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See also Henry Balfour (MP for Fifeshire)
Portrait of Balfour published in the Popular Science Monthly, 1904

Henry Balfour FRS[1] (11 April 1863 in Croydon – 9 February 1939) was a British archaeologist, and the first curator of the Pitt Rivers Museum.

He was President of the Royal Anthropological Institute, the Museums Association, the Folklore Society, the Royal Geographical Society, and a Fellow of the Royal Society.[2]

Contents

BiographyEdit

Henry Balfour, the only son of Lewis Balfour (1833–1885), silk broker of Croydon, and Sarah Walker Comber (1836–1916), was born in 1863. His parents had been married on 28 July 1857.[3] He had two older sisters: Edith Balfour (born c. 1859) and Marian Balfour (born c. 1860). His father died on 1 May 1885, at 15 Hanover Terrace, Regent's Park, London, at 52 years of age.[4]

In 1887 Henry married Edith Marie Louise Wilkins, only daughter of Robert Francis Wilkins of Kingswear, south Devon. They had one son, Lewis Balfour (1887–1974). The Balfours lived at 11 Norham Gardens, Oxford before moving to Langley Lodge, Headington, Oxford later in life. A few months after the death of his wife, Balfour died in his home in Headington, Oxford, on 9 February 1939.

Balfour was educated at Charterhouse and Trinity College, Oxford (matriculated 1881-graduated 1885), and took Honours Mods and later the final school of animal morphology in 1885. In 1884 the University of Oxford accepted the collection of ethnological and archaeological specimens made and arranged by General Augustus Pitt Rivers: Professor H. N. Moseley, in whose charge the Pitt Rivers Museum was placed by the University, invited Balfour, who was one of his students, to assist in the installation of the collection in the new museum building. Moseley had recognised the keen and alert intelligence of Balfour, his love of animals, and his skill as a draughtsman. Balfour continued to work under Moseley's supervision till Moseley's death in 1891, when the whole responsibility devolved on Balfour. Balfour was appointed Curator in 1893 and continued in that position until his death. That a large and unique museum has grown up around the original nucleus of the Pitt Rivers collection is entirely due to Balfour's erudition and devotion.

Specimens of the arts and crafts of various peoples had long been collected in museums and were regarded as little more than curiosities or trophies, but owing to the work of Colonel Lane-Fox they acquired a new significance. In 1851 Augustus H. Lane Fox (later Pitt Rivers) began to collect specimens of firearms to illustrate his recognition that every noteworthy advancement in the efficiency, not only of the whole weapon but also of every individual detail in its structure, was arrived at as a cumulative result of a succession of every slight modifications, each of which was but a trifling improvement upon the one immediately preceding it. He was led to believe that the same principle most probably govern the development of the other arts, appliances, and ideas of mankind. and forthwith he began to make the ethnological collection with which he will always be associated, though under the name of Pitt Rivers, which he assumed in 1880. Unlike other keen collectors, there was invariably some principle of theory that the objects he collected were designed to illustrate. The spoils of over twenty years of intelligent collecting were exhibited in 1874 in the Bethnal Green Museum. The collection was a revelation to students, and was the first application of the theory of evolution to objects made by man. The validity of the general views of Colonel Lane Fox as to the evolution of the material arts of man was rapidly accepted by a large number of ethnologists and others.

As palaeontology is ancient zoology, so archaeology is ancient ethnology; by bringing together the archeological and ethnological material, Pitt Rivers sought to make each elucidate the other. From the archaeological record a sequence could be derived, but there are many gaps and these he sought to fill from evidence derived from a study of the recent primitive and barbaric peoples. The culture of the modern stone-age man he regarded as more or less direct survival from that of ancient stone-age man and he argued that much which is obscure in the culture of prehistoric times may be elucidated by reference to recent primitive peoples.

As Balfour has stated in his Presidential Address to the Somersetshire Archaeological and Natural History Society in 1919,

Arguing from the known to the inknown, ese modern survivals of early cultures have been used, as far as possible, to complete the picture of the life and industries of Prehistoric Man. From the combined material derived from ancient and modern times series were created to show, tentatively at any rate, how the more developed types of appliances were arrived at by successive slight improvements from their simple and generalized prototypes. Incidentally these typological series serve to demonstrate the geographical distribution of particular arts, industries, and appliances, a matter which is becoming recognized as increasingly important, as affording valuable clues to the intricate problems of racial dispersal and migration routes, and as supplying evidence of the culture-contact between various peoples not necessarily related to one another.

Balfour goes on to say, "In studying the development of human arts, it must not be supposed that progress was effected by a simple process of what is known as 'end-on' evolution, the successive morphological changes following one another in simple unilinear series".

WorksEdit

Although he only wrote one book, The Evolution of Decorative Art (1893), Balfour published numerous scholarly articles, often taking a specific type of object – from musical bows to fire-pistons or fishing-kites – and exploring its "evolutionary development" through history and across different cultures.[5]

List of works
  • Balfour, Henry. 1888 – "Evolution of a Characteristic Pattern on the Shafts of Arrows from the Solomon Islands". Journal of the Anthropological Institute, May 1888, pp. 328–31.
  • —. 1889 – "Note on the use of elk teeth for money in North America". Journal of the Anthropological Institute, August 1888, p. 54.
  • —. 1889 – "The Fin Whale Fishery in North Lapland". Henry Balfour. The Midland Naturalist, Vol. XII, 1889, pp. 1–14.
  • —. 1890 – "The Old British 'Pibcorn' or 'Hornpipe,' and its Affinities". Journal of the Anthropological Institute, November 1890, pp. 142–54.
  • —. 1892 – "Stone implements from the Malay Peninsula in the Pitt-Rivers Museum". Archaeologia Oxoniensis, December 1892, pp. 1–6.
  • —. 1895 – "Ancient Double Hooks of Bronze". Reliquary and Illustrated Archaeologist, 1895, pp. 1–3.
  • —. 1897 – "Life History of an Aghori Fakir". Journal of the Anthropological Institute, May 1897, pp. 340–57.
  • —. 1898 – "Notes on the arrangement of the Pitt-Rivers Museum", pp. 1–4.
  • —. 1898 – "Notes on the Modern Use of Bone Skates". Reliquary and Illustrated Archaeologist, January 1898, pp. 1–9.
  • —. 1898 – "Sledges with Bone Runners in modern use". Reliquary and Illustrated Archaeologist, October 1898, pp. 1–13.
  • —. 1899 – "The Natural History of the Musical Bow". The Clarendon Press (Oxford University Press), 1899
  • —. 1901 – "Guilloche Pattern on an Etruscan Potsherd". MAN: A Monthly Record of Anthropological Science No. 4, p. 8.
  • —.1901 – "Native Smoking Pipes from Natal". Collected by H. D. R. Kingston and described by Henry Balfour. MAN: A Monthly Record of Anthropological Science, No. 10, pp. 11–12.
  • —. 1901 – "A Swan-neck Boomerang of unusual form". MAN: A Monthly Record of Anthropological Science, March 1901, p. 33.
  • —. 1901 – "Three Bambu Trumpets from Northern Territory, South Australia". MAN: A Monthly Record of Anthropological Science, No. 28, p. 33.
  • —. 1901 – "Memorial Heads in the Pitt-Rivers Museum". MAN: A Monthly Record of Anthropological Science, May 1901, pp. 65–6.
  • —. 1901 – "A Spear-head and Socketed Celt of Bronze from the Shan States, Burma". MAN: A Monthly Record of Anthropological Science, July 1901, pp. 97–8.
  • —. 1902 – "The Goura a stringed-wind musical instrument of the Bushmen and Hottentotts". Journal of the Anthropological Institute , January–June 1902, Vol. XXXII, pp. 156–75.
  • —. 1903 – "On the Method employed the Natives of N.W. Australia in the Manufacture of Glass Spear-heads". MAN: A Monthly Record of Anthropological Science, May 1903, p. 65.
  • —. 1903 – "Thunderbolt Celts from Benin". MAN: A Monthly Record of Anthropological Science, No. 102, pp. 182–3.
  • —. 1903 – Review of Mead "The Musical Instruments of the Incas", Henry Balfour. MAN: A Monthly Record of Anthropological Science, No. 112.
  • —. 1904 – "Presidential Address". Journal of the Anthropological Institute , January–June 1904, Vol. XXXIV, pp. 10–19.
  • —. 1904 – "Musical Instruments from the Malay Peninsula", in Fasciculi Malayenses, Anthropology, Part II, edited by Nelson Annandale, pp. 1–18.
  • —. 1904 – "Presidential Address to the Anthropological Section B.A.A.S. (British Association for the Advancement of Science)." , Cambridge 1904, pp. 1–12.
  • —. 1905 – "Presidential Address". Journal of the Anthropological Institute , January–June 1905, Vol. XXXIV, pp. 12–19.
  • —. 1905 – "A Double-headed Club from the Fijian Islands". MAN: A Monthly Record of Anthropological Science February 1905, p. 17.
  • —. 1905 – "Bird and Human Designs from the Solomon Islands, illustrating the influence of one design over another". MAN: A Monthly Record of Anthropological Science June 1905, pp. 81–3.
  • —. 1905 – "Musical Instruments of South Africa", B.A.A.S. (British Association for the Advancement of Science) Report 1905. pp. 1–2 (Section H – South Africa, 1905).
  • —. 1906 – "Note upon an implement of Palaeolithic type from the Victoria Falls, Zambesi". Journal of the Anthropological Institute , January–June 1906, Vol. XXXVI, pp. 170–1.
  • —. 1906 – Flint-engraved pottery from the ruins at Khami and Dhlo Dhlo, Rhodesia. MAN: A Monthly Record of Anthropological Science 1906 – No. 11, pp. 1–3.
  • —. 1907 – "Haida Portrait Mask". MAN: A Monthly Record of Anthropological Science January 1907, p. 1.
  • —. 1907 – "The Friction-Drum". Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (JRAI), January–June 1907, Vol. XXXVII, pp. 67–92.
  • —. 1909 – "The Origin of West African Crossbows", Henry Balfour. Journal of the African Society, Vol. VIII, No. XXXII, July 1909, pp. 338–56.
  • —. 1909 – "Presidential Address, Museums Association" . Museums Journal, July 1909, pp. 5–18.
  • —. 1909 – "The Indian Collection at South Kensington", letter Henry Balfour. The Times 23 February 1909.
  • —. 1910 – "Archaeological and Ethnological Research in South Africa". The Times, 5 November 1910, pp. 1–16.
  • —. 1912 – "Notes on a Collection of Ancient Stone Implements from Ejura, Ashanti". Journal of the African Society, Vol. XII, No. XLV, October 1912, pp. 1–16.
  • —. 1912 – "The Wart-Hog", letter from Henry Balfour. Country Life, 9 November 1912, p. 656.
  • —. 1913 – "Kite Fishing", in Essays presented to William Ridgeway on his Sixtieth Birthday, 6 August 1913, edited by E. C. Quiggin, published by the Cambridge University Press, pp. 583–608.
  • —. 1914 – "Frictional Fire-Making with Flexible Sawing-Thong". Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, January–June 1914, Vol. XLIV, pp. 32–64.
  • —. 1915 – "Note on a new kind of fish-hook from Goodenough Island. D'Entrecasteaux Group, New Guinea". MAN: A Monthly Record of Anthropological Science February 1915 – No. 9, p. 1.
  • —. 1916 – "Origin and Relationship of Hani, Tewha-Tewha and Pou-Whenua". MAN: A Monthly Record of Anthropological Science, No. 108, p. 181.
  • —. 1917 – "Ceremonial Paddle of the Kalabari of Southern Nigeria". MAN: A Monthly Record of Anthropological Science April 1917 – No. 44, pp. 1–2.
  • —. 1917 – "Ceremonial Paddle of the Kalabari of Southern Nigeria". MAN: A Monthly Record of Anthropological Science April 1917, No. 44, pp. 57–8.
  • —. 1917 – "Some types of native hoes, Naga Hills". MAN: A Monthly Record of Anthropological Science July 1917 – No. 74, pp. 1–3.
  • —. 1917 – "Willow Wand Whistles", letter from Henry Balfour. Times Literary Supplement, 29 March 1917.
  • —. 1917 – "Ethnological Suggestions in regard to Easter Island or Rapanui" Folk-Lore, December 1917, pp. 355–381.
  • —. 1918 – "Some specimens from the Chatham Islands". MAN: A Monthly Record of Anthropological Science October 1918 – No. 80, pp. 1–4.
  • —. 1919 – "An Eskimo Week-Calendar". MAN: A Monthly Record of Anthropological Science June 1919 – No. 47, pp. 1–2.
  • —. 1919 – "Presidential Address" . Proceedings of the Somersetshire Archaeological and Natural History Society, Vol. LXV (1919), pp. xxiii–xxxiii.
  • —. 1920 – "The Rushbrook Painted Coat", letter from Henry Balfour. Country Life, 31 January 1920.
  • —. 1921 – Foreword to The Sema Naga 1921 by J. H. Hutton.
  • —. 1921 – "The Statues of Easter Island". Folklore, Vol. XXXII, No. 1, 31 March 1921, pp. 70–2.
  • —. 1921 – "Varieties of the Common Gannet". British Birds Vol. XV, No. 4, 1 September 1921.
  • —. 1921 – "The Archer's Bow in the Homeric Poems". Huxley Memorial Lecture 1921, pp. 1–20.
  • —. 1922 – "Earth Smoking-Pipes from South Africa & Central Asia". RMAN: A Monthly Record of Anthropological Science May 1922 – No. 45, pp. 1–5.
  • —. 1922 – "Hose, Charles (1863–1929)", in Dictionary of National Biography, 1922–30, pp. 948–950.
  • —. 1923 – "Musical Instruments in the Charterhouse Museum". Greyfriar, Vol. VIII, No. 111, 1923.
  • —. 1923 – "The Welfare of Primitive Peoples – Presidential Address", Folk-Lore, March, 1923, pp. 12–24.
  • —. 1924 – "The Geographical Study of Folklore – Presidential Address", Folk-Lore, March, 1924, pp. 16–25.
  • —. 1925 – "The Status of the Tasmanians among the Stone Age Peoples". Prehistoric Society of East Anglia, Vol. V, Part I, 1925, pp. 1–15.
  • —. 1926 – Foreword to The Ao Naga by J. P. Mills
  • —. 1926 – "Ceremonial Fire-making in the Naga Hills. Reprinted from MAN: A Monthly Record of Anthropological Science June 1926, pp. 1–3.
  • —. 1926 – "Risso's Grampus off the Pembrokeshire Coast". The Field, 5 August 1926
  • —. 1927 – "Coup-de-Poing". Nature 119 1927 (pp. 490–1). Two letters one W. J. Sollas (University College, Oxford) and the other a reply Henry Balfour.
  • —. 1927 – "Fishing in Homer", two letters from Henry Balfour. The Times Literary Supplement 2 June 1927 and 30 June 1927
  • —. 1929 – "Stone Implements of the Tasmanians and the Culture-Status which they Suggest". Report of the Hobart Meeting 1928 of the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science, pp. 314–322.
  • —. 1929 – "South Africa's contribution to prehistoric archaeology". Presidential Address to the Anthropology Section, British Association for the Advancement of Science (BAAS) report 1929, pp. 1–12.
  • —. 1929 – "Concerning Thunderbolts". Folk-Lore Vol. XL, No. 1, 31 March 1929, pp. 37–49.
  • —. 1929 – "Obituary – Sir Charles Hercules Read, July 6, 1857 – February 11, 1929". MAN: A Monthly Record of Anthropological Science, April 1929, No. 48, pp. 61–2.
  • —. 1929 – Foreword to booklet on the Hausa people.
  • —. 1932 – "An ingenious primitive". Letter to the editor from Henry Balfour. Country Life, 10 December 1932.
  • —. 1932 – "Thorn-lined Traps in the Pitt-Rivers Museum, Oxford. MAN: A Monthly Record of Anthropological Science March 1932 – No. 77, pp. 1–3.
  • —. 1932 – "Notes on the Composite Bow from Hunza". MAN: A Monthly Record of Anthropological Science, No. 196, p. 161.
  • —. 1934 – "Occurrence of 'Cleavers' of Lower-Palaeolithic type in Northern Nigeria". MAN: A Monthly Record of Anthropological Science No. 25, pp. 21–24.
  • —. 1934 – "The Tandu industry in Northern Nigeria and its affinities elsewhere". Essays Presented to C. G. Seligman, 1934, pp. 5–18.
  • —. 1937 – "Address at the Annual General Meeting", of the Society held on 18 October 1937, the President (Henry Balfour). Geographical Journal, Vol. XC No. 6, December 1937, pp. 489–497.
  • —. 1937 "Spinners and Weavers in Anthropological Research". Frazer Lecture, published by Oxford University Press (Clarendon Press) in 1938, pp. 1–19.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Haddon, A. C. (1940). "Henry Balfour. 1863-1939". Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society. 3 (8): 108–126. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1940.0010.
  2. ^ La Rue, Hélène (2004). "Balfour, Henry (1863–1939)". The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/30557.
  3. ^ The Times. 30 July 1857. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ The Times. 6 May 1885. p. 1. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ Larson, Frances (August 2005). "Biography of Henry Balfour". The Relational Museum. Pitt Rivers Museum. Archived from the original on 30 November 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
Attribution

  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHaddon, A. C. (1940). "Henry Balfour. 1863-1939". Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society. 3 (8): 108–126. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1940.0010.

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