to spin in the air but when they imitated bone in wood, copying exactly as they always did, the wood was light enough to spin and take the peculiar course of the boomerang.

Have not you noticed this?

yours [illegible]
McKenny Hughes



Ansd Sept. 30/95

The Reliquary and Illustrated Archaeologist | 28 Gt Ormond St London W.C. | Sept 28 1895

Dear General Pitt-Rivers

I beg to thank you for the photograph of the Roman tile from Iwerne which is of such unique interest that I should certainly be glad to have your kind permission to publish it in the "Reliquary". The publication of an an [sic] illustration of the tile might elicit other opinions more valuable than my own. I think the cross within the circle on this tile has certainly a good claim to be considered [insert] one of the earliest [end insert] Christian symbols yet found in Great Britain. It would be quite impossible for anyone to prove that it was not a Christian symbol. The only question is whether it was intended for the Pagan wheel symbol, which although chiefly characteristic of the Bronze Age in Scandinavia, is I believe to be seen on one or two Roman altars in the north of England. One would expect to find the Chi-Rho monogram used in preference to the circular cross during the Romano-British period, but at the same time the [Drawing] occurs on the earliest post-Roman monuments in this country and may very well have been a recognized Christian symbol in the 4th or 5th century. On the whole I consider the probability is in favour of the Iwerne tile being Christian, but I should like to hear what some specialist in Roman things has to say about it.

I believe we have found the tombstone of Gilda's old sinner Vortipore. If so he has a very early cross of this shape [drawing] above his epitaph. This is illustrated in the October no. of the "Reliquary".

I remain
yrs. vy. sincerely
J Romilly Allen



Scranton | Oct 14/95

Gen. Pitt Rivers

Dear Sir

I have not corresponded with your lady about those relics as I agreed to before leaving England the reason is the owner is in California and I thought I would wait until she returned but as she has not returned yet I will send you a list of the relics as I have them which the owner was 40 years in gathering which embrace 20,000 pieces representing every implement used in peace or war. Of the sling stone which since have mistaken for sinkers I have 2 or 300 weighing from 1 ounce to five pounds. The arrow and spear point I have many thousand from 1/4 to 12 inches in length of any possible finish & design. Of stone picks hoes and agricultural tools I have a vast number Of death dealing mauls I have two. Of tomahawks 30 or 40. Of skinning or scalping stones some 200 of beautiful workmanship & finish. Of Pestle from 80 pounds to 6 oz I have nearly 2000, Of Indian mortar or gristmills I have 2 singular beauty, Beautifulamulets 30 or 40 - stone birds - strings of wampum - elegant gouges for digging [illegible] from canoes - ornamentalstone rings - ceremonial stones - and rare old stone and clay pipes fire stones for boiling venison corn & tobacco planters - pottery and of quoits I have 200 or 3000 awls whetstones sharpners [sic] and a thousand other things all stone found in the Lackauauna Valley every thing as marked by stencil plate but I have 17 things I do not know what they are or of what use they were put so these are numbered beside I have a collection of modern things from the Rocky Mountains Indian weapons medicine bags &c I also gave 7 Indian crania & one entire Indian skeleton 7 feet in length in a good state of preservation with 32 teeth in his jaw the one who buys it must see it to appreciate it it is one of the finest collections in America.

The price for the above collection is $ 5500 or a little less than 1200 pounds if you wish to correspond with me my address is

Rev John Davy
810 [illegible] Street
North America



The Reliquary and Illustrated Archaeologist | 28 Gt Ormond St London W.C. | Oct 23 1895

Dear General Pitt-Rivers

I enclose proof of block of Roman tile with cross upon it. If you can spare time to write a short note about it I shall be very much obliged.

I have been lately going into the question of the spiral ornament of the Irish mss. and the art of the "Late-Celtic" period, and there are some remarkable [insert] circular [end insert] enamelled discs which seem to afford a connecting link between the two styles. I believe you have one in your collection which was found near Oxford. I should be glad to know if you have any particulars with regard to the circumstances under which it was found.

Mr C.H. Read says he thinks they are late Saxon, but does not seem to have any theory as to what these discs were used for. I think the subject would be worth investigating so as to settle their date.

I remain
yrs vy truly
J Romilly Allen

Enclosure [printed label to go with photograph shown on this page and also enclosed]

Roman tegula, found with Roman Remains by Lady Baker on General Pitt-Rivers's property at Shroton, and presented by her. The mark of the cross within a circle, roughly inscribed with the point of the finger, appears undoubtedly to be the Christian emblem used by the Romans in this part of England, and which prevails on stone crosses in the south and west of Great Britain. It has also the impression of a dog's foot.



Ansd Nov. 25/95 | Perks

The Soldiers Home & Evangelistic Mission | ... Winchester | Novbr 22nd

Dear Sir

Knowing the deep interest you take in anything belonging to Cranborne Chase perhaps you would like to purchase the following which [insert] are the [end insert] property of my Father. He used to occupy Woodcutts Farm but now lives at the Friary Winchester where the articles can be seen, if you cared sufficiently for them for your Museum. I understand the keeper's hat is rarely if ever to be seen - this is a very good one.

Believe me
yrs truly
L. Perks

1. Chase-keeper's hat, worn by Moses Brixey

2. Cutlass or Hanger with deer-skin belt worn by Moses Brixey

3. A wire or noose used for catching deer in Cranborne Chase.

4. End of weapon picked up near Rushmore House the morning after an engagement with Keepers & Poachers [insert] when [end insert] A Poacher is supposed to have been killed

5. A Pocket swingle or weapon of defence used both by poachers & keepers in Cranborne Chase

6. Pair Antlers unpolished from the Chase



Spurrell | Reproduction of Flint Knife sent on Nov. 30 / 95

Belvedere Kent | 27 Nov'r 1895

Dear Sir

I had the pleasure of seeing a finely fluted (& handled) Flint implement belonging to you at present at Mr Flinders Peteries exhibition this year. Mr Petrie showed me also a beautiful "plate" of it.

Will you tell me if this is published yet? I want to mention it at the Archaeological Institute shortly - with some notice of other implements.

If it is not published perhaps you would kindly lend me a copy of the plate if you cannot spare one altogether.

For [sic]

Yours faithfully
F.C.J. Spurrell

Gen: Pitt Rivers FRS



Horsley | Ansd  Dec 15/95

Royal Academy of Arts | London W. | Dec 2 1895

Dear General Pitt Rivers,

I am venturing to address you informally, trusting that you may not have forgotten my visit to Rushmore, with our mutual friends Sir Talbot and Lady Baker not many years since! - you will also remember most kindly lending us [insert] here [end insert] those charming Gainsboro' portraits in 1881. They live so delightfully in our memory here that we are most desirous that Lord & Lady Ligonier should grace our walls again, & if you will be so very good as to leet the art loving public see them in our approaching Winter Ex'n, we shall be greatly obliged. You will perhaps remember that we bear all trouble & expenses in their removal from, & return to Rushmore & insure them from all risks. If you will kindly let me know (may I ask for a prompt reply?) that you will grant us this favour, our Secretary will then immediately communicate with you officially on the subject. With best compliments to Mrs Pitt Rivers & yourself believe me

Yours very truly
J. Callcott Horsley



Kington | Ansd by H.G. Dec 6/95

South View | London Road | Salisbury | Dec 4. 95

Dear Sir

No doubt you have heard of the death of Mr James Brown who you knew had a small collection of savage weapons - some specimens from Fiji, New Guinea, New Zealand & South America. They are now for disposal & I know he would much [insert] have [end insert] liked you to have the first refusal of them. I shall be pleased to make an appointment with you to see them at any time. Awaiting the favour of your reply

I am
Yours faithfully
Geo Kington

(Son in law of Mr Brown)

General Pitt Rivers



Horsley | 3 times put forward

Royal Academy of Arts | London W. | Dec. 6th 1895

Dear General Pitt Rivers

Forgive me saying that your note of this morning was a crashing blow to me & pray pardon me if I venture to urge your reconsideration of the matter! - I do this with less hesitation at your words "but I am afraid I shall not be able to send the two pictures again", are so gentle in their expression that I would fain hope they do not carry a determined decision in them! - Pray believe that I fully sympathise with the self denial of those who in the public interest sacrifice their own pleasure for a time, in parting with art treasures, &no one can have shown more generously liberal interest in catering for public enjoyment than you have done, in many many ways - it is fifteen years since we had your two beautiful pictures, & I have for several years been desirous to see them here again especially as my age precludes the idea that I can deal with "Winter Exns" much longer! This year they have never been absent from my "mind's eye" & I have [illegible] splendid positions for them in the great Gallery - you must therefore kindly forgive me if I throw myself upon the "merciful consideration" of Mrs Pitt Rivers & yourself, & live in hope that you will grant me what I ask, if granted, I may safely promise to cease from troubling you in the future! - To save you all trouble I enclose an addressed telegram, should you be inclined to send me your final decision in the course of tomorrow - should you prefer writing by post will you kindly let me hear by Monday morning as time is pressing us now –

With best remembrances believe me I am General Pitt Rivers

Yours sincerely
J.C. Horsley



Ansd Dec. 11/95 | Kington

Salisbury | Dec. 9. 95

Dear Sir,

See reply to yours of today. I shall be pleased to make an appointment with you for your assistant to see the Late Mr Brown's Collection on Monday next or Thursday, Tuesday & Wednesday I am engaged. Monday would suit me best, if you get this tomorrow your reply would reach me Monday morning or you could wire me - what I am anxious to do is to get rid of all the Savage Weapons in a lot. they consist chiefly of specimens from Fiji, South America, New Guinea & New Zealand I am afraid there are no Wiltshire Antiquities. There is a complete set of the Wilts Archaeological Magazine, "Portland" vase in [?]wood & a black wedgewood vase for disposal - Awaiting your reply which please address as below to save time

I am
Your faithfully
Geo: Kington
Muriel Cottage

Gen: Pitt Rivers



The Sunday Society | to obtain the opening of museum, art galleries, | libraries and gardens on Sundays | instituted in London August 6th 1875

Office - Princes' Rooms | 26 Regent Street S.W. | December 7th, 1895

[Subscription for £1 subscribed on Dec. 9/95 for 1896 H.G.]

Dear Sir.

Believing that you are interested in the movement for promoting a more reasonable observance of Sunday, we venture to draw your attention to the Sunday Society, in the hope that you will give it your co-operation and support.

In advocating the sunday opening of Museums, Art Galleries and Libraries, the Society endeavours not only to improve the observance of the day, but to remove the anomaly which now exists regarding our National Institutions, some of what, at Kew, Hampton Court, Dublin and Edinburgh, are opened on Sundays, whilst those in London, with the exception of Greenwich, remain closed.

The Society's important work connected with "Museums Sunday" - on which day this year 64 sermons were delivered in support of its object - and the efforts the Society has made to bring about an amendment of the Lord's Day Act of 1781, the Act by which Sunday Art Exhibitions have been closed and Scientific Lectures suppressed - have considerably taxed its resources, and therefore we appeal with every confidence for increased support.

An Annual Subscription of any amount constitutes Membership. Members receive tickets for the Exhibitions etc. opened by the Society from time to time, and subscribers of 10s. and upwards receive in addition, free by post, all publications issued by the Society. Cheques and postal orders should be made payable to the Treasurer ...

Trusting we may receive a favourable response to our appeal,

We are, yours faithfully

Saml A Barrett President

Mark H. Judge Hon. Secretary

Herbert Freeman Assistant Secretary



Perks | Ansd Dec 20/95

The Soldiers' Home and Evangelistic Mission ...| Dec'r 12th

Dear Sir

The delay in answering your letter has been caused by my absence from home, and therefore not being able to consult my Father. I have however seen him to day, and he says he should like the relics of the Chase to go together and considers £20 a very fair price for them

Believe me
yrs faithfully
L. Perks



British Association for the Advancement of Science | Burlington House | London, W | 19 December 1895

Dear Gen. Pitt Rivers

I enclose a memorandum [not enclosed] which Prof. Flinders Petrie has submitted to a Committee of the Council of the British Association lately appointed to consider his proposal to establish a kind of storehouse, especially for Anthropological objects which would be supplementary to existing museums.

If you are disposed to make any remarks on the proposed scheme, the Committee will be very glad to receive them.

Yours very truly
G. Griffith

Gen Pitt Rivers, D.C.L. F.R.S &

2 identical copies of typed reply enclosed:

Rushmore | Salisbury | Dec. 21st, 1895

Dear Mr Griffith,

In reply to your letter of the 19th inst., about an Anthropological Store, I think that, like all that comes from Mr. Petrie, the proposal is characterized by ability and public spirit; but I can hardly take in the scope and possibilities of his present suggestion. I fear it would be visited neither from London nor the country. Busy London would not go out of Town to see a miscellaneous Anthropological Store. I can see in it a gigantic machine for frustrating the development of Local Museums, which under proper encouragement and arrangement, might be made the means of educating many thousands of persons, who never see, and have scarcely ever heard of the British Museum. Once appoint a keeper with sufficient space, and he will be the grasper of every object of interest that is to be found in the country. Large Museums of every thing bewilder the visitor, and if arranged in rows, as most are, teach him nothing. One tenth the number of objects of antiquity in separate small cases, with models of the localities shewing their "gisement", are both interesting and instructive, which I have found my experience.

The great want of our day appears to me to be increased facilities for casts and reproductions, like that most excellent establishment at Mayence. Casts and reproductions can be made without damaging the originals. If the patina is occasionally a little damaged - patina blesses nobody - it is a mere collector's fancy, and ought not to be set against the spread of knowledge.

I am in favour of decentralization - encouragement to Local Museums to arrange themselves in branches and put their collections in developmental order, aided by casts and reproductions supplied by Government.

Yours very truly
G. Griffith Esq.



Ansd Dec. 30/95 H.G.

West Street, | Poole, Dorset | Dec 25/95


I have received from my son who is in America a small collection of flint implements which he has found among the mountains and creeks of Kentucky. I should say, in comparing them with the best illustrations I can find, that they are remarkably fine specimens, but I am no judge, and having heard of you as an authority I have written to know if you would like to see them. If so I shall be happy to send them to you by post on receipt of an intimation to that effect.

I am Sir
Yours faithfully
W.W. Burnand



Ansd Dec. Jan. 2/95 H.G.

West Street, | Poole, Dorset | Dec 25/95


In reply to your letter I did not so much write with the intention of finding a purchaser of the flint implements as to get some approximate idea of their archaeological value of which I know nothing. I suspect, on account of their high finish, they belong to the later neolithic period, but the best way will be for me to send them to you for your opinion, which I accordingly do by this parcel post.

I am Sir
Yours faithfully
W.W. Burnand


I have no objection to part with them, but am quite unable to form an idea as to their value in a marketable point of view.

I also send two rough and probably more ancient specimens on from Bexley in Kent the other from this neighbourhood and a fossil from Dudley called (I am told) Neuopteris Gigantea.



Returned Jan 14/95 Parcel Post H.G.

Poole Jan 7 1896


I am greatly obliged by your opinion and estimate of the value of the flint implements. As they possess for the sake of association, a value here which is irrespective of market price, however, we do not feel inclined to part with them. I enclose 6d for the return postage and again thanking you

I remain
Yours truly
W.W. Burnand

Gen Pitt Rivers



Jan 29th 1896 | Travellers' Club | Pall Mall | S.W.

Dear Father

Uncle George told me the other day that he thought you would be interested to hear that he had seen in the house of Dr W. Bezly Thorne 53 Upper Brook St., a staff of which he made the enclosed sketch. It comes from South Africa & is carried in front of the "Medicine Man" He said he thought it very line some Greek symbol, but I quite forget which If you think it it [sic] of sufficient interest you might perhaps like to [insert] write to [end insert] Dr Thorne about it. I hope feeling better & stronger

Yr affec son
St G Fox Pitt

By the way did you see in the "Times" of the 28th Sir George Birdwood's letter about the Birthplace of B....



Dr Edgeworth | Ansd. Feb 8/96

1 Richmond Hill | Clifton | Thursday | Feb 6/96

Dear Sir

On Saturday evening I am going to read a paper on the English races before a Science Club.

I made sure that I could obtain from the various museums here skulls to illustrate the paper, but have been much disappointed in not being able to obtain a long and a round-barrow skull.

Two years ago you were good enough to lend to my friend Dr Parker for the British Medical Association some skulls from your collection.

May I ask whether you will be good enough to lend me these two skulls - I would willingly pay all expenses and would send them back on Monday.

I am
Yours truly
J.H. Edgeworth
Assist. Physio. to the | Bristol Royal Infirmary



Ightham March 3 96

Cheque £10.10.0 sent on Mar. 6/96

Genl. Pitt Rivers


I have sketched in & send today 30 primitive implements from the Chalk Plateau.

Instead of 25 representing half 30 sent for which I ask 10 guineas. for this reason Having been incessantly at work in this line for the past 10 years I really want a change & a holiday so with the pounds I hope to recoup myself for Expense & time and the odd shillings go towards a holiday [illegible] a scamper over the S Downs to follow up some observations made 10 yrs since

I hope in doing so I have not trespassed on your indulgence so far

Believe me to clear up this matter and the fight against the Hemel Hempstead Giant has been exhausted [illegible] ordeal but I am glad now we have had a hard tussle

I sent by request a [illegible] to the Fishguard Museum [illegible] Mr E.J. Newton F.R.S. has care of them

A London Editor whom I asked to go & see writes Feby 22

Dr Mr Harrison

I had nearly an hour with Mr Newton this morning

He tells me he find himself increasingly on your side

He will show your exhibits at the next meeting Geologists Association

He quite sees that people cannot be [illegible] and that the questions is in a transition stage but moving in the right direction (Even Evans is not so incredulous as he was) and that by giving people time and opportunity we shall see the present large number of influential judges in the matter considerably augmented to your advantage

I remain Sir
Yours [illegible]
B Harrison



Ansd Mar. 6/96 |Reinach

... Direction des Musees  Nationaux | Musée de St Germain | ... Le 3 Mars 1896

Dear Sir

Many thanks for that admirable to the Larmer Grounds, the process illustrating are as fine as any in the Century Magazine and much superior to what we generally get from England. I am much interested by pl. 12 (room in King John's House) on account of the fine pottery; judging by the little I can see, your Bellini mst be quite first rate.

I have just given orders to our Atelier to prepare for your museum a collection of casts from our prehistoric carvings. I dont include the Uhryngen reindeer, thinking that you must have that already. If not, please give me notice on a postal card. The whole shall be ready and dry in about three weeks. We are very glad to find an opportunity of returning your kindness

Believe me, dear Sir, faithfully yours
Solomon Reinach



Ansd. Mar. 24/96

The Reliquary and Illustrated Archaeologist | 28 Gt Ormond St London W.C. | Mar. 14 1895

Dear General Pitt-Rivers

I am much obliged for the proof of your note on the cross marked tile from Iwerne and also for the drawing of the circular metal disc with enamelled spiral ornament. I was in hopes that some particulars might have been preserved as to the circumstances under which the disc in your possession was found. There are one or two similar discs in the British Museum, but they are placed in the Saxon Room and not with the "Late Celtic" metalwork, I asked Mr Read why they were classed with the Saxon things and he was unable to give any satisfactory reason based on the objects found in association with them. Dr Sophus Müller thinks these discs were used as the mountings of metal bowls with peculiar hook-shaped handles and he has written an article on the subject in the "Memoires de la Sociéte des Antiquaires du Nord". One of the discs, found near the Topsway, I think, or in Derbyshire, has a hook still attached to it. The disc would be fixed to the bowl and the hook would serve as a handle. A hook of this kind is illustrated by Dr Sophus Müller but the [insert] enamelled [end insert] part attached to the bowl is not circular but like this [drawing] The ornament is, however, of the same kind as on the circular discs. I think that English antiquaries have had an idea that these discs were used as pendants

I remain
yrs vy truly
JRomilly Allen



Ansd Apr 23/96 | Forbes

Shillingstone | Dorset | April 21st

Dear General Pitt Rivers

A few mornings ago I found in Robert Sedlins farmhouse an old ladies saddle & Pillion which was condemned to the flames, it was rather in a state of decay but most curious, so I asked for it, & took the liberty of conveying it to your Museum at Farnham, thinking that if you did not find it worthy of preservation you could have it destroyed. Sedlins sister remembered riding behind her Mother on it to Shroton Fair, the manner in which the pillion is attached to the saddle is not perfectly clear, but the farmer said wisps of straw were made use of, & the crupper behind kept it steady. I was very sorry to hear at the Museum that you are not very strong, also to find that the old Custodian was dead.

Believe me
Yours faithfully
Julia Forbes




Grand Hotel | London | May: 10th 1896

Dear General

Perhaps you will be very much amused at my sending you the enclosed but I know you have all sorts of pottery in your Museum & as the Guanches appear to be more or less of a puzzle to all who have studied them, felt that possibly the Atalaya pottery might interest you, as it is said to be the same as that made by the Guanches, without a wheel, & with only a round stone. The atalayans live in a troglodyte village (the name Atalaya means watch tower) & the inhabitants they say keep aloof from the surrounding peasantry, they sometimes playfully throw a stone or two at an enquiring tourist but this is hearsay. My sister and I who went off together to see the village & get you the pottery, found the villagers very polite & much amused at our Spanish. We noticed that they were bigger & better looking than the peasantry,had beautifully even teeth, fine eyes & good features & we thought, better manners, afterwards we heard that they were supposed to be a different race, so the characteristic must be rather marked, In one book Professor Boyd Dawkins lent us about Guanches there appear to have been no true Guanches at the Grand Canary, so if you prefer, we can call the original inhabitants Canarios. I also send  you a hat from La Palma the only island where it is now worn. I did not go to the island myself but got it for you from the Grand Canary - however, it is genuine. I daresay these things will be of no use really to you, but at anyrate they will show you that I have not forgotten that very delightful day I spent at Rushmore, when you were so very kind to me, explaining &ct. since then we had Professor Dawkins staying with us, & together we sang your praises, what a charming man he is & such a delightful companion.

We are going to Newstead tomorrow & only returned from Tenerife on Friday, you never see or hear of an English newspaper in the Canaries, so we have had a great deal to hear & learn about  public affairs since our arrival in England. I hope you will not think it very intrusive of me, but I feel as if I knew you so much better than I really do, that you will forgive me for offering my very sincere sympathy to you for the sudden sorry you had, so soon after I saw you. I should have liked to have written then but did not. I have had so much sorrow in my own life, in losing those dear to me & mine, that I can understand grief perhaps better than many, & I felt I could hardly write to you without telling you how sorry I was

Believe me
yours sincerely
Geraldine K. Webb



17, Collingham Gardens | South Kensington, | S.W.

London | 21 May 1896

My dear General

I enclose you herewith the sketch of the Egyptian staff, w'ch I delayed giving you an answer upon sooner as I wished to consult Dr Budge thereon. The following is the interpretation "Grant a venerable old age in the Temple of Amen to the Ka of the doorkeeper of Amen; a happy exit may he make for him and a place of great dignity".

We have had another meeting today upon the Ancient Monuments question it is not only Prehistoric Monuments we wish to have protected, but historical likewise, such as castles Cathedrals, Churches, Chapels Corporation & private buildgs. of interest & certain Roman remains. We have requested the Foreign Office to furnish us with details of the systems adopted on the continent & the manner in wh. it works. We have paid an acknowledgement & the F.O. will give instructions for the information to be furnished to us.

Add.9455vol4_p1281 With best regards
Yrs vy sincl

Transcribed by AP June 2011 for Rethinking Pitt-Rivers project



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