Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Meeting Henry Salt - Narrative of a Journey Overland

The Travellers in Egypt website has been updated with this piece written in 1830 by Mrs Colonel Elwood from Narrative of a Journey Overland from England, by the Continent of Europe, Egypt, and the Red Sea, to India; including a residence there, and voyage home, in the Years 1825, 26, 27, and 28. Amongst other things, she writes about British Consul Henry Salt and his antiquities: "We were fortunate enough to be present, when Mr. Salt opened a packet of curiosities from Thebes, which was sent to him by his agent, who was established there for the purpose of making the collection. . . . There were also several mummy necklaces, with small, and by no means un-pretty ornaments hanging to them, resembling delicate seals; also several scarabei, and other trinkets, of some of which the Consul kindly made me a present. What a pity it was that the members of our Government should have been seized with such an unlucky fit of economy, when Mr. Salt offered his collection of curiosities to them for sale, and which, in consequence of their refusing to purchase them, have now passed into the hands of the French, who gave ten thousand pounds for the whole, for, from his knowledge, and power of procuring what was most valuable, they would doubtless have been a noble addition to any museum". See the Travellers in Egypt website at the above URL for the complete extract.

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