- Also known as
Capt G. Handcock
primary name: Handcock, Gerald Carlile Stratford
- individual; military/naval; Irish; Male
- Life dates
- Sold a collection of lead and selenite curse tablets from Cyprus to the British Museum in 1891.
Gerald Carlile Stratford Handcock came from an landed Anglo-Irish family with extensive estates in Co. Galway and a seat at Carantrila park near Tuam in the same county (see Corless 2011 for an account of the family, including Gerald's life down his death in 1938; also Corless pers. comm. March 2012 (via e-mail); for the Carantrila estate see 'Estate: Handcock', NUI Galway Landed Estate Database (http://www.landedestates.ie/LandedEstates/jsp/estate-show.jsp?id=1194) (accessed March 2012)).
Handcock served as an officer in the (Alexandra) Princess of Wales's Own Yorkshire Regiment (XIX Foot) (also known as the 'Green Howards') rising to the rank of Major (see Hart's Army List 1902). During Handcock's period of service, the regiment fought in the Maadi campaign in the Sudan, on the North West Frontier in India and in the Boer War in South Africa (for a history of the regiment, see the website of the Green Howards Museum (http://www.greenhowards.org.uk [accessed March 2012]; also pers. comm from his descendant C. Nelson, via e-mail March 2012).
It is not clear from the surviving correspondence if Handcock actually spent time on Cyprus, as it seems that the lead and selenite tablets came from an unnamed third party, with Handcock acting as an intermediary. However, as he was based in Egypt in the 1880s, he may well have visited the island during this time and acquired antiquities, or at least was in contact with sources of ancient artefacts. The large number of Cypriot items in his collection - 186 were sold to the National Museum of Ireland by his niece Evelyn Handcock Ferguson in 1940 (Souyoudzoglou-Haywood 2004, 6; fully catalogued in Johnston 1973, 341 and passim) - suggests however that he had more than a passing interest. It is possible that some of his collection came from Charles Christian (q.v.) who sold a few lead curse tables from the same source to the Museum; Christian may well have been the intermediary who supplied Handcock with his collection of curse tablets, and perhaps other items.
- Corless C. 2011, 'The Handcocks of Carantrila Park', Journal of the Old Tuam Society VIII, 27-34.
'Estate: Handcock', NUI Galway Landed Estate Database (http://www.landedestates.ie/LandedEstates/jsp/estate-show.jsp?id=1194)
Green Howards Museum (http://www.greenhowards.org.uk).
Johnson A. 1973, 'A catalogue of Greek vases in public collections in Ireland’, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. Volume 73, Section 3, Number 9, 339-506.
Souyoudzoglou-Haywood C. 2004, Cypriot antiquities in Dublin. The collections of the National Museum of Ireland and University College Dublin (Nicosia).
Archives: BM Original Letters 1891 passim.