Journal Article

Marryat's Burmese curiosities

Ralph Isaacs

in Journal of the History of Collections

Volume 22, issue 1, pages 69-79
Published in print May 2010 | ISSN: 0954-6650
Published online May 2009 | e-ISSN: 1477-8564 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jhc/fhp029
Marryat's Burmese curiosities

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A manuscript catalogue of Captain Frederick Marryat's collection of Burmese curiosities, dated February 1829, was discovered in 2008 at the Royal Asiatic Society (RAS). This paper compares the contents and arrangement of the lists in the RAS catalogue, of which a full transcript is given, with those in Marryat's own manuscript catalogue, enclosed with a letter to the trustees of the British Museum dated 2 December 1826, in which he offered his entire collection to the Museum. When the trustees declined his offer, Marryat arranged that his collection should be displayed in the Bond Street rooms of the RAS. Additional numbers accompanying many entries in the RAS catalogue may throw light on the origin, purpose and authorship of this catalogue. It is postulated here that the additional numbers derive from yet another list, probably the missing ‘descriptive catalogue’ composed by the orientalist and student of Buddhism Edward Upham, who gave three talks based upon it to members of the RAS in November and December 1827.

Journal Article.  5585 words. 

Subjects: Exhibition Catalogues and Specific Collections ; History of Art ; Social and Cultural History

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