​Boats on the Torne river

​Boats on the Torne river
Accession number: 
Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford

View of boats near the mouth of the Torne river.

Photographer: Arthur John Evans
Date of photograph: 15 August 1873
Continent: Europe
Geographical area: Northern Europe
Country: Finland | Sweden (uncertain)
Region/Place: Torne river [Tornio river]
Format: Black and white print (mounted on card)
Size: 76 x 99 mm; 173 x 244 mm (with mount)
Acquisition: Joan Evans. Donated August 1941


Exhibition label: ‘View of boats near the mouth of the Torne river. Writing of their construction, Evans noted that “these boats [with] their beaks are well adapted for these rivers [in northern Finland], as the water in the ascending rapids cannot rush over the bulwarks as it otherwise would & the oars are very good for rowing in the shallowest water”. Photograph by Arthur Evans. Tornio, Finland. August 1873.’ Source: ‘Travels in Finland and Bosnia-Herzegovina: An Ethnographic Collection of Sir Arthur Evans’, exhibition curated by Philip Grover, Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford, 29 April to 1 September 2013.

Primary documentation: ‘[p.588] Dr. JOAN EVANS, from the property of the late SIR ARTHUR EVANS, Youlbury, Boars Hill, Oxford. [List of items follows]’; ‘[p.590] 13 photographs mounted on cards. Types & scenery in Lappland. Finland, Sweden. Taken on journey in 1873’: Pitt Rivers Museum accession records (Donations X, 1937–1941), pp.588, 590. Annotations on mount: ‘Boats near the mouth of the Torneå River’ (written on mount in brown ink).

Research notes: It has been established by Philip Grover that this photograph was taken by Arthur Evans on 15 August 1873, when his travelling party was at Tornio. Evans wrote in his journal of the voyage to Finnish Lapland: ‘We crossed the water to Torneå [Tornio] & found ourselves in the Czar’s territory without any bother’ (entry dated 15 August 1873): Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, Sir Arthur Evans Archive, B/2/1, Box 1, Notebook 1, p.60. For more information on Arthur Evans’ voyage to Finnish Lapland in 1873, see Joan Evans, Time and Chance: The Story of Arthur Evans and His Forebears (London, 1943), pp.172–176; Ann Brown, Before Knossos...: Arthur Evans’s Travels in the Balkans and Crete (Oxford, 1993), pp.14–16, 90; and Tony Lurcock, No Particular Hurry: British Travellers in Finland, 1830-1917 (London, 2013), pp.123–134, 250.