My love affair with Egypt and all things Egyptian began when I inherited a small faience amulet with a broken gold link (no doubt one of many) from a pectoral bearing the name of the god 'Amun'. and dating to around 1330 BC. This was given to my great Uncle Reginald, a court dressmaker, by Almina Countess of Carnarvon, wife of the late 5th Earl, for doing an emergency repair on a torn dress just before an important event. She said something about Tutankhamun and that there were many more of the same so it would not be missed, but that may have been a certain amount of embroidery on her part - we shall never know!
Egyptian items were the first antiquities that I bought; the reed pen and ink from around 1230BC and the 750BC ink. I did a two year course on Egyptian hieroglyphics in the 1960s, a lot of which I have forgotten, but am still fascinated by them.
I have now been to Egypt three times, each time obtaining at least one legal and authenticated item of writing. The first time I went was when one could wander around the Valley of the Kings and go into many tombs, including King Tut's, without hoards of other people or locals touting the gold mask. Each time I go, I get a strange, tingling feeling when I stop at a particular spot in the Ta-Set-Neferu or Valley of the Queens and reckon that that is where Nefertiti is buried. Well! We can all fantasise, can't we?


  • The first items I purchased were from Charles Ede - Folio Society. - and his son James Ede.
  • The majority of other pieces, including most of the papyrus, were from Davies Antiques and M. Ayers in 60s and 70s
  • The rare Basalt heart scarab from John Upton.
  • Alan E. Cole