S&SWM PR papers L2001-2200


22 Nov 1897 | British Museum | London : W.C.

My dear General

I am sorry to have left your letter unanswered so long: but I could not find anyone useful to go down and look at your walls - Price is in Egypt or on the road Hope is, or ought to be, busy with the routine work at the beginning of the Session - & I am held tight here & cannot get away [illegible] fear unless on strictly Museum business - & I know no way to help you.

Your son (Lionel?) came to see me some time ago about digging in Cyprus with Christian. I did not then know, but I now do, that all private digging in Cyprus is forbidden - Even we (as I told him) give half of our finds to the Cyprus Museum and only bring home the other half - Before entering into any engagements therefore it would be well to find out how far you can go.

You spoke about some prehistoric things from Egypt. I dont know whether these in Tregaskis' catalogue are of the same kind, but I enclose the part of the Catalogue in case they may interest you. If it will help you I will go and see them & send you an account of what there is & then you can write direct to Tregaskis if you want any

yours very truly

Charles H Read

Enclosed printed catalogue of 'an important collection of Egyptian antiquities ... now offered for sale by J. & M.L. Tregaskis ...' No 384 1897.



Ansd Dec 16/97

14 Dec 1897 | British Museum | London : W.C.

My dear General

I send you a few copies of the Benin paper. As you can imagine there is rather a run upon them, as at present it is the only thing upon the subject - though it is really only a sketch. I am going to bring out a large album of the things we have here.

I safely received the photographs of Iwerne and am astonished at your luck in finding such a spot. I wish I could have come down to see it.

I took it for granted that the photographs should wait but you sent the description of the place before being shown at the Antiquaries I will bring them forward at the first January meeting if you like.

I have now two copies of your big volumes on your excavations - Sir Wollaston & my own, & as I cannot keep both I prefer to keep his copy, it being bound. I now want to ask you if you would like to have the duplicate one back again to give to some one. It scarcely seems decent to sell such things and it is very possible that you may have none to give away now. I must get rid of a good many books - as I have at least twice as many as my house will hold.

I dont know yet what will be the fate of the redundant Benin things belonging to the Government. The Foreign 'Office' is a very commercial place, I find.

Yours very truly
Charles H Read



James | Ansd Dec 17/97

Museum & Public Library | Maidstone | 16 Dec 1897

Dear General Pitt-Rivers

I am sending you by rail to Tisbury a little box with a horse-shoe in it of peculiar form found at Aylesford near Maidstone.

From enquiries I have made from a farmer, it would appear that its use is, as I surmised viz for a horse short in one of its forelegs. It may do for your agricultural museum as we have no department here that it will go in specially, and I detest a "curiosity" case.

Can you find time to measure that skull & [illegible]-bones I mentioned to you some time since and found by me on the site of Mr Arthur Evans Late Celtic urn field at Aylesford? It was at a depth of 4'8" beneath the surface & ought to produce valuable data in connection with his researches.

I want the results for a lecture in February next.

With compliments of the season & best wishes for your health

Yours very truly
Fred V James



11 Dec 1897 | British Museum | London : W.C.

Dear General

I have just bought some Benin heads & other things of bronze - & among them are two I can spare - one being a duplicate. I am paying for these latter myself as I had to take the lot. I am paying £20 each for them - which of course I think they are worth.

Do you care for them? [on a separate sheet, shown here, are the two drawings] If so I will send them.

The enclosed rough sketches give you a very fair idea of their appearance - the smaller one is the better as a work of art - but the other is distinctly curious

Yours very truly
Charles H. Read



4 Warwick Studios | Kensington. W. | 24.Dec.1897

Dear General Pitt Rivers

Yesterday I sent you a champlevé enamel on silver part translucent and part opaque. It has taken me some time to do & I hope that you will like it and that it is what you wanted. I have departed somewhat from the treatment of the subject in the earlier enamels. The angel here is standing whereas frequently he is kneeling. Also the trees at the back are symbols of the evangelists - representing the growth and justification of the gospel - The Virgin I have put kneeling, but have omitted the dove. Since this was subsequent to the Annunciation

With regard to the enamel itself - The principal point to be observed is the use of translucent enamels, in champlevé this was very very rarely done owing I suppose to the great difficulties which stood in the way. The other point is that the drawing and line is more natural, & not so conventional as the earlier ones. Also a greater variety of colour. With sincerest wishes to yourself & family for a pleasant Xmas believe me

I am yrs most truly

Alex Fisher

P.S. | Please excuse the haste with which this is written. But I hope the enamel speaks for itself (and today I am so very busy) - and you know the old work so well that more explanation I feel to be unnecessary | A.F.



24 Dec 1897 | British Museum | London : W.C.

My dear General

Griffith knows nothing definitely about the glass at Tregaskis'. He says "I do not know about these glass vases at all: all I know is that Newberry got a great collection of XVIII dynasty fragments that were being turned up by the looters on the pits of Amenhotet III's palace. Very likely he got plenty of first rate things being in the thick of the finders and on good terms with all"

I don't know that there is much else to be done - I can if you like go and look at the glasses after the holidays.

I hope the fog did you no harm

Yours very truly

Charles H Read


Printed telegram form from Tregaskis with stuck on labels in blue and handwritten added text.

[1st printed label] Glass Mug and Bowl, deep amber colour, found in the ancient necropolis of Eshmunen ... Both perfect £45 [Text] Found at Ishmunên

[2nd printed label] 53 Transparent Glass vase ... 20 guineas [Text] Found in the ruins of the palace of Amen-hotep III Thebes Both obtained from Percy E. Newberry Esq



4 Warwick Studios | Kensington. W. | 1 Jan.1897

Mr Fisher is extremely sorry to hear of General Pitt Rivers illness.

He is unable to come to day but will call at 11 o'clock on Monday (3rd) morning if convenient.



10 Jan 1898 | British Museum | London : W.C.

My dear General

I am very sorry to hear of your having got knocked up on your visit to town - there is no hurry about the Benin things.

I have seen the two beautiful glasses at Tregaskis and should like to have a little talk with you about them - I will call in the hope of being able to see you tomorrow about 4.30 pm. If you are not visible do not trouble to write as I shall be in your neighbourhood any how

Yours very truly
Charles H Read



Welch's Irish Views ... | Antiquarian, Geological, Peasant Life, ... | 49 Lonsdale Street | Belfast Jan 13th 1898

115 was [sic] sent | Sept 21 & 24th

Ansd H Gray

Dear Sir

Do you wish to retain all the Irish Ethnog. photos (permanent Platino) sent last Sept. 14 days is the usual time allowed for selection but as I knew that you had a special interest in this branch I did not stipulate for such prompt return if not of any not selection [sic]

Yours truly
R. Welch

Note on back:

This letter requiring answer | The general is at | Thorpe | Chertsey | [illegible] to me here by return only Alice Pitt Rivers



21 Jan 1898 | British Museum | London : W.C.

My dear General

I  will try and call to see you this afternoon: but in case I have not time I enclose photographs of 7 bronze tablets from Benin (Nos 27, 128, 63, 4, 90, 58, 67) which I have selected for you, as I now believe that the Foreign Office will let me dispose of them - the price of this lot is £42.

You can have more if you like, if you let me know soon.

Please let me have the photographs back as they complete my series. I enclose an envelope for the purpose

I hope you are progressing

Yrs very truly
Charles H Read



Ethnographical Department | (Pitt Rivers Collection) | University Museum | Oxford | 26.1.78 [sic]

Dear General Pitt Rivers

Pray accept my best thanks for the excellent lithograph of yourself, & also for having had it framed. I shall have it hung in the main court of this Museum, & it will prove a welcome addition.

With kind regards
Yrs vy truly
Henry Balfour



The Museum | Farnham | nr Salisbury 8th Feb. 1898


I am a candidate for the mastership of the Canterbury School of Art which is worth £250.

I have been five years at the Royal College of Art & have the certificates which qualify me for the Position I wish to obtain.

I have been nearly three years at Rushmore & have had a very training in the work carried on here.

I would be glad if you would kindly give me a testimonial. [L2044 S&SWM PR papers]

I remain

Yours obediently

G.F.W. Johnson



P.O. 10/6 | sent on | Mar. 18/98

Barum House | Near Wealdstone | British Museum | 21 Feb

General Pitt Rivers

I beg to enclose for your inspection a small bronze figure found some six years since by Mr Billiotti at Ilyrus in Crete. It shows a very unusual form of restoration the head & bust being removeable from the trunk. It is not very beautiful but I consider it very early & of interest in suc a collection as your own. It is a question whether the ancients have been putting old heads on young shoulders or vice versa.

Should the bronze prove of interest to you I will dispose of it for 10/6

I beg to remain

Yours respectfully

A.P. Ready



Billington | Ansd Mar. 17/98

March 4th. 1898. | Chalbury Rectory | Wimborne

My dear Sir,

Is the accompanying arrow head of any use to the Museum? My son picked it up in S. Dakota (near Edgemount) lately. When he shewed it to a neighbour, who told him he knew a cave, the floor of which was strewn with Flints: it was not quite near enough for Roland to pay it a visit & examine it. He tells me the modern (Red) Indians make something like them, by heating the Flint or Jade, & applying it gently to a lump of [illegible], which causes the little bits of Flint or Jade to chip off!

We trust Mrs Pitt Rivers & yourself are in good health & with our best respects

I remain
Yours truly
G.H. Billington



Whitehead | Ansd Apr. 14/ 98

Wyke Hall | Gillingham | Dorset | [in pencil] 7 April 98

Dear Sir

Would you like to buy an enormous Man Trap for your Museum? I know you have a small one, but nothing like mine! It belonged to my Great Uncle Thomas King who had the little discussions on Cranborne Chase with your ancestors. If you are disposed to look at the Man Trap, I should be delighted to show it to you, as well as my Pictures of more famous [illegible]. Could you and Mrs Rivers drive over one day? If you will for a time next week I will be at home. I am giving up my lease of this house to a Purchaser, and on that account, I am parting with a few cumbersome [?] things

Believe me
faithfully yrs
Mary Whitehead

7 April



April 14/98 | 5 Beaumont Crescent | West Kensington | London W

Ansd | Apr. 26/98 | Buckland

Dear Genl. Pitt-Rivers

I have just learnt that some relics which I saw two years ago, & believe to be of great interest are for sale, & knowing you are a collector I think you will pardon me for calling your attention to them.

They belonged to an old [illegible] who had discovered them in a cave in the Great Orme's Head, and were described some years ago by Professor Boyd Dawkins as of Neolithic age. The owner died at Xmas, & I now hear his sister is selling or offering for sale, all the curiosities he had collected, & amongst them the necklace found with the Neolithic remains in the cave, which will probably thus pass into the hands of some dealer in curiosities, instead of finding its proper place in some national collection. The marked teeth are I think rare, if not unique in Britain, although found in French & Belgian caves.

I wrote a little paper on the subject for the Anthropological Society, which was returned to me for the reason given in the annexed letter, I sent it to you herewith as more explanatory than a letter, & if it should be to you in oft-told tale you will perhaps kindly return it to me, & pardon me for writing to you of things already known, but which seem of special interest to

yours greatly obliged

WW Buckland



Wyke Hall | Gillingham | Dorset | [in pencil] 15 April 98

Dear Sir

I am very sorry indeed to hear you are out of health - and I hope you will soon by quite well again. I would like you to have the Man Trap. I dont like it to go to anybodys hands and it is rather big to carry about. Its size is very much larger than yours & it has been in our family a great number of years.

The Pictures I do not part with, they are very interesting to Wilts and Dorset men. They are copies of the Originals, which more made their rooms [sic], and therefore now belong to my Brother Revd F. King Canon Jackson refers to them in a Lecture he gave on Cranborne Chase of which you no doubt have a copy If not I can lend you mine, I have another very curious old Painting of the celebrated doing at Handley on the day the Deer were killed from Sunrise to Sunset near the Larmer Tree a motley pack of dogs of all kinds pulling down a Stag. I dont care about this picture so much or "The Law Suits" Sincerely hoping you will soon be well

I remain dear Sir
Yrs very truly
Mary Whitehead

15 April


Reply [to a letter also included in L2076 from John Sparkes regarding a potential assistant, Herbert Sharp]

Rushmore | Salisbury | Apr. 26/98

Dear Mr Sparks [sic],

I am much obliged to you for your letter. I think the best way will be for both the persons you name to send me specimens of their drawings of objects, such as antiquities of all sorts, both in pen & ink line drawings & black & white wash-drawing (mezzotints). My illustrations are done both ways and Mr Johnson who has been with me 4 years and is still going to remain, can only illustrate in colours & mezzotints black & white, and not in line-drawing, so that I require to supply that want.

After having seen the drawings and decided upon the man, it will be best for him to come down here on trial for a month. I cannot go to London to see the man not being well enough to do so. His salary will be 28/- a week & lodging at the Museum. He will have to find his own board, when he is at the Museum two miles from here. But when the clerks are here I allow them to dine in the housekeeper's room. That, however, is extra and not a permanent arrangement, though my present clerks have done so for a long time. When I take them out for a month or a fortnight or more on an excavation expedition I allow them 2/- a day extra they finding their board & lodging at some neighbouring cottage or public house.

It is quite necessary that apart from their qualifications as clerks & draughtsmen they should be men of good manners & willing, as living so much in the house & frequently doing their work there, it would be quite impossible to tolerate any difficulty of that kind.

Perhaps you will kindly tell them to send me samples of their drawing separately.

With many thanks,
Yours truly
A. Pitt Rivers



Paper returned, Apr 28/98

April 27th 1898 | 5 Beaumont Crescent | West Kensington W.

Dear Genl Pitt-Rivers

I am sorry I cannot give you any address in Llandudno with regard to the necklace, bears teeth & horse's jaw with marks upon them, about which I wrote to you. I thought you might probably have a correspondent in the neighbourhood, or some agency employed by you in such transactions, or might know the owner of the property who allowed the old lapidary to take possession of the cave in which he had discovered the neolithic human remains, & their ornaments. The cave itself is most interesting, & the genuineness of the discovery was endorsed at the time by Boyd Dawkins, so that I trust it may not now be given over to the tender mercies of the excursionist & curiosity seeker. My informant was a lady from Llandudno who knowing I was interested in the matter called to tell me that the old lapidary, whose name I think was Kennion [insert] drick [end insert] was dead & that his sister was selling all his curios as fast as she could. He had a few good things & a lot of rubbish all which, with the cave containing some of the Neolithic remains still in their original matrix, & a Camera Obscura which he had erected in the Garden he exhibited at 2d a head

My informant said it was rumoured that the authorities of Owen's College were thinking of purchasing some of the things, but she feared that the old man's sister would accept the first good offer, not caring what became of the things so perhaps ere this they are well dispersed.

I am very sorry to hear you are invalided, but trust the ailment is transitory. I see at last there is some chance of the establishment of an Anthropological Museum & Bureau of Ethnology in London I remember that you brought forward a plan for such an institution some years ago, & trust now your scheme may be adopted I was glad to see that Mr Rudler had been elected President of the Anthropological Institute, but I have not seen him, as I am not able now to attend the coming meetings. I should like my little paper back some day, at your convenience.

Yours very truly
AW Buckland



Newstead Abbey | Nottingham

May 7th 98

Dear General Pitt Rivers

When I was in Egypt this winter, I saw a little earthenware thing, in the shape of a crocodile, I believe it is used for rubbing the hard skin on the soles of the feet, to keep the soles in good condition, you will see that it is rough underneath, on the base the crocodile sits on. I thought it rather original & did not remember having seen one like it in your Museum, so got you one. I send it by parcel post & hope it may arrive unbroken. When we were at Assouan, the Commandant there, told me that a friend of his, had some very curious chain-armour, it was made differently to any other, but I could not quite make out how, if you would like to know however, I could write to Assouan & get the name of the man who has the chain armour, he is the one who understands such things - I thought it just possible it might by the same make as that on the effigy in your church, I remember you telling me, that there not [sic] a known example of it, in existence this armour, having come from Soudan may be very old. one or two crusaders swords have been bought from there, but there are very very few & all known, & of course, the prices given for them are huge. I hope you are well again, & strong & not standing about too much in this weather. The temperature seems never the same 2 hours together. My very best regards to you & Mrs Pitt Rivers

Believe me

yours sincerely

Geraldine K Webb



Geo. F. Lawrence | 7 West Hill | Wandsworth S.W. | May 16 1898

Dear Sir

I am expressly obliged by your keeping so many of the things I ventured to send you. I think you did right in keeping the stone club, it is to my mind unique - I have never seen one before & of course could have sold it readily, but your kindness to me compels me to submit to you anything I may get that appears of interest, before showing it elsewhere.

Canon Greenwell writes me to say that Sir John Evans said when he presented the Canons portrait, that the Canon had a finder English bronze coll'n than Sir John but that Sir John had a finer foreign one.

The Canon certainly has the finest series of swords I have ever seen both in condition & variety, but I think this Knockans spear head fig 411 Evans bronze is without exception the finest piece of bronze work I have ever handled & the rich golden colour is exquisite To show the curious connexion of types I got him some years ago a spear head from the Thames identical with one he has from Eoford Northumberland fig 405 he said they might have been made in the same mould. this is curious as the type is very unusual.

I am extremely obliged to you for the cheque to hand & I beg to enclose with compliments & many thanks

I am

yours obediently

Geo F. Lawrence

Mr Boynton has permission to finish the excavations at the so called "Danes Graves" where he found the enamelled wheel headed pin I wish him every success



Rushmore | Salisbury | May 23rd, 1898

Dear Mr Rudler,

I must write a line to congratulate you on being President of the Anthropological Institute, which you have so long taken an interest in, and done good work.

I read your paper in the Museums Association, in which I agree mostly, though I am still in favour of an arrangement by Arts for a local Museum. I hardly think that the system has been favourably tried at Oxford. Mr Tylor and Mr Balfour have done their best no doubt, but they do not have the means, the materials, or the funds to work the system thoroughly, and I soon found out that it was quite impossible that a method commenced by one person should be worked out effectually by others. Some of the series have not been developed a all, and others very imperfectly. The whole collection was out of sight for a long time, 5 years I think, whilst the building was being erected, and my health has not allowed me to go there much since. It is not the kind of building for a developmental collection, which would be better in low long galleries well lighted from above and without pretension; the large and lofty interior space was not wanted. Rolleston and Moseley were the heads when I gave the collection to Oxford, and Tylor, though the best man possible for Sociology, had at that time but little knowledge of the material arts. Balfour, though hard-working, does not, I believe, know fully to this day what the original design of the collection was in some cases. I do not however complain of the men. They have done their best to carry out the idea which was an original one at that time, and circumstances have been against it. Oxford was not the place for it, and I should never have sent it there if I had not been ill at the time and anxious to find a resting-place for it of some kind in the future. I have always regretted it, and my new museum at Farnham, Dorset, represents my views on the subject much better. I shall write a paper about it before long if I live. I have just completed a new Gallery, which is now finished and the whole Museum is being re-arranged.

I have however changed my views somewhat. The question is, as you say in your paper, whether the primary arrangement should be geographical or by Arts. What is the chief requirement of a Museum? Firstly, it must be for the instruction of the visitors, and secondly, it should serve as a store for savants in building up their theories, and for promoting accuracy in research. I think the primary divisions should not be too small. In my new Museum, which is of course a local one, I have two galleries devoted to Art, ornament and decoration, all in one. The sub-sections are Geographical. These sub-sections are separated by red tapes hanging vertically down the shelves thus:-




Polynesian Is.













In this way, the visitor is able to contrast much more quickly the style of art of different countries, than if he had to pick his subjects out of miscellaneous collections, in which all the products of each different country are mixed together.

Another primary division consists of the Pottery of all countries, subdivided geographically. This of course clashes somewhat with the art division, pottery being a branch of art. Another consists of tools and weapons, in which the whole history of stone, bronze and iron are displayed. Another is Glass, another Enamels. the [sic] main object of all Museums must be, in these days, to show development. Where the forms of one country fit on to those of another country in such a way as to prove connection, they should be arranged together. A too rigid adherence to system should be avoided. It is not the system, but instruction, which should be the main object, and whatever conduced best and most quickly to that object should be adopted, in subordination to the material at the disposal of the collector, which always must influence the arrangement most importantly. Franks was, at first, very much opposed to my arrangement by Arts, and really had a good deal to do with getting it banished to Oxford, but it ended, as you know, in his having a special gallery in the B.M. for the religious objects of all nations, another for glass, another for pottery, &c., which is still the arrangement. Franks, notwithstanding this antagonism, was a friend of mine and very liberal in giving information from the vast stack of knowledge which he possessed on all such matters. I always took a malicious pleasure in congratulating him upon the admirable arrangement of these latter Galleries, when he generally gave a grunt, as his custom was, and trudged off, but only to be as communicative as ever the next time I saw him.

Your Museum in Jermyn Street, I consider to be arranged on the same system. It is for the purpose, if I understand it rightly, of showing the products of the soil applied to the arts, and is subordinate to that idea; and I cannot help thinking that ultimately this system will be further extended, and Museums, especially local Museums, will arrange with each other to specialize and confine themselves to particular branches of the industrial arts, ethnography, anthropology &c. Each small Museum will serve as a sub-section of one General Scheme by mutual agreement. The advantage will be generally recognized and the public will instruct themselves by going from one Museum to another. Very large Museums really confuse the public very much. It is only savants who can go direct to the part they want, and study it. The casual visitor becomes moe and more bewildered, not knowing whereabouts he is, or what is implied by the arrangement of the different sections. Small maps of course are indispensable for the public; I have always used them from the first. Careful ticketting and describing goes without saying. In the British Museum, the Nation appears really to forget that the instruction of the public, our Lords and Masters, is the main object of a National Museum, and that descriptions, side by side with the objects exhibited, goes home to the uneducated mind more rapidly than any amount of reading and illustrations in books, which the public can never be expected to take up, not having the time or the materials for it. The staff of the B.M. should be largely increased in ticket-writers, and the space for tickets enlarged. We are hanging fire altogether in any endeavour to inculcate a knowledge of evolution, the great work of our time, the most beneficial for the public to be well imbued in every branch of human activity, Art, Science, Legislation, Religion, Education, everything.

I am still impressed with the idea I ventured to put forward at a meeting of the British Association some time ago, that for a national or large town Museum, a Rotunda with the things arranged in concentric circles and radii would be the best; and that casts are quite as useful as originals for educational purposes; but we are far away from that at present, and it is no use talking of it.

One point, however, which I hope you will some day see in my Farnham Museum, is the models of excavations, which I sometimes call a Museum of "gisement". I am satisfied that we often fail to derive all the information we might from imperfect records of discoveries. The same site, a camp, a tumulus, a cemetery, often, indeed generally, contain relics of different periods which can only be distinguished by attention to soil, the strata, the deposits in which the things are found. A few inches only may separate things of very different dates, and careful models with contoured surfaces to show the original form of earthworks, nearly always obliterated by the excavations, can only record these distinctions properly. I have been much struck lately with the bold way in which dates are given to antiquities, without the slightest particle of evidence derived from stratification or deposits.

In Archaeology we are sometimes in very much the condition that Geology would be if we discarded all the evidence derived from sedimentary desposits. Archaeology most certainly is not a science yet. Many archaeologists will take no notice of anything which is not pretty to look at. Such a thing as the pattern on a small fragment of pottery which affords the best evidence conceivable of date, will be set aside as rubbish or thrown out of consideration, through the impossibility of marking its position with sufficient clearness in paper plans and sections.

I have over 100 models of Excavations in my Farnham Museum, but they are only appreciated by a very few, who come from a distance. Upon the British plough-boy, they are quite thrown away, and even the tradesman amongst the 10,000 who visited the Museum last year have little time or inclination to study them thoroughly, though mark you, tradesmen, mechanics and small towns-people are far more ready in taking in exact knowledge than the upper classes in the country. Precision and accuracy is necessary for them in their ordinary business, whilst Ladies and Gentlemen are bored with it, especially in the details of archaeological investigations, which they take little interest in. Still, with a good system of models, the information is there, and perhaps one or two per cent of the visitors will take advantage of it. But is only in local Museums that this could be done, where [insert in handwriting] in which [end insert] the models relate to excavations made in the immediate neighbourhood. In large Museums it would take too many models, unless confined to the most important subjects.

I have told my clerk to type this, to save you the trouble of reading my cramped hand; I am obliged to write a good deal from bed now, and am not able to walk more than a few yards, though I go on with excavations near here where I can sit and look on. I have just finished a fourth volume of Excavations, which I will send you. I hope you are well.

Yours very truly,



Seton Karr | Ansd June 28/98

Atherton Grange | Wimbledon | June 5 98

Dear General Rivers

I was in Egypt the whole of last winter, & spent the time in making an examination of the desert along the banks of the Nile northwards from Esna where the sandstone ends and the flint bearing limestone commences, I also visited the deserted emerald mine by the Red Sea for Mr Streeter.

I also discovered a new but small flint mine near the old [insert] other [end insert], and made a very rich haul chiefly of a large quantity of knives just like those from Denmark. This is I think the first time these have been found in Egypt. There were also truncheons with handles and large implements like the Pressigny ones - about 3000 in all.

There were no palaeolithis here, but as I anticipated I made great discoveries of them at Esna where people from the South would first meet with flint.

I have not yet written to anyone about these things because I did not want them separated, and Liverpool, to whom I desired to offer them first have not yet made up their minds. I am moreover [insert] I fancy [end insert] obliged not to put the new flint mine things "on the market" in such a way as to interfere with their last acquisition, & so I may keep them for a time.

I am however free to do or [sic] I like with the other things - namely my new discoveries at Esna, Thebes, Matana, Nagada, Kina, and so on, which as you know have nothing to do with my flint mines which are hundreds of miles north, & it is with reference to them that I am communicating.

You are the first to whom I am writing & if I might send you a series from the Nile from Esna, northwards, which could be illustrated with a map of the river from Cairo to Aswân (for I found some remarkable ones in the central desert E. of Aswân on my way to the emerald mines, tho not of flint), I think you would be surprised & pleased I think this collection, which is practically my winters work (except the mines) is worth about 150£, & numbers about [insert] upwards of [end insert] 250, although I have labelled & repacked but not counted them.

If this is too many I could send you a selection from each locality of some of the best for 50£ or someone could come & choose for you.

I did not get to Somaliland again but next time I shall endeavour to work in the way you explained to find some deposits which may contain remains; I was also deterred from excavating one of the pits at the flint mine of Wadi el Sheik partly by want of time and partly because I found them full of the deadly cerastes the enormous funnels found formed by drifted sand & piled up excavated material, making a trap for them.

I have this in view however. Perhaps I ought also to add that I believe Dr Forbes (Liverpool) desires to effect any good exchanges for the Liverpool Museum after the [insert] his [end insert] next Museum Bulletin is out which deals with the Flint Mine Implts which he acquired.

In case I ought not to have mentioned to you about my new flint-mine, so as not to interfere with Dr Forbes' contemplated exchanges, perhaps you would kindly consider this as confidential, because although the new mine is quite distinct yet I do not want to interfere with him, & so will not part with any for the present.

But with regard to the other parts of Egypt I am free, & it is about these I write.

With best regards
I am
yours sincerely
H.W. Seton-Karr



Atherton Grange | Wimbledon | June 29 98

Dear Genl. Rivers

I am very glad that you are fairly well, as you have been away & so on, & I trust you will be all the better for the change.

Please give my very best regards to Mrs Rivers & your son if at home, - the one I know

I am sending the case of implements off today.

I go to Norway on Th. of next week

I have included the only stone implts I found at the lost Emerald Mines of Zabara in Jan, namely 3 objects in micaceous schist, or talcose schist. All the implts are named as to locality. No one but Dr St... [illegible] has seen them (the latest mine implts I cannot show on account of Dr Forbes) who I think will again & [3 words illegible] 81 for 70£ I have now about 10£ worth left for I think my friend Wood

yours sin...
HW Seton-Karr



Atherton Grange | Wimbledon | June 29 98

Dear Genl Rivers

I omitted to say in my letter today the following is the list of Implements I have sent


Thebes 7
Edfu 1
Farshort 2
El Kab 5
Darawi (S of Esna no flints) 4
Kina 6
Mainfahout 1
Girget 1
Nah Hamadi 2
Nagada 2
Esna 12
Magaga 11
Emerald mines of Zabara 3



Atherton Grange | Wimbledon | July 1 98

Dear General Rivers

I have sent a small series of Egyptian Implements to a Mr Newton, & asked him if he does not retain them to send them on to you if you will accept them as an addition to the others; if my winters work is well represented in your museum I shall feel that my winter has been well spent as regards the Desert

yours sinc...
HW Seton-Karr



Ansd July 12/98

[Stamp] Department of Egyptian & Assyrian Antiquities British Museum | 9 Jul 1898 | No. 1391

Dear Sir,

A fine collection of about 92 flint axes, knives, scrapers, etc., and about 100 flakes have been offered to us for the sum of £25. We cannot buy them, and so I shewed them to Sir John Lubbock, who did not want them & who suggested that you might care to acquire them. I therefore trouble you with a line to ask you if you will take the collection for £25. Sir John thinks them well worth the money.

I am
yours truly
E.A. Wallis Budge.

Gen Pitt-Rivers, F.R.S. | &c.  &c.  &c.



Ansd July 20/98

[Stamp] Department of Egyptian & Assyrian Antiquities British Museum | 16 Jul 1898 | No. 1403

Dear Sir,

I am sending you to Tisbury, packed in a box, the flints for which £25 is asked and I hope they will reach you safely & be satisfactory to you.

I am yrs truly
EA Wallis Budge

Genl Pitt-Rivers, F.R.S.



Meade | Ansd July 23/98

Hanford | Blandford | 21 July 98

Dear General Pitt Rivers

The address of the artist who paints gardens so well is, I think,

Alfred Parsons Esq.

54 Bedford Gardens

Kensington W

Do let him make several sketches of your lovely gardens; those we drove through, yesterday, on the way to Larmer Tree were quite charming.

I remain

Yrs sincerely

Cecilia Meade



Ansd July 23/98 | Cheque £25 sent

[Stamp] Department of Egyptian & Assyrian Antiquities British Museum | 22 Jul 1898 | No. 1407

My Dear Sir,

I am very glad you like the flints. They all come from a place called Amrah, about four miles from Abydos in Upper Egypt, about half way between [illegible] & Abydos. They were found in the graves which are hollowed out like pie dishes in the limestone, and were buried with skeletons which lie with their faces towards the East. They are beyond doubt Prehistoric and as such in my opinion very valuable. In connexion with them you ought to read de Morgan's two books, especially that entitled L'Age de Pierre et Bronze. Here we call them pre-Egyptian, but I am not a flint expert & no doubt you will find a better name. All your flints are from one set of graves which lay close together.

If you decide to keep the flints will you mind sending me a cheque made out in the name of Chauncey Murch, as I should like to settle the matter before I go for holidays? Would you like any more?

I am

yours truly 
EA Wallis Budge



[illegible] | Sundalsören | Nordmore | Norway | July 23 98

Dear General Rivers

Thank you very much for the cheque for the Implements. I hope none of the third box were broken in transit. I sent them on without repacking as I was just off.

I am going back to Somaliland in November cannot some archaeologist be sent with me?

yrs [illegible]
H.W. Seton Karr



July 25th 1898 | Wamil Hall | Mildenhall | Suffolk

Dear Sir

I am sending you today by goods train 50 specimens of stone implements. On re-reading your letter * I see that you say about 20 but as I have packed them & do not think that number would give a fair idea of the collection I am letting them go. - with three pieces of bone found with some of the stones included in case they should be of interest. The gravel-pits near the [1 word illegible] belong I believe to the "drift" formation. I have besides another hundred palaeolithic & fifty neolithic specimens (my own classification) & some more bones found in same formation with former Just a few amongst these may be doubtful most of the palaeolithics are rude - some so rudes as to be interesting, to my mind, on that account. Also 3 good specimens of forgeries (as I suppose) should these interest you.

Every specimen I am sending is wrapped up separately in paper together with ticket giving locality &c. Each ticket is numbered are [sic] also the stones themselves. I also enclose a list of the numbers. £20 is the price that I thought of asking for the collection.

Yours very truly
Edmund Selous

General Pitt Rivers | Rushmore | Salisbury



Ansd Aug 8/98

Rieder-Furka | Moerel (Valais) Aug 4 98

Dear General Pitt-Rivers

I had some talk with Salomon Reinach of the Musée de St Germain lately about your coil and meander series at the Museum at Oxford when he examined your specimens carefully with me not long ago. We met again on the Calais steamer and he said that he had not a set of your papers and only knew your views from one, I think the Bethnal Green Catalogue. I said that of all places these papers ought to be at Saint Germain, and that I would write to ask you what can be done.

Writing this reminds me that it is some while since I wrote to or heard from you. There is a steady if rather slow growth going on in your various series from new specimens, which you will I think like to look at if you can find time to come to Oxford after the Vacation. Now and then some new lines of connexion start. You will be interested to hear that the Tasmanian area of quasi-palaeolithic implements is at last found to extend into Australia. For years whenever we go into Somerset, I pay a visit to Mr Sanford of Nynehead and get him to bring out a gum-hafted stone blade, chipped after the rudest Tasmanian manner, which he brought from West Australia over 40 years since. After attempting for years without success to get the examination pushed in this region, there has at last come a letter from Mr A. Morton of Hobart, who has been in the Murchison River district and finds tribes there in the same quasi-palaeolithic stage as the Tasmanian, so that it seems reasonable to extend the area of this rude stone age over Australia also, treating the ground stone hatches as introduced from the northern part into which they came across the Torres Strait in some comparatively recent period. It is hoped you may come to Bristol for the British Association in September, so I mention that I am arranging for a short paper to set this subject moving. You will remember the carved and painted small totem-posts from North-West America, which are placed in the Human Figure series. I have lately been examining them carefully with Balfour and they seem not be merely [sic] art carvings but to have value as actual totem-figures, as I find by having taken a great deal of trouble lately about the meaning & origin of totems. The theological world of Oxford has been exciting itself much of late about the works of J.G. Frazer and F.H. Jevons, and I have been called in to say what the truth is about the theory of totems as expounded by McLennan in his papers long ago, as to the totems being among the greatest factors in the development of the religions of the world. The whole business seems to be of minor importance and most of the theories worthless which have been built on it by these ingenious writers. But in the meantime the totems are rather interesting and worth working out, and your Haida specimens will I hope come in useful. The longer I live the more I feel the value of your method of working in series of actual objects rather than mere talk.

Mrs Tylor sends her very kind regards to Mrs Pitt-Rivers. We are here in the mountains for a few weeks but shall return next week to Oxford.

Believe me
yrs very truly
Edward B. Tylor



Cheque £20 sent on Aug 16/98

August 12th 1898 | Wamil Hall | Mildenhall | Suffolk

Dear Sir

Not having yet heard from you with regard to the flints which I sent you on the 25th of July last, I write to ask if you have received them in safety & if you would care to take them - since if not I shall be glad to have them again

yours truly
Edmund Selous

General A Pitt Rivers



September 6th 1898 | Longford House | Gloucester

Dear Sir

In reply to your last letter I have looked through all the flints I have left but there are none worth sending you as picked specimens, I am sorry to say, all the pick having been comprised in those I sent you. I reckoned the quantity together with the quality. Since you are so good as to give me the price I asked for both together for the latter only I can only hope it may contain something of great interest to you

Yours faithfully
Edmund Selous

General A Pitt Rivers

Transcribed by AP July 2011 for the Rethinking Pitt-Rivers project

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