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Accessions to the British Museum (Bloomsbury)

Nature volume 141, page 1133 (25 June 1938) | Download Citation



AMONG accessions to the collections of the British Museum (Bloomsbury) reported at the June meeting of the Trustees is a remarkably fine spearhead found in the Thames at London, which has been on loan since 1931, and has now been presented to the Museum by the owner, Capt. John Ball. The spearhead, on account of its graceful shape, ranks with the famous Battersea shield and other examples of Celtic art in Britain of the period of high æsthetic qualities. It is of iron with two applied plates of bronze on each side, ornamented with Celtic scroll pattern. It dates from the beginning of the first century A.D. The most important accession to the Ethnographical Department consists of a generous selection of the antiquities from the Bay Islands off British Honduras, which were recently on exhibition in London (see NATURE, May 21, p. 932). These have been given by Lord Moyne, by whom the excavations were carried out. The remainder of the collection has been sent to Cambridge for study and distribution among various institutions. The examples of the Bay Islands culture allotted to the British Museum include a number of ocarinas or pottery whistles of various shapes, including a notable specimen in the form of a jaguar, while a remarkable product of the potter's art is a monkey swinging from a bough. The selection also includes a number of the small carvings in jadeite and soapstone and several of the stone hoes, while a large pottery beaker is especially interesting, as being comparable with one carved in white stone coming from the mainland of Honduras, which was already in the Museum. The Bay Islands culture is thought to date from between A.D. 1000 and 1500.

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