Analysing the English Collections at the Pitt Rivers Museum

Sellers' relationships with PRM Part 3

Surnames I-R

Alison Petch,
Researcher 'The Other Within' project

This table (and that shown in Parts 1, 2, and 4) list all the vendors to the English collections at the Pitt Rivers Museum between 1884 and 2008. This table covers surnames I-R.

The final column seeks to show whether the Pitt Rivers Museum is known to have actively sought the purchased items from the vendor or had a passive relationship with them, where the vendor actively sought to sell specific items to the Museum. In some cases the relationship is unclear, in others it is probably either active or passive, and in a very few cases it is clear that the museum did not seek the relationship (i.e. was completely passive, and merely capitalised on a contact made deliberately by the vendor) or that the museum actively sought specific artefacts from specific sources to complement its displays or address specific points in its special exhibitions or displays.

Some preliminary conclusions about the purchases of English artefacts are drawn here.


Biography & Relationship with PRM

Active or passive relationship on the part of the Museum

Ipswich Museum per Patricia M. Butler

In 1966 the Museum purchased a large collection of ethnographic and archaeological objects from Ipswich Museum via the curator, Patricia Butler, this included English items


Mr Jones

An assortment of weapons were purchased from Mr Jones in January February and March, 1907. He may have been a dealer

Probably passive

H.W. Jones and Son

Based in Little Clarendon Street, Oxford, may have dealt in antiques, a clock was purchased in November 1940 and a thimble in October 1941, again it is unclear who is doing the purchasing but it was probably either Blackwood or Penniman

Probably active

James Keggie

Dealer who had stand in Portobello Road, London for over 30 years. He started out selling musical instruments but became a general dealer. In 1948 a musical instrument was sold to the Museum and in 1949 a set of tuning forks were purchased from him

Probably active to compliment displays

A.A. Kennedy

Several musical instruments were purchased from Kennedy between 1933-1945, he appears to have been based in both London and Oxford and was possibly a dealer


The Kensington Weavers

A loom was purchased for £5.12.7 in May 1939, the purchase was probably made by either Penniman the acting Curator or Blackwood. [see Dorchester Weavers above]


Kent Ironmongers

Ironmongers in Oxford, a pair of pattens was purchased in February 1897 from the Pitt Rivers Fund


J.B. Kirby

Nothing is known of this donor except he was resident in Dorchester, Oxfordshire according to accession records. He sold human remains and artefacts from an excavation in Dorchester in June 1914 for 30/-. Now transferred to Ashmolean Museum

Probably passive

Francis Howe Seymour Knowles

A volunteer at the Museum after ill-health forced him to leave work as an anthropologist. He donated large numbers of artefacts but also sold a large number as well, he may have just been being reimbursed for costs, as he was not poor and did not need to earn money from sales. In fact some entries confirm this: 'These were dug out by the workmen quarrying gravel and were obtained from them by Mr Knowles. The price paid is that paid to the men by Mr Knowles'

Probably active

E. Lacey

A one-off sale of a basalt adze blade found by a relative, paid from petty cash 5/-

Probably passive

Lafayette Ltd

Successful portrait photographers, a portrait of Balfour was purchased in May 1939 (shortly after his death) for display in the Museum. it cost £12.14.0


George Fabian Lawrence

Antiquarian, collector and dealer in London. Many items were purchased from him between 1898-1924. He also sold to Pitt Rivers.


Rowland Lee or Lea

Nothing is known of this vendor who sold three photographs to the Museum in 1910 for 5/-


David Andrew Leach

Potter from Lowerdown Pottery. His stoneware pots were purchased by the Museum in 1976 and put on a separate display, presumably for comparative purposes. See also Cardew and Casson above and Leach below


Michael Leach

Potter from Yelland Manor Pottery. His stoneware pots were purchased by the Museum in 1976 and put on a separate display, presumably for comparative purposes. See also Cardew, Casson and Leach above


Frederick John Lewis

Funeral director and builder from Chipping Norton, he sold funeral related material to the Museum in 1953. He may have sold this material when he retired


Edward Lovett

Resident of Croydon, antiquarian and collector. Head cashier of a City bank. He sold many items to the Museum between 1892 and 1911, including English artefacts, some were exchanged rather than sold to enhance each collection


A.J. probably Albert J. Luckhurst

A one-off sale of 9 Romano-British vessels found in Faversham, sold for £1 paid from petty cash. It is possible he worked in the brickfield where the artefacts were found

Probably passive

Albert Marshall

Staff Sergeant Major in the Army Signal Corps, Taplow Buckinghamshire, previously attendant at British Museum. He sold 23 stone tools to the Museum in June 1915 for £2

Probably passive

Miriam Maselkowski

Schoolgirl who made model bicycle from recycled objects, made at time of temporary exhibition in the Museum 'Transformations, the art of recycling'


T.J. Mason

A one-off sale of a bacon toaster in April 1940 for £2. The vendor worked in the Department of Geology at the University of Oxford and was presumably therefore known to museum staff


Joseph Meads

A one-off sale of a home-made fiddle etc and a trap in October 1931 and

Probably passive

Messrs Mellersh of Godalming

Sale rooms in Godalming, two items were purchased at the Stafford sale, including an exchequer tally, for £1.12.6 in March 1890 by Henry Balfour


Linda Mowat

A member of museum staff at the time, she donated some other material from other countries but purchased others, sometimes on field trips and sometimes in the UK, most were purchased to fill 'holes' in the collection, rather than for display, though many were purchased for special exhibitions.



A one-off sale of three crucibles excavated in Oxford during rebuilding in 1935, 2/6 paid from petty cash. Nothing is known of the vendor

Probably passive

Julia Nicholson

A member of museum staff, she purchased the items on behalf of the Museum as part of the temporary exhibition on recycling, see also Miriam Maselkowski.


Mr Nix

One-off purchase of a grandfather clock for an unspecified amount in 1949, presumably either by Blackwood or Penniman, reason unknown. He may have been a dealer, based in Little Clarendon Street but this is not confirmed


Miss E.F. Noel probably Emilia Frances Noel

A series of items purchased in December 1945 and June 1946 for a total of £8, which include some English objects. Her reason for sale is not recorded but may be linked to the Second World War. If she is Emilia Noel then she was a botanical artist who travelled widely (which is matched by the global nature of her artefacts).

Possibly passive

Margaret O'Rorke

O'Rorke made a lamp, in the shape of a vase, for an exhibition Making Light Work from January to July 1987, the lamp was purchased from her by the Museum.


Charles Overy

Church of England clergyman in Gloucestershire, he appears to have carried out archaeological investigations, and donated material to the Ashmolean Museum as well as the Pitt Rivers. Overy also donated artefacts, and facilitated other donors to give material to the Museum. The item he sold was an ophcleide and was possibly more valuable than the donations on the open art market, he himself had obtained it at a sale


William H. Parker

Oxford based dealer, based in Pembroke Street, it is not positive that all are the same source, some do not have the initials provided and only some list the address as Pembroke Street. His full first name came from the 1901 census where he is listed as William H. Parker aged 37 born in Oxford and living in St Ebbes, a dealer in antiques. He sold many objects to the Museum from a variety of countries, including English material


Jenny Peck

A member of museum staff at the time. In addition to donating some material she purchased items specifically for the Body Arts displays in the Lower Gallery of the Museum in the early 2000s [see also Coote].


J.P. Philbey

A one-off purchase of a constable's truncheon for which 4/- was paid from petty cash in August 1912

Probably passive

Thomas Plasted

A one-off purchase of a stone tool found in a property in Summertown possibly by the vendor, 4/- was paid in cash in December 1913

Probably passive

J.H. Powell

[this is possibly Thomas Henry Powell, if it is then he also donated other material] Excavated items from Ewelme were purchased in April 1905 for a guinea, Powell was almost definitely the finder of the artefacts

Possibly passive

Charles Roberts

Forged stone tools made at Brandon. Roberts was resident in Mildenhall, Suffolk according to accession records. As these items were purchased from Roberts he may have been the forger but nothing is known for sure. All 15 items were purchased for 37/6 paid for from the Pitt Rivers Fund. The Museum purchased quite a lot of known 'forgeries' or 'reproductions' of stone tools, probably because of the interest in flaking techniques

Possibly active

James Frank Robieson

Dealer in, and forger of, Maori artefacts. He managed to sell 31 artefacts to the Museum in April 1930, presumably without them being aware at the time that they were forgeries, though they realised their mistake in 1956.


Mr Rogers could be ?G.L. Rogers

If it is GL Rogers then he also donated material. In this case he sold a mezuza from Manchester in 1893 and stone tools on 2 occasions in 1906. He was an Osney, Oxford resident, nothing is known of him otherwise.

Probably passive