Pitt River Museum

For years and years I’ve wanted to visit the Pitt Rivers Museum. Pitt Rivers, unlike the more common museums such as the Ashmolean, displays the archaeological and anthropological collections of Oxford University, and was established in 1884 by Augustus Pitt Rivers. Originally the building housed around 20,000 items, but this has now grown to an astounding half a million, most of which are donations. Filled with the more darker side of humanity, including Hawaiian feather cloaks, the early masks of Japanese Noh actors, Inuit fur parkas, Plains skin shirts, items to assist witchcraft, flintlock pistols, and religious ephemera.

As always, here are selection of my more favourite pieces in the displays!



49 playing cards (3 missing from pack of 52).
Suits of hearts, spades, clubs and diamonds.
Field Collector: Frederick John Brown


Game of “boxes within boxes”.
Set of five owls of various sizes, four of which consist of two halves that fit together, and one small solid figure in the centre.
Field Collector: Alfred Ernest Dickinson, Cicely Frances Dickinson and Enid May Dickinson


Gun-powder tester with flint-lock mechanism.
Serrated wheel inscribed ‘CLAUDE REVACHON’.
Field Collector: John Birch-Reynardson

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