Charles Seligman Beatrice Blackwood PRM Museum John Hutton Henry Balfour Edward Tylor Augustus Fox

Pitt Rivers Museum Europe collections up to 1945 statistics Part IV

10. Is it possible to break the information down into types of collectors?

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Pitt Rivers own collections - the founding collection of the PRM

Given that UK and specifically English stone tools so dominate the European collections it is likely that any collector of these figures prominently among European collectors (if measured by size of collection of course).

This appears to be true in so far as Augustus Henry Lane Fox Pitt Rivers so dominates UK collections and Europe collections:

Total Augustus Henry Lane Fox Pitt Rivers European collections: 10312 [total Europe collections = 41898]

Total AHLF Pitt Rivers UK collection: 6078 [total UK collections = 25596]

Total AHLF Pitt Rivers English collection: 5487 [total English collections = 22510]

In other words, one in every four European objects is an object which was part of the founding collection (NOT field collected by Pitt Rivers). The same percentage is true of the UK collections, that is one in every four UK object up to 1945 was part of the founding collection, and of the English collections:

We presume it will be obvious that in each case the finer geographical delination is included in the larger that is the part of the founding collection that is from England also forms part of the UK collections and thus form part of overall EuropeanPitt Rivers collections.

As to Pitt Rivers as a field collector: Pitt Rivers at least potentially field collected 4,447 European objects, 4,055 UK objects (part of 4,447 obviously) and 3,948 English objects (part of 4,447 and 4,055 obviously):

By which it can be seen that at least there is a possibility that Pitt Rivers personally collected one in every 5 English object, and just over one in every 10 European object up to 1945.

To set this in some sort of context - Pitt Rivers' total collection (ie the founding collection) totalled 17802 [using the objects prm database up to 1945 not the main networked database which will already have increased this figure since the ESRC database was created). The total figure for the PR founding collection keeps increasing because of the number of 'found unentered' items which are being retrieved.

Please note that the 18 African items were collected when Pitt Rivers was in Egypt and that 2 Asian items when he was in the Crimea (probably). These have not been included in the following table as both figures are less than 1 per cent of total founding collection

So Pitt Rivers Europe collection is 65 per cent of his total founding collection, and of those 20 per cent was probably field collected personally and 45 per cent by other people and for these items Pitt Rivers was the secondary collector.

Balfour's European collections

Henry Balfour donated 6,557 objects from Europe to the Pitt Rivers Museum, he field collected 5536.

So 16 per cent of the PRM European collections up to 1945 were donated by Balfour:

and Balfour field collected 13 per cent of the European collections. Though these figures are not as large as Pitt Rivers (see above) they are still very significant.

Tylor's European collections

Tylor's European collection is much smaller, 860 objects of which 595 could have been field collected by him (860 is 2 per cent of the overall European collection)

Archibald Colquhoun Bell / Alexander Montgomerie Bell

There are 3,457 objects in this collection, most of them stone tools. They were donated by Archibald Colquhoun Bell and secondarily / field collected by Alexander Montgomerie Bell (his father). Not all Alexander Montgomerie Bell field collected items came via his son (some came via Balfour for example) but he may have field collected 3,586 objects in total. His name is given as secondary collector for 3651 objects (of these 3,400 are stone tools, and 3,636 are archaeological). These totals for collection (whichever you take) are all significant figures (at between 8 and 9 per cent of all European PRM collections up to 1945). So nearly one in ten European objects came from the Bell collection in one form or another.

Each countries collections and collectors:


Out of a total of 179 objects, Mary Edith Durham field collected 93 and Edward Lovett may have collected 14.


All 3 Andorran objects came via Beatrice Braithwaite Batty, we do not have the name of the field collector


Of the 424 Austrian items 92 were possibly field collected by Balfour and 104 donated by him (that is, just under a quarter). There does not appear to be any other dominating field collector or donor though items came from Canziani, Durham, Pitt Rivers etc


All Belarus objects were field collected and donated by Michel de Bernoff


152 of the 455 objects have Alexander Montgomerie Bell as secondary collector, that is rather more than one in every four, the rest of the objects seem to come from a variety of donors

Bosnia Herzegovina Yugoslavia

Of the total of 155 Bosnian objects 97 were field collected by Balfour and 45 by Mary Edith Durham:


All but one of the Bulgarian objects came in via the founding collection and we have no named field collector for them. It is just possible that Pitt Rivers was the field collector for them for the British troops serving in the Crimea War were first located at Varna on the north west coast of the Black Sea (which is now in Bulgaria). According to Chapman Pitt Rivers visited Bulgaria in the summer of 1854 [Chapman, 1981: 53, 184], this object may have been collected then

Croatia Yugoslavia

Of the total of 45 Croatian objects 20 were collected and donated by Mary Edith Durham (that is, a little under a half).


Of the 424 total number of Cypriot objects, 134 were collected and donated by Leonard Halford Dudley Buxton and 184 came from the Cesnola collection via Pitt Rivers founding collection. In total Pitt Rivers donated 199 Cypriot objects (47 per cent of the collection):

Czech Republic

14 out of 32 Czech objects, or slightly less than half the total, came from Frantisek Pospísil, a museum professional from Brno.


392 of the total of 822 Danish objects are from the founding collection, the remainder seem to come from a variety of collectors and donors including John Wickham Flowers, Balfour and Annandale


The two Estonian objects (that could also have been Latvian) were field collected and donated by Dr Paul Gähtgens via Tylor


134 out of 176 items from Finland were collected by Arthur Evans and given by his daughter after death. A further 22 came from Balfour (Evans and Balfour travelled together to Scandinavia).


Balfour's mainly archaeological holidays in France have produced over a quarter of the entire French collection up to 1945 (28 percent). Similarly the entire Pitt Rivers founding French collection is more than another quarter (add together the two PR sections but in addition 168 of the Christy and Lartet collection came via PR). A surprisingly important French collector is Diamond Jenness better know for collecting on the D'Entrecasteaux islands and in Canada (5 per cent of the total French collection). Christy and Lartet's archaeological collection are 8 per cent of the total.


There is no one single important donor or collector of German material, but Balfour and Blackwood were both important field collectors there (14 and 20 per cent of total German collections respectively) and in addition PR donated a fair amount of German objects:


The only Gibraltan object was donated by Henry Balfour and may have been field colleted by him.


Again there isnt a very dominating collector or donor of Greek objects, in addition to the ones mentioned in the pie chart below there are people like Bent and Dawkins. Pitt Rivers gave over a quarter of the collections, Balfour 15 per cent, and Schliemann [via Muller] 12 per cent.


There is no dominating field collector or donor, among people donating objects from there are Tylor, Pitt Rivers and Balfour


There are several other collectors not named in the following pie chart, in addition please note that the Scandinavian collections in general are quite often double counted (ie it doesnt specify which exact Scandinavian country it means)

Ireland (excluding Northern Ireland)

The only really sizeable donor of objects that definitely came from Ireland was Pitt Rivers:


Apart from Canziani there is no strong single collector / donor of Italian objects:


The two Latvian objects (that could also have been Estonian) were field collected and donated by Dr Paul Gähtgens via Tylor


2 of the Lithuanian objects were field collected and donated by Marie Antionette Czaplicka and two by Michel de Bernoff

Macedonia Yugoslavia

Of the 13 Macedonian objects Mary Edith Durham collected 8 (that is rather more than half).


Themistocles Zammit, Balfour and Leonard Halford Dudley Buxton are the most prominent Maltese field collectors:

Montenegro Yugoslavia

Mary Edith Durham is the most obvious Montenegran field collector:

The Netherlands

Of the 138 Dutch objects up to 1945, 82 are from Balfour (59 per cent)


Among other collectors, Balfour and Arthur Evans appear to be dominating:


No particular collector dominates the Polish collections, there are objects from Czaplicka, Blackwood, de Bernoff, Pitt Rivers etc


There are several collectors and donors of Portugeuse material, Flora Shelford appears to have the single largest collection of 60 objects:


Roughly half of the Romanian collections is a collection of 9 Easter Eggs from Madame Murgoci donated by Oliver Wardrop


The two most obvious field collectors in Russia are Arthur Evans and Michel de Bernoff

Serbia Yugoslavia

Of the 24 Serbian objects 13 (just over half) were collected and donated by Mary Edith Durham


The 2 Slovakian objects (which could also come from Poland) were donated by H. Peach


One of the possibly Slovenian objects came via the founding collection and one might have been field collected but was donated by Henry Balfour


There does not seem to be any one leading collector or donor of Spanish objects



There are quite a lot of smaller collectors of Swiss material but probably the largest single donor was Pitt Rivers:


Pitt Rivers dominates the UK collections:

However Balfour is also a very sizeable donor of British material:

From which it can be seen that Balfour gave 12 per cent of the UK collection of which 10 per cent had been (probably) field collected by himself.

Tylor was a much smaller donor of UK collections [429 in total or 2 per cent of the total European collections)

A prominent field collector of English objects (almost all archaeological, almost all stone tools) is Alexander Montgomerie Bell with 3420 objects:


Pitt Rivers also dominates the English collections:

although Balfour also has a sizeable English collection:

Another large field collector of English objects was Alexander Montgomerie Bell:

Again Tylor's collections are much smaller, 403 objects in total of which 296 were possibly field collected by Tylor, Blackwood's are only a little smaller.


Eleanor Hope donated a large collection of stone tools and weapons from the Borders

Northern Ireland

GF Lawrence was a dealer

Northern Ireland or southern Ireland

As might be expected this category is dominated by Pitt Rivers, king of the unprovenanced   accession!

Channel Islands

Channel Island objects are dominated by archaeological items found by Marett, some were given directly but some were via Societe Jersaise.

Scilly Islands

All but 2 of the Scilly Islands material was given by Eustace Fulcrand Bosanquet who   collected and donated the archaeological items (there is a total of 22 objects so it does not seem worth doing a pie chart)

Isle of Man

Ernest Bickersteth Savagecollected and gave 75 of the 81 Isle of Man objects (a lot of them   tally sticks), again it does not seem worth doing a pie chart.


Vatican City

All 8 items from the Vatican City were possibly field collected and definitely donated by Henry Balfour

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The financial support of this project by the ESRC is gratefully acknowledged.