Herbert Maryon

Herbert Maryon
Herbert James Maryon with first reconstruction of the Sutton Hoo helmet.png
With his reconstruction of the Sutton Hoo helmet, c. 1951. The image to Maryon's left depicts the helmet from Vendel 14; that on his right shows plate 1 from Greta Arwidsson's 1942 work on Valsgärde 6, and depicts the helmet from said grave.
Born(1874-03-09)9 March 1874
London, England
Died14 July 1965(1965-07-14) (aged 91)
Edinburgh, Scotland
OccupationSculptor, metalsmith, conservator-restorer
RelativesJohn, Edith, George, Mildred, Violet (siblings)
Herbert Maryon signature.png

Herbert James Maryon, OBE, FSA, FIIC (9 March 1874 – 14 July 1965) was an English sculptor, goldsmith, archaeologist, conservator, author, and authority on ancient metalwork.[1][2] Maryon had two careers, in effect.[1][3] He was the first director of the Keswick School of Industrial Art, a teacher of sculpture at Reading University, and Master of Sculpture at Durham University.[1][3][4] He retired in 1939.[3] After World War II, Maryon was recruited out of retirement to begin his second career as a Technical Attaché at the British Museum.[3][5] He conserved the major finds from the Sutton Hoo ship-burial, an Anglo-Saxon grave widely identified with King Rædwald of East Anglia—the work for which he is best known which led to his appointment in 1956 as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.[3][6]

Maryon had attended three art schools, apprenticed in silversmithing with C. R. Ashbee, and worked in Henry Wilson's workshop by his mid-twenties.[4][7] From 1900 to 1904, he served as the director of the Keswick School of Industrial Art where he designed and exhibited numerous utilitarian and decorative Arts and Crafts works.[4][8] A year of teaching metalwork at the Storey Institute preceded a move to Reading University, where he taught sculpture, metalwork, modelling, and casting until 1927.[4][7][9][10] He then worked until 1939 at Durham University as Master of Sculpture and lecturer in anatomy and the history of sculpture.[4][7][9][10] Maryon published two books while a teacher, including the standard Metalwork and Enamelling,[11][12] and continued sculpting. He was commissioned to design memorial plaques and war memorials such as the University of Reading War Memorial.[13][14][15][16] He also published more than a dozen articles about early metalwork and archaeology, and he brought students along on archeological digs;[17] he excavated the Kirkhaugh cairns in 1935,[18] discovering one of the oldest gold ornaments known in Britain.[19]

Maryon's second career began when the British Museum hired him in 1944 to work on the Sutton Hoo finds, newly removed from their World War II hiding place in the London Underground.[20] His responsibilities included restoring the shield, the drinking horns, and the iconic Sutton Hoo helmet,[21] which was publicised widely and proved influential academically and culturally.[22] Maryon's work, much of which was revised in the 1970s,[23][24][25] created credible renderings upon which subsequent research relied.[26] One of his papers during this time coined the term pattern welding to describe a method employed on the Sutton Hoo sword[27][28] to strengthen and decorate iron and steel.[29] The initial work on the Sutton Hoo finds was brought to a close in 1950,[30][31] and Maryon turned to other matters. He proposed a widely publicised theory in 1953 on the construction of the Colossus of Rhodes,[5] influencing Salvador Dalí and others,[32] and he restored the Roman Emesa helmet in 1955.[33][34] Maryon left the museum in 1961, a year after his official retirement, and began an around-the-world trip lecturing and researching Chinese magic mirrors.[33][35][36]

Maryon died in 1965[37] and has been termed "[o]ne of the finest exemplars" of a conservator.[38] His works remain influential, particularly Metalwork and Enamelling, which remains in print more than a century after its initial publication.[39]

Early life and education[]

Herbert James Maryon was born in London on 9 March 1874.[4][2] He was the third of six surviving children born to John Simeon Maryon, a tailor,[40] and Louisa Maryon (née Church).[41][42][43] He had both an older brother, John Ernest, and an older sister, Louisa Edith, the latter of whom preceded him in his vocation as a sculptor. One brother and three sisters would follow—in order, George Christian, Flora Mabel, Mildred Jessie, and Violet Mary—although Flora Maryon, born in 1878, would die in her second year.[44] After receiving his general education at The Lower School of John Lyon,[7] Herbert Maryon studied from 1896 to 1900 at the Polytechnic (probably Regent Street), The Slade, Saint Martin's School of Art, and, under the tutelage of Alexander Fisher[45] and William Lethaby,[46] the Central School of Arts and Crafts.[4][7] Under Fisher in particular, Maryon learned enamelling.[45] Maryon further received a one-year silversmithing apprenticeship in 1898, at C. R. Ashbee's Essex House Guild of Handicrafts,[7][4] and worked for a period of time in Henry Wilson's workshop.[45][47]


From 1900 until 1939, Maryon held various positions teaching sculpture, design, and metalwork.[4] During this time he created and exhibited many of his own works.[4] Several of his works were also exhibited before he finished his education.[4] At the end of 1899 he displayed a silver cup and a shield of arms with silver cloisonné at the sixth exhibition of the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society, an event held at the New Gallery that also included a work by Maryon's sister Edith.[48] The exhibition was reviewed by The International Studio, with his work singled out as "agreeable".[49]

Keswick School of Industrial Art, 1900–04[]

In March 1900 Maryon became the first director of the Keswick School of Industrial Art.[50][51] The school had been opened by Edith and Hardwicke Rawnsley in 1884, amid the emergence of the Arts and Crafts movement.[52] It offered classes in drawing, design, woodcarving, and metalwork, and melded commercial with artistic purposes; the school sold items such as trays, frames, tables, and clock-cases, and developed a reputation for quality.[53] Already by May a reviewer for The Studio of an exhibition at the Royal Albert Hall commented that a group of silver tableware by the school was "a welcome departure towards finer craftsmanship".[54][55][56] Two of Maryon's designs, she wrote, "were singularly good—a knocker, executed by Jeremiah Richardson, and a copper casket made by Thomas Spark and ornamented by Thomas Clark and the designer."[54][55][56][note 1] She described the casket's lock as "enamelled in pearly blue and white," and giving "a dainty touch of colour to a form almost bare of ornament, but beautiful in its proportions and lines."[54][55]

Under Maryon's leadership the Keswick School expanded the breadth and range of its designs, and he executed several significant commissions.[59] His best works, wrote one historian of the school, "drew their inspiration from the nature of the material and his deep understanding of its technical limits."[59] They also tended to be in metal.[59] Items like Bryony, a tray centre showing tangled growth concealed within a geometric framework, continued the school's tradition of repoussé work of naturalistic interpretations of flowers, while evoking the vine-like wallpapers of William Morris.[60] These themes were particularly expressed in a 1901 plaque memorialising Bernard Gilpin unveiled in St Cuthbert's Church, Kentmere; described by the art historian Sir Nikolaus Pevsner as "Arts and Crafts, almost Art Nouveau", the bronze tablet on oak is framed by trees with entwined roots and influenced by a Norse and Celtic aesthetic.[61][62] Three other commissions in silver—a loving cup, a processional cross, and a challenge shield—were featured in The Studio and its international counterpart.[63][64] The cup was commissioned by the Cumberland County Council for presentation to HMS Cumberland, and was termed a "tour de force".[65]

Particularly in more utilitarian works, Maryon's designs at the Keswick School tended to emphasise form over design.[66] As he would write a decade later, "[o]ver-insistence on technique, craftsmanship which proclaims 'How clever am I!' quite naturally elbows out artistic feeling. One idea must be the principal one; and if that happens to be technique, the other goes."[67] Design should be determined by intention, he wrote: as an objet or as an object for use.[68] Hot water jugs, tea pots, sugar bowls and other tableware that Maryon designed were frequently raised from a single sheet of metal, retaining the hammer marks and a dull lustre.[69] Many of these were exhibited at the 1902 Home Arts and Industries Exhibition, along with an altar cross designed by Maryon for Hexham Abbey,[70] and were praised for showing "a remarkably good year's work in the finer kinds of craft and decoration."[71] At the following year's exhibition the Manchester School of Art purchased a copper jug he designed for its Arts and Crafts Museum.[72]

Maryon's four-year tenure at Keswick was assisted by four designers who also taught drawing: G. M. Collinson, Isobel McBean, Maude M. Ackery, and Dorothea Carpenter.[73] He also had the help of his sisters: Edith Maryon designed at least one work for the school, a 1901 relief plaque of Hardwicke Rawnsley, while Mildred Maryon, who the 1901 census listed as living with her sister,[74][75] worked for a time as an enameller at the school.[76][77] Both Herbert and Mildred Maryon worked on an oxidised silver and enamel casket that was presented to Princess Louise upon her 1902 visit to the Keswick School;[78] Herbert Maryon was responsible for the design and his sister for the enamelling, with the resulting work being termed "of a character highly crable to the School" by The Magazine of Art.[79] Strife with colleagues eventually led to Maryon's departure.[80] Already in July 1901 Collinson had left due to a poor working relationship.[81] Maryon was also frequently in conflict with the school's management committee, which was chaired by Edith Rawnsley and frequently made decisions without his knowledge.[80] When in August 1904 Carpenter, in friction with Maryon, tendered her resignation, the committee decided to give Maryon three-months' notice.[82]

Maryon left the school at the end of December, 1904.[82] He spent 1905 as a teacher of metalwork at the Storey Institute in Lancaster.[4][7] That October he also published his first article, "Early Irish Metal Work" in The Art Workers' Quarterly.[83] In 1906 Maryon, still listed as living in Keswick, again displayed works for the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society, held at the Grafton Galleries; in addition to his silver cup and silver chalice, one Mrs. Herbert J. Maryon was listed as exhibiting a Sicilian lace tablecloth.[84]

University of Reading, 1907–27[]

From 1907 until 1927, Maryon taught sculpture, including metalwork, modelling, and casting, at the University of Reading.[7][2][9][10] His first book, Metalwork and Enamelling: A Practical Treatise on Gold and Silversmiths' Work and their Allied Crafts, was published in 1912.[11] Maryon described it as eschewing "the artistic or historical point of view", in favor of an "essentially practical and technical standpoint".[85] The book focused on individual techniques such as soldering, enamelling, and stone-setting, rather than the methods of creating works such as cups and brooches.[86][87] The book was well received,[88][89] as a vade mecum for both students and practitioners of metalworking.[90][86] The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs wrote that Maryon "succeeds in every page in not only maintaining his own enthusiasm, but what is better in communicating it",[91] and The Athenæum declared that his "critical notes on design are excellent."[92] One of these, republished in The Jewelers' Circular in 1922,[93] was a critique of the celebrated sixteenth-century goldsmith Cellini; Maryon termed him "one of the very greatest craftsmen of the sixteenth century, but ... a very poor artist",[94] a "dispassionate appraisal" that led the one-time secretary of the Metropolitan Museum of Art to label Maryon "a discerning critic."[1] Metalwork and Enamelling went through four further ions, in 1923,[95] 1954,[96] 1959,[97] and posthumously in 1971,[98] and as of 2018 is still in print by Dover Publications.[39] As late as 1993, a senior conservator at the Canadian Conservation Institute wrote that the book "has not been equalled."[99]

During World War I Maryon worked at Reading with another instructor, Charles Albert Sadler, to create a centre to train munition workers in machine tool work.[4][7] Maryon began this work in 1915, officially as organising secretary and instructor at the Ministry of Munitions Training Centre, with no engineering school to build from.[7] By 1918 the centre had five staff members, could accommodate 25 workers at a time, and had trained more than 400.[7] Based on this work, Maryon was elected to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers on 6 March 1918.[4][7]

Maryon exhibited a child's bowl with signs of the zodiac at the ninth Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society exhibition in 1910,[100] and following the war—like his friend W. G. Collingwood,[101] who also taught at Reading—he designed several memorials.[13][14] He designed the East Knoyle War Memorial and the Mortimer War Memorial, unveiled in 1920 and 1921 respectively.[102][103][13] Three years later he witnessed the unveiling of his design for the University of Reading War Memorial, a clock tower on the London Road Campus.[14][104]

Armstrong College, 1927–39[]

Black and white photograph of students dancing around the Statue of Industry after tarring it
Students dancing around the Statue of Industry after tarring and feathering it

In 1927 Maryon left the University of Reading and began teaching at sculpture at Armstrong College, then part of Durham University, where he stayed until 1939.[9][10] At Durham he was both master of sculpture, and lecturer in anatomy and the history of sculpture.[7][9][10] While there he published his second book, Modern Sculpture: Its Methods and Ideals.[12] Maryon wrote that his aim was to discuss modern sculpture "from the point of view of the sculptors themselves", rather than from an "archaeological or biographical" perspective.[105] The book received mixed reviews.[106] Maryon's decision to treat criticism as secondary to intent meant grouping together artworks of unequal quality.[107] Some critics attacked his taste, with the New Statesman and Nation claiming that "He can enjoy almost anything, and among his 350 odd illustrations there are certainly some camels to swallow",[108] The Bookman that "All the bad sculptors ... will be found in Mr. Maryon's book ... Most of the good sculptors are here as well (even Henry Moore), but all are equal in Mr. Maryon's eye",[109] and The Spectator that "The few good works which have found their way into the 356 plates look lost and unhappy."[110] Maryon responded with explanations of his purpose,[111][112] saying that "I do not admire all the results, and I say so",[113] and to one review in particular that "I believe that the sculptors of the world have a wider knowledge of what constitutes sculpture than your reviewer realizes."[114][115] Other reviews praised Maryon's academic approach.[116][112] The Times stated that "his book is remarkable for its extraordinary catholicity, admitting works which we should find it hard to defend ... with works of great merit", yet added that "By a system of grouping, however, according to some primarily aesthetic aim ... their inclusion is justified."[107] The Manchester Guardian praised Maryon for "a degree of natural good sense in his observations that cannot always be said to characterise current art criticism", and stated that "his critical judgments are often penetrating."[117]

At Durham, as at Reading, Maryon was commissioned to create works of art.[118][119] These included at least two plaques, memorialising George Stephenson,[15][118] and Sir Charles Parsons,[16][119][note 2] in addition to an undated plaque to Henry Ayrton Chaplin.[121] Maryon also sculpted the Statue of Industry for the 1929 North East Coast Exhibition, a world's fair held at Newcastle upon Tyne.[122][123] Depicting a woman with cherubs at her feet, the statue was described by Maryon as "represent[ing] industry as we know it in the North-east—one who has passed through hard times and is now ready to face the future, strong and undismayed."[123] The statue was the subject of "adverse criticism", reported The Manchester Guardian; on the night of 25 October "several hundred students of Armstrong College" tarred and feathered the statue, and were dispersed only with the arrival of 80 police officers.[122]

Colour photograph of a gold ornament discovered in one of the Kirkhaugh cairns
One of the gold ornaments from the Kirkhaugh cairns

Maryon's time at Armstrong coincided with an interest in archaeology.[17] By the early 1930s he was conducting excavations, and frequently brought students to dig along Hadrian's Wall.[17] In 1935 he published two articles on Bronze Age swords,[124][125] and at the end of the year excavated the Kirkhaugh cairns, two Bronze Age graves at Kirkhaugh, Northumberland.[126][19] One of the cairns was the nearly 4500-year-old grave of a metalworker, like the grave of the Amesbury Archer, and contained one of the oldest gold ornaments yet found in the United Kingdom;[19][127][128] a matching ornament was found during a re-excavation in 2014.[129] Maryon's account of the excavation was published in 1936,[18] and subsequent papers on archaeology and prehistoric metalworking followed. In 1937 he published an article in Antiquity clarifying a passage by the ancient Greek historian Diodorus Siculus on how Egyptians carved sculptures;[130] in 1938 he wrote in both the Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy and The Antiquaries Journal on metalworking during the Bronze and Iron Ages;[131][132] and in 1939 he wrote articles about an ancient hand-anvil discovered in Thomastown,[133] and gold ornaments found in Alnwick.[134]

Maryon retired from Armstrong College—by then known as King's College—in 1939, when he was 64 or 65.[3] He spent the World War II years, from 1939 to 1943, engaged in munition work.[9][10] In 1941 he also published a two-part article on archaeology and metallurgy, part I on welding and soldering, and part II on the metallurgy of gold and platinum in Pre-Columbian Ecuador, in Man.[135][136]

British Museum, 1944–61[]

On 11 November 1944 Maryon was recruited out of retirement by the Trustees of the British Museum to serve as a Technical Attaché.[137] Maryon, working under Harold Plenderleith's leadership,[138][139] was tasked with the conservation and reconstruction of material from the Sutton Hoo ship-burial, an excavation in which he had previously expressed interest; as early as 1941, he wrote a prescient letter about the preservation of the ship impression to T. D. Kendrick, the museum's Keeper of British and Medieval Antiquities.[140][note 3] Nearly four years after his letter, in the dying days of World War II and the finds removed (or about to be removed) from safekeeping in the Aldwych tube station,[150] he was assigned what Rupert Bruce-Mitford, who succeeded Kendrick's post in 1954,[151][152] termed "the real headaches - notably the crushed shield, helmet and drinking horns."[21] Composed in large part of iron, wood and horn, these items had decayed in the 1,300 years since their burial and left only fragments behind; the helmet, for one, had corroded and then smashed into more than 500 pieces.[153] Painstaking work needing keen observation and patience, these efforts occupied several years of Maryon's career.[3] Much of his work has seen subsequent revision, but as Bruce-Mitford wrote afterwards, "by carrying out the initial cleaning, sorting, and mounting of the mass of the fragmentary and fragile material he preserved it, and in working out his reconstructions he made explicit the problems posed and laid the foundations upon which fresh appraisals and progress could be based when fuller archaeological study became possible."[26] Maryon's restorations were aided by his deep practical understandings of the objects he was working on, causing a senior conservator at the Canadian Conservation Institute in 1993 to label Maryon "[o]ne of the finest exemplars" of a conservator whose "wide understanding of the structure and function of museum objects ... exceeds that gained by the curator or historian in more classical studies of artefacts."[38] Maryon was admitted as a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 1949,[154][155] and in 1956 his Sutton Hoo work led to his appointment as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.[3][6] Asked by Queen Elizabeth II what he did as she awarded him the medal, Maryon responded "Well, Ma'am, I am a sort of back room boy at the British Museum."[156] Maryon continued restoration work at the British Museum, including on Oriental antiquities and the Roman Emesa helmet,[3][33] before retiring—for a second time—at the age of 87.[1][5][35]

Sutton Hoo helmet[]

From 1945 to 1946,[157][158] Maryon spent six continuous months reconstructing the Sutton Hoo helmet.[159] The helmet was only the second Anglo-Saxon example then known, the Benty Grange helmet being the first, and was the most elaborate.[22] Its importance had not been realized during excavation, however, and no photographs of it were taken in situ.[160] Bruce-Mitford likened Maryon's task to "a jigsaw puzzle without any sort of picture on the lid of the box",[161] and, "as it proved, a great many of the pieces missing"; Maryon had to base his reconstruction "exclusively on the information provided by the surviving fragments, guided by archaeological knowledge of other helmets".[162][note 4]

Maryon began the reconstruction by familiarising himself with the fragments, tracing and detailing each on a piece of card.[160] After what he termed "a long while," he sculpted a head out of plaster and expanded it outwards to simulate the padded space between helmet and head.[164] On this he initially affixed the fragments with plasticine, placing thicker pieces into spaces cut into the head.[165] Finally, the fragments were permanently affixed with white plaster; mixed with brown umber, this was also used to fill the in-between areas.[165] The fragments of the cheek guards, neck guard, and visor were placed onto shaped, plaster-covered wire mesh, then affixed with more plaster and joined to the cap.[166][167] Maryon published the finished reconstruction in a 1947 issue of Antiquity.[168]

Maryon's work was celebrated, and both academically and culturally influential.[22] The helmet stayed on display for over 20 years,[22][169] with photographs[170][171][172] making their way into television programmes,[173] newspapers, and "every book on Anglo-Saxon art and archaeology";[22] in 1951 a young Larry Burrows was dispatched to the British Museum by Life, which subsequently published a full page photograph of the helmet alongside a photo of Maryon.[174][175] Over the succeeding quarter century conservation techniques advanced,[176] knowledge of contemporaneous helmets grew,[177] and more helmet fragments were discovered during the 1965–69 re-excavation of Sutton Hoo;[178][144][179][180] accordingly, inaccuracies in Maryon's reconstruction—notably its diminished size, gaps in afforded protection, and lack of a moveable neck guard—became apparent.[22][note 5] In 1971 a second reconstruction was completed, following eighteen months' work by Nigel Williams.[183][162] Yet as Bruce-Mitford wrote, "[m]uch of Maryon's work is valid. The general character of the helmet was made plain."[169][note 6] "It was only because there was a first restoration that could be constructively criticized," noted conservation scholar Chris Caple, "that there was the impetus and improved ideas available for a second restoration";[177] similarly, minor errors in the second reconstruction were discovered while forging the 1973 Royal Armouries replica.[189][190] In executing a first reconstruction that was reversible and retained evidence by being only lightly cleaned,[191] Maryon's true contribution to the Sutton Hoo helmet was in creating a credible first rendering that allowed for the critical examination leading to the second, current, reconstruction.[26]

After Sutton Hoo[]

A black and white drawing of the Colossus of Rhodes from Herbert Maryon's 1954 paper, next to a Salvador Dalí's 1954 rendering of the Colossus
A paper read by Maryon in December 1953 likely influenced Salvador Dalí's 1954 rendering of the Colossus. Dalí's work incorporates Maryon's proposal of 1) a tripod structure balanced by hanging drapery, 2) a pose in which Helios shades his eyes, and most significantly 3) a statue composed of many hammered bronze plates.[32]

Maryon's work on the Sutton Hoo finds carried him to 1950, at which point Plenderleith decided that the work had been finished to the extent possible, and that the space in the research laboratory was needed for other purposes.[30][192] Maryon continued working at the museum until 1961, turning his attention to other matters.[3] This included some travel; in 1953 or 1954 he visited Toronto, lecturing on Sutton Hoo before a large audience at the Royal Ontario Museum,[193] and in 1957 or 1958, he paid a visit to the Gennadeion at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens.[194]

In 1955 Maryon restored another helmet for the British Museum.[34][33] The Roman Emesa helmet had been found in the modern-day city of Homs in 1936,[195] and underwent several failed restorations before being brought to the museum—"the last resort in these things," according to Maryon.[33] The restoration was published the following year by Plenderleith.[196] Around that time Maryon and Plenderleith also collaborated on several other works: in 1954 they wrote a chapter on metalwork for the History of Technology series,[197] and in 1959 they co-authored a paper on the cleaning of Westminster Abbey's royal bronze effigies.[198]


In addition to his two books, Metalwork and Enamelling and Modern Sculpture, Maryon authored chapters in volumes one and two of Charles Singer's A History of Technology series.[2][5][9][10] He also wrote some thirty archaeological and technical papers.[2][5][9][10] Several of Maryon's earlier papers described his restorations of the shield and helmet from the Sutton Hoo burial,[168][199] while a 1948 paper introduced the term pattern welding to describe a method, employed on the Sutton Hoo sword and others,[27] of strengthening and decorating iron and steel by welding into them twisted strips of metal.[29][200]

In 1953 and 1954, a talk and paper on the Colossus of Rhodes received international attention for suggesting that the statue was hollow, and aside the harbor rather than astride it.[note 7] Made of hammered bronze plates less than a sixteenth of an inch thick, he suggested, it would have been supported by a tripod structure comprising the two legs and a hanging piece of drapery.[254][32] Although "great ideas," neither "proved to be truly convincing";[32] in 1957, D. E. L. Haynes, then the Keeper of Greek and Roman Antiquities at the British Museum,[255][256] suggested that Maryon's theory of hammered bronze plates relied on an errant translation of a primary source.[257][note 8] Maryon's view was nevertheless influential, likely shaping Salvador Dalí's 1954 surrealist imagining of the statue, The Colossus of Rhodes. "Not only the pose, but even the hammered plates of Maryon's theory find [in Dalí's painting] a clear and very powerful expression."[32]

Later years[]

Black and white photograph of Herbert Maryon
Maryon, c. 1950s or 1960s

Maryon finally left the British Museum in 1961,[3] a year after his official retirement.[35] Before his departure he had been planning a trip around the world,[35][5] and at the end of 1961 he left for Fremantle, Australia, arriving on 1 January 1962.[259] In Perth he visited a brother he had not seen in 60 years.[33][259] From Australia Maryon departed for San Francisco,[35] arriving on 15 February.[33] Much of his North American tour was done with buses and cheap hotels,[35][5] for, as a colleague would recall, Maryon "liked to travel the hard way—like an undergraduate—which was to be expected since, at 89, he was a young man."[35]

Maryon devoted much of his time during the American stage of his trip to visiting museums and the study of Chinese magic mirrors,[1] a subject he had turned to some two years before.[33] By the time he reached Kansas City, Missouri, where he was written up in The Kansas City Times, he had listed 526 examples in his notebook.[33] His trip also included guest lectures, such as his talk Metal Working in the Ancient World at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on 2 May 1962,[36] and when he came to New York City a colleague later said that "he wore out several much younger colleagues with an unusually long stint devoted to a meticulous examination of two large collections of pre-Columbian fine metalwork, a field that was new to him."[1] Maryon scheduled the trip to end in Toronto, where his son John Maryon, a civil engineer, lived.[33][37]

Personal life[]

In July 1903 Maryon married Annie Elizabeth Maryon (née Stones).[260][261][2] They had a daughter, Kathleen Rotha Maryon.[262][263][264] Annie Maryon died on 8 February 1908. A second marriage, to Muriel Dore Wood in September 1920,[2][265] produced two children, son John and daughter Margaret.[37][266] Maryon lived the majority of his life in London, and died in his 92nd year at a nursing home in Edinburgh.[37][267][268][269][270]


  1. ^ The casket was auctioned in 2005 by Penrith Farmers’ & Kidd’s, with an estimate of £800 to £1,200.[57][58]
  2. ^ The Parsons plaque was placed on display at C. A. Parsons and Company.[120] Sometime after 2003 the building was demolished and the plaque was donated to the Discovery Museum, where as of 2016 there were plans to place it on display.[120]
  3. ^ Kendrick would become Director of the museum in 1950.[141][142][143] Dated 6 January 1941, Maryon's letter read:

    "There is a question about the Sutton Hoo ship which has been rather on my mind. There exist many photographs of the ship, taken from many angles, and they provide much information as to its structure and general appearance. But has anything been done to preserve the actual form of the vessel--full size?
    The Viking ships in their museum in Scandinavia are most impressive, for they are surviving representatives of the actual vessels which played so great a part in the early history of Western Europe. The Sutton Hoo ship is our only representative in this class. I believe that all the timbers have perished, but the form remains--traced in the earth.
    That form could be preserved in a plaster cast. I have given some thought to the making of large casts for I have done figures up to 18 feet in height. The work could be done in the following manner: a light steel girder would be constructed, running the full length of the ship, but built in quite short sections. This would not rise above the level of the gunwale at any point but would follow the general curve of the central section of the vessel. It would extend right down to the keel, and would support all the lateral frames. The outer skin, which would preserve the actual external form of the vessel, would be of the usual canvas and plaster work. It would be cast in sections, each perhaps extending along five feet of the length and from keel to gunwale on one side. All sections would be assembled by bolting the frames together. Any roughness of surface due to accidental irregularities in the existing earth matrix could be removed. If it were desired to illustrate the inner structure of the vessel also, I think that that might be shown by constructing a wooden model on a reduced scale.
    Such a cast as that suggested above would be a very important document for the history of the time and it would provide a valuable introduction to Sutton Hoo's splendid array of furnishings."[140]

    Such an operation was not carried out at the time, largely due to time constraints imposed by World War II—impending during the original 1939 excavation, and in full swing by the time of Maryon's letter.[144][145] When an impression was taken during the 1965–69 Sutton Hoo excavations,[146][147][148][149] much the same methods that Maryon proposed were adopted.[145]
  4. ^ By contrast, photographs of the shield fragments suggested their spacial relationships, allowing Plenderleith to determine which pieces were part of the grip.[163]
  5. ^ Bruce-Mitford suggested that Maryon's reconstruction "was soon criticized, though not in print, by Swedish scholars and others."[161] At least one scholar, however, did publish minor criticisms.[181] In a 1948 article by Sune Lindqvist—translated into English by Bruce-Mitford himself—the Swedish professor wrote that "[t]he reconstruction of the Sutton Hoo helmet ... needs revision in certain respects." Nonetheless, his only specific criticism was that the face-mask was "set somewhat awry in the reconstruction."[182]
  6. ^ Maryon's reconstruction correctly identified both the five designs depicted on its exterior, and the helmet's method of construction. Maryon wrote that the helmet was made of sheet iron, then "covered with sheets of very thin tinned bronze, stamped with patterns, and arranged in panels."[160] The patterns were formed from dies carved in relief, while the panels were "framed by lengths of moulding ... swaged from strips of tin," themselves "fixed in place by bronze rivets," and gilded.[184] Meanwhile, "the free edges of the helmet were protected by a U-shaped channel of gilt bronze, clamped on, and held in position by narrow gilt bronze ties, riveted on."[160] Although likely not more than educated guesses, Maryon's statements were largely confirmed by scientific analysis carried out after completion of the second reconstruction.[185] The nature of the moulding separating the panels, however, remains unclear. Maryon suggested they were swaged from tin and gilded,[184] while Bruce-Mitford suggested they were made of bronze.[186] The later analysis found results which were perhaps contradictory, yet themselves internally contradictory. A subsurface sample of the moulding "suggest[ed] that the original metal was tin," (Maryon's theory) while a surface sample showed an "ε-copper/tin compound (Cu3Sn)" and thus suggested instead, because of a similar process observed on the shield, "that the surface of a bronze alloy containing at least 62% of copper had been coated with tin and heated."[187] Additionally, a surface sample taken near the crest had a trace of mercury, suggestive of a fire-gilding process that requires a temperature at least 128 °C above the melting point of tin.[188] An alloy containing at least 20% copper would thus be needed to sufficiently raise the melting point of the tin during the gilding process, a reality further inconsistent with the results of the subsurface sample of moulding.[188] As to swageing, "if the strips [of moulding] were of high tin alloy throughout, swageing would be impossible as copper/tin alloys containing more than 20% of tin are very brittle," while an alloy containing less than 25% tin would no longer replicate the white colour of the helmet.[188] Although the subsurface sample supports Maryon's theory of swaged tin—though not of universally gilded mouldings, which as reflected in the 1973 replica helmet were only found next to the crest—it contradicts the theory suggested by the surface sample, i.e., a copper alloy with a high tin content that was not swaged.
  7. ^ AP stories: .[201][202][203][204][205][206][207][208][209][210][211][212][213][214][215][216][217][218][219][220][221][222][223][224][225][226][227][228][229][230][231][232][233] Non-AP stories: .[234][235][236][237][238][239][240][241][242][243][244][245][246][247][248][249][250][251] These newspapers reference an account read to the Society of Antiquaries of London on 3 December 1953.[252] Maryon published the paper, entitled The Colossus of Rhodes, in The Journal of Hellenic Studies in 1956.[253]
  8. ^ Maryon used J. C. Orelli's translation of Philo of Byzantium, which Haynes argued "is frequently misleading."[258] Using Rudolf Hercher's translation, Haynes suggested that "Έπιχωνεύειν is a key word for the whole of Philo's description. An unfortunate slip in the translation used by Maryon confuses it with ἐπιχωννύειν 'to fill up' and so destroys the sense of the passage. Έπιχωνεύειν means 'to cast upon' the part already cast, and that implies casting in situ. It is contrasted with ἐπιθεῖναι 'to place upon', which would imply that the casting was done at a distance. Since in 'casting upon' the molten metal which was to form the new part would presumably have come into direct contact with the existing part, fusion (i.e. 'casting on' in the technical sense) would probably have resulted."[258]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Easby Jr. 1966.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Who Was Who 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Bruce-Mitford 1965.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Mapping Sculpture 2011a.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Schweppe 1965b.
  6. ^ a b London Gazette 1956, p. 3113.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Institution of Mechanical Engineers 1918.
  8. ^ Bruce 2001, pp. 54–76, 95, 137.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h Studies in Conservation 1960a.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h Studies in Conservation 1960b.
  11. ^ a b Maryon 1912.
  12. ^ a b Maryon 1933a.
  13. ^ a b c Mortimer War Memorial.
  14. ^ a b c Reading University Memorial.
  15. ^ a b Lake Wakatip Mail 1929.
  16. ^ a b The Gazette 1933.
  17. ^ a b c Knutsen & Knutsen 2005, pp. 21, 100.
  18. ^ a b Maryon 1936e.
  19. ^ a b c Altogether Archaeology 2014, p. 4.
  20. ^ Bruce-Mitford 1975, pp. xxxvii, 228.
  21. ^ a b Bruce-Mitford 1989a.
  22. ^ a b c d e f Williams 1992, p. 74.
  23. ^ Financial Times 1971.
  24. ^ Bruce-Mitford 1972.
  25. ^ The Times 1973.
  26. ^ a b c Bruce-Mitford 1983a, p. xliii.
  27. ^ a b Bruce-Mitford 1978, p. 307.
  28. ^ Engstrom, Lankton & Lesher-Engstrom 1989.
  29. ^ a b Maryon 1948a.
  30. ^ a b Bruce-Mitford 1989b, p. 14.
  31. ^ Carver 2004, p. 35.
  32. ^ a b c d e de Callataÿ 2006, p. 54.
  33. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Huey 1962, pp. 1–2.
  34. ^ a b Illustrated London News 1955.
  35. ^ a b c d e f g Schweppe 1965a.
  36. ^ a b The Tech 1962.
  37. ^ a b c d Daily Telegraph 1965b.
  38. ^ a b Barclay 1993, p. 35.
  39. ^ a b Dover Publications.
  40. ^ Kelly's Directory 1891, p. 1176.
  41. ^ Maryon 1895, pp. 9–10.
  42. ^ England Census 1891.
  43. ^ England Birth Index 1874.
  44. ^ Maryon 1895, p. 10.
  45. ^ a b c Bruce 2001, p. 54.
  46. ^ International Studio 1908, p. 342.
  47. ^ Mapping Sculpture 2011b.
  48. ^ Arts & Crafts Exhibition Catalogue 1899, pp. 19, 49, 91, 136.
  49. ^ H. 1899, pp. 269–270.
  50. ^ Bruce 2001, pp. 54, 137.
  51. ^ Crouch & Barnes, p. 6.
  52. ^ Bruce 2001, p. 6.
  53. ^ Bruce 2001, pp. 38–39.
  54. ^ a b c Wood 1900a, p. 85.
  55. ^ a b c Wood 1900b, p. 85.
  56. ^ a b Bruce 2001, pp. 55–57.
  57. ^ Cumberland & Westmorland Herald 2005.
  58. ^ The Salesroom 2005.
  59. ^ a b c Bruce 2001, p. 65.
  60. ^ Bruce 2001, pp. 65, 69.
  61. ^ Bruce 2001, pp. 65, 60.
  62. ^ Northern Counties Magazine 1901, p. 55.
  63. ^ The Studio 1905.
  64. ^ International Studio 1906.
  65. ^ Bruce 2001, pp. 74, 76–77.
  66. ^ Bruce 2001, pp. 65, 68–69.
  67. ^ Maryon 1912, p. 273.
  68. ^ Maryon 1912, p. 274.
  69. ^ Bruce 2001, pp. 65–66, 68–69, 71.
  70. ^ Bruce 2001, pp. 59, 61–62, 71, 74.
  71. ^ Wood 1902, pp. 131–132.
  72. ^ Bruce 2001, pp. 61, 67.
  73. ^ Bruce 2001, pp. 7, 137, 139.
  74. ^ Mapping Sculpture 2011c.
  75. ^ England Census 1901b.
  76. ^ Bruce 2001, pp. 68, 72, 75.
  77. ^ Maryon 1903.
  78. ^ Bruce 2001, pp. 71, 74–75.
  79. ^ Spielmann 1903, pp. 155–156.
  80. ^ a b Bruce 2001, p. 76.
  81. ^ Bruce 2001, pp. 57–59, 137.
  82. ^ a b Bruce 2001, pp. 76, 137.
  83. ^ Maryon 1905.
  84. ^ Arts & Crafts Exhibition Catalogue 1906, pp. 68, 110, 193.
  85. ^ Maryon 1912, p. vii.
  86. ^ a b Smith 1913.
  87. ^ Journal of the Royal Society of Arts 1913.
  88. ^ The Bookman 1912.
  89. ^ The Spectator 1913.
  90. ^ The Connoisseur 1913.
  91. ^ D. 1913.
  92. ^ The Athenæum 1912.
  93. ^ Maryon 1922b.
  94. ^ Maryon 1912, p. 290.
  95. ^ Maryon 1923.
  96. ^ Maryon 1954.
  97. ^ Maryon 1959.
  98. ^ Maryon 1971.
  99. ^ Barclay 1993, p. 36.
  100. ^ Arts & Crafts Exhibition Catalogue 1910, p. 83.
  101. ^ Gray 2009, p. 75.
  102. ^ Western Gazette 1920.
  103. ^ Historic England East Knoyle.
  104. ^ Historic England Reading.
  105. ^ Maryon 1933a, p. v.
  106. ^ Ferrari 1934.
  107. ^ a b Marriott 1934.
  108. ^ New Statesman and Nation 1933.
  109. ^ Grigson 1933, p. 214.
  110. ^ The Spectator 1934.
  111. ^ Maryon 1933b.
  112. ^ a b The Scotsman 1933.
  113. ^ Maryon 1933c.
  114. ^ Maryon 1934, p. 190.
  115. ^ B. 1934b.
  116. ^ The Connoisseur 1934.
  117. ^ B. 1934a.
  118. ^ a b Institution of Mechanical Engineers 1931, pp. 249–250.
  119. ^ a b The Times 1932.
  120. ^ a b Friends of Discovery Museum 2016.
  121. ^ Knott 2017.
  122. ^ a b Manchester Guardian 1933a.
  123. ^ a b Manchester Guardian 1933b.
  124. ^ Cowen & Maryon 1935.
  125. ^ Maryon 1935.
  126. ^ Maryon 1936e, p. 208.
  127. ^ Hale 2014, pp. 2–3.
  128. ^ Maryon 1936e, pp. 211–214.
  129. ^ Jeeves 2014.
  130. ^ Maryon 1937.
  131. ^ Maryon 1938a.
  132. ^ Maryon 1938b.
  133. ^ Maryon 1939a.
  134. ^ Maryon 1939b.
  135. ^ Maryon 1941a.
  136. ^ Maryon 1941b.
  137. ^ Bruce-Mitford 1975, p. 228.
  138. ^ Bruce-Mitford 1989b, p. 13.
  139. ^ Carver 2004, p. 24.
  140. ^ a b Bruce-Mitford 1975, pp. 228–229.
  141. ^ Sorensen.
  142. ^ The Times 1979.
  143. ^ British Museum.
  144. ^ a b Bruce-Mitford 1974a, p. 170.
  145. ^ a b Bruce-Mitford 1975, p. 229.
  146. ^ Bruce-Mitford 1968.
  147. ^ Bruce-Mitford 1974a, pp. 170–174.
  148. ^ van Geersdaele 1969.
  149. ^ van Geersdaele 1970.
  150. ^ Bruce-Mitford 1975, p. xxxvii.
  151. ^ Biddle 2015, p. 76.
  152. ^ The Times 1994.
  153. ^ Williams 1992, p. 77.
  154. ^ Proceedings 1949a.
  155. ^ Proceedings 1949b.
  156. ^ Maryon 1971, p. iii.
  157. ^ Bruce-Mitford 1946, pp. 2–4.
  158. ^ Martin-Clarke 1947, p. 63 n.19.
  159. ^ Bruce-Mitford 1947, p. 24.
  160. ^ a b c d Maryon 1947, p. 137.
  161. ^ a b Bruce-Mitford 1972, p. 120.
  162. ^ a b Bruce-Mitford 1978, p. 140.
  163. ^ Maryon 1946, p. 21.
  164. ^ Maryon 1947, pp. 137, 144.
  165. ^ a b Maryon 1947, p. 144.
  166. ^ Maryon 1947, pp. 143–144.
  167. ^ Williams 1992, pp. 74–75.
  168. ^ a b Maryon 1947.
  169. ^ a b Bruce-Mitford 1972, p. 121.
  170. ^ Green 1963.
  171. ^ Grohskopf 1970.
  172. ^ Wilson 1960.
  173. ^ Marzinzik 2007, pp. 16–17.
  174. ^ Life 1951.
  175. ^ Gerwardus 2011.
  176. ^ Bruce-Mitford 1970, p. viii.
  177. ^ a b Caple 2000, p. 133.
  178. ^ Bruce-Mitford 1968, p. 36.
  179. ^ Bruce-Mitford 1975, pp. 279, 332, 335.
  180. ^ Bruce-Mitford 1978, p. 156.
  181. ^ Green 1963, p. 69.
  182. ^ Lindqvist 1948, p. 136.
  183. ^ Bruce-Mitford 1972, p. 123.
  184. ^ a b Maryon 1947, p. 138.
  185. ^ Bruce-Mitford 1978, p. 226.
  186. ^ Bruce-Mitford 1978, p. 146.
  187. ^ Bruce-Mitford 1978, pp. 226–227.
  188. ^ a b c Bruce-Mitford 1978, p. 227.
  189. ^ Bruce-Mitford 1978, p. 181.
  190. ^ Bruce-Mitford 1974b, p. 285.
  191. ^ Caple 2000, p. 134.
  192. ^ Carver 2004, p. 25.
  193. ^ Royal Ontario Museum & 1953–54, p. 7.
  194. ^ Topping & 1957–58, p. 35.
  195. ^ Seyrig 1952, p. 66.
  196. ^ Plenderleith 1956.
  197. ^ Maryon & Plenderleith 1954.
  198. ^ Plenderleith & Maryon 1959.
  199. ^ Maryon 1946.
  200. ^ Maryon 1960a, p. 26.
  201. ^ Austin Statesman 1953.
  202. ^ Corpus Christi Caller 1953.
  203. ^ Fresno Bee 1953.
  204. ^ Lubbock Journal 1953.
  205. ^ Macon Chronicle Herald 1953.
  206. ^ Mason Globe-Gazette 1953.
  207. ^ Moberly Monitor-Index 1953.
  208. ^ Plain Speaker 1953.
  209. ^ Spokane Chronicle 1953.
  210. ^ Tucson Citizen 1953.
  211. ^ Vernon Record 1953.
  212. ^ Chicago Tribune 1953.
  213. ^ Abilene Reporter-News 1953.
  214. ^ Council Bluffs Nonpareil 1953a.
  215. ^ Indiana Gazette 1953a.
  216. ^ Indiana Gazette 1953b.
  217. ^ San Bernardino Sun 1953.
  218. ^ Washington Post 1953.
  219. ^ Council Bluffs Nonpareil 1953b.
  220. ^ Odessa American 1953.
  221. ^ Santa Cruz Sentinel 1953.
  222. ^ Sedalia Democrat 1953.
  223. ^ Progress-Index 1953.
  224. ^ Eagle 1953.
  225. ^ News Leader 1953.
  226. ^ News Journal 1953.
  227. ^ Indianapolis News 1953a.
  228. ^ Petaluma Argus-Courier 1953.
  229. ^ St. Louis Post-Dispatch 1953.
  230. ^ Des Moines Tribune 1953.
  231. ^ Reno Gazette 1953.
  232. ^ Battle Creek Enquirer 1953a.
  233. ^ Daily Times 1953.
  234. ^ Oakland Tribune 1953.
  235. ^ Minneapolis Tribune 1953.
  236. ^ Detroit Free Press 1953.
  237. ^ Battle Creek Enquirer 1953b.
  238. ^ Nashville Tennessean 1953.
  239. ^ Hartford Courant 1953.
  240. ^ Indianapolis News 1953b.
  241. ^ Muncie Evening Press 1953.
  242. ^ Corsicana Daily Sun 1953.
  243. ^ Kansas City Times 1953.
  244. ^ Hammond Times 1954.
  245. ^ Tucson Citizen 1954.
  246. ^ Anderson Herald 1954.
  247. ^ Alton Telegraph 1954.
  248. ^ Chautauqua Farmer 1954.
  249. ^ Greeley Tribune 1954.
  250. ^ Wausau Daily Record-Herald 1954.
  251. ^ Scarre 1991.
  252. ^ Proceedings 1954.
  253. ^ Maryon 1956.
  254. ^ Maryon 1956, p. 72.
  255. ^ Williams 1994.
  256. ^ Monuments Men Foundation.
  257. ^ Haynes 1957.
  258. ^ a b Haynes 1957, p. 311.
  259. ^ a b Fremantle Passenger Lists 1962.
  260. ^ England Marriages 1903.
  261. ^ England Marriage Index 1903.
  262. ^ Lancashire Parish Clerks.
  263. ^ England Census 1911.
  264. ^ The Times 1929.
  265. ^ England Marriage Index 1920.
  266. ^ Winnipeg Free Press 2005.
  267. ^ Daily Telegraph 1965a.
  268. ^ Brandon Sun 1965.
  269. ^ Ottawa Journal 1965.
  270. ^ England Probate 1965.


Works by Maryon[]




Colossus articles[]