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LONDON: PRINTED BY WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS, LIMITED, DUKE STREET, STANFORD STREET, S. E., AND GREAT WINDMILL STREET, W.
In this Exhibition an attempt has been made to bring together a number of miscellaneous antiquities which hitherto have been scattered through the Department, in such a method as illustrates the purpose for which they were intended, rather than their artistic quality or their place in the evolution of craft or design.
Such a series falls naturally into groups which can be assorted according to the class of purpose they fulfil; and it has been found convenient to treat these groups as subjective to a general scheme, the illustration of the public and private life of the Greeks and Romans.
The materials forming the basis of this scheme are, primarily, objects which already formed part of the Museum collections: for this reason it has not been possible always to preserve that proportion in the relation of the sections to the whole which would have been studied if the objects had been selected for acquisition with this purpose in view. Further, it is necessary to warn visitors that they must not expect to find the subject in any sense exhaustively treated here : the complete illustration of every detail of ancient life would be practically impossible for any museum as at present constituted. All that can here be done is to shape the available material into a system which may at least present a fairly intelligible, if limited, purview of ancient life. It is hoped that in course of time further acquisitions may be made with the view of strengthening those portions which may be at present regarded as inadequate. Meanwhile, some of the gaps have been filled by means of casts and reproductions of objects belonging to other categories in this Museum, or preserved elsewhere. It is further proposed to supplement these by a series of photographs, which will occupy a part of the vacant floor space.
The preparation of this Guide has been entrusted to different members of the Departmental Staff. Mr. Yeames, before his retirement, prepared a great deal of the necessary preliminary work: Mr. Walters has written the sections on Athletics, the Circus, Gladiators, and Agriculture: Mr. Forsdyke has written those on Coins, Arms and Armour, Dress and the Toilet. The remaining sections are mainly the work of Mr. Marshall, who has been further responsible for the final preparation of the material for the Press.