Sir John Evans Centenary Project - image background is marbled paper from one of John Evans's books John Evans Numismatic Society Medal 1899

John Evans Collections at other Museums

Evans gave objects to museums other than the Ashmolean, one of which was the Blackmore Museum in Salisbury, renamed the Salisbury Museum in 1864, and subsequently the Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum. Evans's objects became part of the Blackmore Museum founding collection. We know from the Museum's archives that Evans gave a collection of stone tools and at least one copper alloy axe (palstave).

The Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum is also the home of the collection formed by General Pitt Rivers after he had founded the museum in Oxford that bears his name; there are approximately fifteen letters from Evans to Pitt Rivers in the archive, held at the Salisbury Museum.

In cases A34 and A35 of the original Blackmore Museum display there were worked flints from Mons donated by M. Toilliez, who died in 1865. His prehistoric collection was passed to Evans who subsequently distributed objects to various public collections including the Blackmore Museum.

The Blackmore Collection has many documents and notebooks, including this fragile leather bound 'locked' notebook. One of the pages displays an axe 'found at Millford Hill, 6 feet from the surface, on June 13th, 1864 by Mr. James Brown and given to Mr. John Evans'.

Blackmore's notebook
Blackmore's locked notebook

axe from Millford Hill

Page from Blackmore's locked notebook showing the axe found at Millford Hill

fragment of stone axe

Fragment of axe from Mons Bois. The number 308 is written on Evan's blue edged label; a thick number 7 is also written on the object; and a white label 'Mons'; the object eventually becoming Salisbury Museum 2002.R12.


This copper alloy axe is from the Blackmore Collection. The object had an old Ashmolean Museum label and number (1927.2607). It was found in 1846 at East Harnham, Wiltshire, given to the Ashmolean Museum by Evans, and subsequently exchanged in 1968 for 2 axes from Yorkshire which were in the Salisbury Museum collections. Salisbury Museum axe (palstave type) SBYWM 1968.49

copper alloy axe, Blackmore Collection

Evans's connection with Denmark is again demonstrated in the Blackmore Collection. In case 23 on page 200 in 'A Guide to the Blackmore Museum' by Edward T. Stevens (undated) 'all specimens exhibited from shell mounds and coast-finds in Denmark have been presented to the Museum by Mr. J. Evans, F.R.S.' One of the sites is Meilgaard, north-east Jutland. Listed in case 24 on page 200 of the same publication are 'flint flakes and implements from a shell-mound at Havelse and 15 flint flakes, cores and rude implements from Evans coast-find at Korsor.'

box of shells
Shells from Denmark in their original box
a few of the shells
Some of the shells from Denmark

The above photographs were taken with kind permission of the Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum Trust, who gave Ashmolean staff access to Evans-related archives and objects on a visit in February 2009.

Further References / Links:

John Evans, The Ancient Bronze Implements, Weapons and Ornaments of Great Britain and Ireland (1881)