Item number: 3418
A Rare, Unique Copy of ‘The Ancient Stone Implements, Weapons and Ornaments of Great Britain’
By Sir John Evans, KCB, FRS, FSA, (1823-1908),
With Accompanying Signed Letter From Sir John Evans, Signed Watercolour, Many Annotations and Additions
Ex Percy. E. Coombe collection, (1897)
Ex C.F. Newton collection, (1919)
Ex J. Bradshaw Collection, (1964)
Interest in amassing collections of British antiquities really began in earnest during the 19th century having remained relatively overlooked in previous centuries, largely due to the widespread fascination with the ancient classical civilisations of Greece and Rome. Now, wealthy, ‘gentleman antiquarians’, popularised amateur archaeology in to a sport of discovery, becoming known as, ‘Barrow-diggers’, they roamed the countryside, studying strange anomalies in the landscape, drawing and recording ancient monuments. Many important burial mounds and prehistoric sites were excavated and interpreted during this period with varying degrees of sophistication, the finds often incorporated in to growing country house collections of antiquities.
This extremely rare and absolutely unique copy of Sir John Evans important book is extraordinarily annotated throughout with absolutely fascinating, period handwritten notes in addition to the valuable inclusion of a variety of relevant associated 19th Century newspaper cuttings. Other noteworthy additions include a picture of Sir John Evans, details of his burial place, a 19th Century dated watercolour of a Palaeolithic flint hand axe and its provenance details, a very rare handwritten, signed letter from Sir John Evans himself at his home at Nash Mills, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, discussing and identifying a prehistoric tool the recipient had sent him and encouraging further investigation, as well as other additions including signatures from a number of successive owners who have signed the book over the years from 1897-1964.
The book is in wonderful well used condition, absolutely full of character which adds to its charm as it has gradually become an artefact in its own right. the covers are present but detached from the spine from much use, held in position with the addition of an acetate slip case. This superficial damage could be easily remedied by a proficient book restorer however it must fall to the new custodian to make this decision.
Length: 24.5cm Width: 16cm