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Acquisitions at the British Museum (Natural History)

    Naturevolume 140pages187188 (1937) | Download Citation



    MR. J. L. CHAWORTH-MUSTEKS has presented to the Department of Zoology 82 birds belonging to 31 species, and a few field mice, which he collected in the High Atlas Mountains, above Marakesh, in the early part of the year. Included among the birds are examples of the rare crimson-winged finch, an alpine accentor, and local forms of the dipper and shore lark. The Entomological Department has received a welcome gift in the letter-book of Dru Drury, a famous collector and describer of insects (1725-1803). He was a goldsmith living in London who had correspondents in Asia, Africa, America, and Australia. This book contains copies, in his own hand, of letters written by him to his friends, his collectors, and his business connexions during the years 1761-1780, and gives a valuable insight into entomological proceedings during that period. Accompanying this volume, and similarly presented by Mr. Charles Dru Drury, are a copy of the auctioneer's catalogue of Dru Drury's collection (1801), and a small collection of letters addressed to him by Carl Linné the younger, by A. R. Lewin (from Australia), and by other well-known contemporary naturalists. Accessions in the Department of Geology include a collection of nearly 200 fossil fruits and seeds from the Cromer forest bed, all described and figured by Mrs. E. M. Reid and her late husband Dr. Clement Reid, and now generously presented by Mrs. Reid. The Trustees approved the purchase for the Department of Minerals of a nugget of well-crystallized iridosmine (osmiridium), weighing nearly an ounce, from Adamsfield near the source of the Derwent in Tasmania. There is a larger nugget already in the collection weighing nearly two ounces and reputed to be the second largest nugget of pure iridosmine, but it is less well crystallized than the specimen now acquired. Other important purchases are a slice weighing 1,387 grammes of a rare type of meteorite— a pallasite—from Springwater, Sascatchewan, a fine aurichalcite from Utah, and a fine group of laumontite and a large crystal of adularia from northern Italy.

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