Danish Museum Director Sophus Müller Advises American Curator Walter Hough On An Eskimo Stone Lamp, Recommends Articles By Danish Experts On Greenland
by (ESKIMO LETTER)
WALTER HOUGH (1859-1935). Hough was an American ethnologist and a curator at the United States National Museum in Washington D.C., which is now The Smithsonian Institution. SOPHUS MÜLLER (1846-1934). Müller was a Danish archaeologist and director of the National Museum of Denmark. LS. 1pg. February 17, 1897. Copenhagen. A letter signed “Sophus Müller” as Director of Denmark’s National Museum, on museum letterhead. Müller writes to Walter Hough, who was then an assistant curator of ethnology at the United States National Museum. The letter concerns a stone lamp from Greenland owned by the U.S. National Museum. To reply to your favored of January 17, I very much regret not being able to furnish any exact information respecting the locality of the Eskimo stone lamps in your museum. That they are from the west coast of Greenland is quite certain, but a more precise indication of the spot, where they have been collected, does not exist in our catalogues. These lamps are common in West Greenland; our collection contains a great number. For the form of East Greenland lamps I can refer to the figure No 14 Plate XXIV of Capitain Holms ‘Ethnografisk Skizze af Angmagsalikerne’ in the ‘Meddelelser om Gronland’ vol 10. Yours truly Sophus Müller”. After Greenland became a Danish colony in 1814, Danish scholars and explorers took a great interest in studying its history, culture, and geography. Meddelelser om Gronland was a periodical on the subject; it was established in 1879 by Danish scientist Johannes Frederik Johnstrup (1818-1894). The article Müller recommends was written by Danish naval commander and explorer Gustav Frederik Holm (1849-1940). The letter is in good condition with minor losses to the bottom right-hand corner that do not affect any of the text. (Inventory #: 3951)
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