Welcome to the Ancaster Mallowan Collection...

'Agatha Christie delivers another mystery beyond the grave' proclaimed The Telegraph in February 2010, when it transpired that an auction of some of the contents of Greenway House, in Churston Ferrers, Devon (Agatha's holiday home), had contained more than the auctioneers realised. They had unwittingly sold a locked trunk that was later revealed to contain Agatha's family jewellery.

At another Agatha Christie related auction, this time held by Cheffin's of Cambridge in 2009, other boxes of 'treasure' were sold. These boxes did not contain 'treasure' of the sparkly kind; but evidence of Sir Max Mallowan's (Agatha Christie's second husband) career as a prominent archaeologist. This website brings together some of this evidence, so that it can be enjoyed by a wider audience.

It was originally thought that the boxes were sold at the Greenway House sale, but information has subsequently come to light that revealed the collection was sold as part of a sale of items from 22 Cresswell Place, Kensington, London; where Sir Max Mallowan lived with Agatha Christie and subsequently his second wife Barbara Hastings-Parker.

   
 
 
A glass lantern slide from the collection; it shows the hand tinted image of a bull's head made of gold; the bull's eyes, beard and horn tips were made of lapis lazuli. The whole head projected from the sounding-box of a lyre found in the King's Grave at Ur in Mesopotamia
 (Woolley 1982).
 
 
 
 Contained within one of the auction lots, sold at the sale in 2009, was a set of notebooks; upon investigation it was discovered that the notebooks contained some of the site notes for Max Mallowan's archaeological digs in the north and east of Syria between 1936 and 1938.
 

 
 
A glass lantern slide from the collection; it is presumed that this chariot came from Ur; this is based on the fact that the other lantern slides in the collection all show images from Leonard Woolley's excavations at Ur between 1922 and 1934. Max Mallowan worked with Leonard Woolley at Ur and it is here that he first met Agatha Christie in 1930.