Armand Ruhlmann. Correspondence to L. G. Werner and various documents.



Ruhlmann. Lettres et documents.

Armand Ruhlmann (Mulhouse, 1896 – In a cave in the Oujda region, Morocco, 1948), Inspector of Prehistoric Antiquities of Morocco and Director of Studies at the Institute of Moroccan Higher Studies. Morocco owes him its prehistoric museum. Correspondence addressed to Léonard Georges Werner (18..-1950), administrator of Mulhouse Museums and Libraries. Secretary and then President from 1924 to 1950 of the Society of Mulhousian History and Geography. 10 autograph letters signed, Rabat, Volubilis and Meknes, 1932-1933. 3 photos, several sketches and a tapuscrit Fragment d’une lampe chrétienne trouvé à Thamusida. 7 pp. in-4 with photo and sketch and the autograph draft of the communication announcement by Werner. With an autograph letter signed by Robert Forrer to Werner and the draft of his response, 20 and 23 October 1932.                 

Interesting insight into the archaeological activities of Armand Ruhlmann, his excavations, his discoveries, his work, his writings, but also his moods and scientific rivalries, his attachment to Mulhouse and its archaeologists as well as to the Alsatian Scholarly Societies.

Selecting letters addressed to L. G. Werner :

S.A.L.. Rabat, on 1st June 1932. 4 pp. in-4°.

Very busy, he speaks of the expedition to Algiers whose purpose was the study of the collections of the Bardo Museum: “The R. Collections., now owned by the state, include in round number 150.000 pieces assembled in North Africa. ” [Maurice Reygasse, French prehistorian, was the first curator of the Museum of Prehistory and African Ethnography of Algiers. He was also the founder because he had donated to Algeria all his collections collected during his years of research. These collections were collected at the Bardo, a Moorish palace dating back to the 13th century and bought in 1927 by the general government of Algeria]. Reygasse was in the process of reorganizing his displaye cases and Ruhlmann was able to study in detail apart from various pieces that he lists. He criticizes, in passing, “these classifications that are increasingly complicating prehistoric studies “, and argues with specific examples. “But, things are there and the rest of us are [sic] forced to put ourselves in it“. He notes that the Bronze Age is completely lacking. He knows, however, personally 4 items. “Iron, on the other hand, belongs, it seems, already in historical times as well as the tumuli. All these indications are to be verified and I ask no better than to be able to study these issues in particular. ” Apart from the Bardo, he also visited the Archaeological Museum of Algiers as well as 2 excavation sites Tipasa where he “seen the practice of outrageous excavations […] The site manager is an ex-mason 72 years old and the others are natives who understand in archaeology about as much as, if not more, their “boss” “. On the way back, he visited Oran and his museum, Tlemcen and Fez. A beautiful study trip that he intends to take advantage of for his future works. He then speaks of the new Alsatian archaeological “that interests me as in the past “ and the annual congress of scholarly Societies; he awaits the bulletins of the Museum and the Society. He thinks of renewing the Vie en Alsace, “provided the content corresponds to the expense. In the time the historical side was sacrificed to the illustration and more or less scientific texts. ” On this occasion, he mentions a small text on Mont Saint-Odile that he would be happy to possibly fit into this review, and asks him to intervene in this direction.


S.A.L.. Rabat, on 1st August 1932. 4 pp. in-4°. With photo captioned on the back: “Berber graffiti near Ighoum [?] (High Atlas) Group I“.

He speaks of his intense activity as an archaeologist. Massive of Siroua in the Anti-Atlas where “we are among the first Europeans to go through this “. He found there “an unknown and unpublished engraved stone to this day. Its décor is geometric style, or a genre of its own and does not, alas, in none of the books that deal with “written stones” of Africa Minor […] “; [see photo?] ; there are many questions about its origin and dating He also discovered a megalithic monument nearby with a covered gallery. The two items probably have a connection. “This species of pre- or protohistoric grave being “Marabout”, the problem will never be definitively solved, because absolute defence of touching it. “ However, he intends to publish these two findings, and in the meantime wishes to preserve its exclusivity while consulting Berber language specialists and other scholars, difficult exercise. On the other hand, he sends him the typed draft of an archaeological note on which he wishes his opinion. He informs her that Chatelain has entrusted him with the direction of the excavations of Thamusida, another Roman city of Morocco. He organizes the construction site to start the excavations within a fortnight. “If we are given successive credits, these excavations represent several years of research. “ He then asked for news from Alsace and wished to receive the offprints from the publications of his correspondent. He leaves tomorrow for Volubilis for a fortnight to replace the curator on leave.


S.A.C.. Volubilis, on 14/8/32. 2 pp. in-8° on tne back of 2 photo cards of the site. With 7 other cards like that, blanks.

He reorganized the museum of the city “that I found in a dismal state “. He adds a postscript correction on one of his manuscripts.


S.A.L.. Rabat, on 29 sept. 32. 3 pp. ½ in-4°.

He asks for news of his Alsatian activities, then gives news of his family life, of his stay in Volubilis and the reorganization of the museum, then especially of his excavations: with the P. Koehler, “a 1st tumulus that gave us 2 bronze rings. The result was meagre, hard work under an African sun. We plan to attack together a whole series of tumuli, almost unprecedented question for Morocco, to publish our results later. » He also brings back 135 kilos of flint and he prepared a note on a Roman bracelet. He sent him the draft of this study as well as a photograph [, missing,] that he describes. His work will be followed, at the time of publication, by a detailed inventory of 114 silver coins, revision of the one established in his time by the curator. He worries about the future of the libraries of Canon Wagner and the late M. Kessler and hopes to save some pieces for the museum and acquire some duplicates if possible. He recalls his interest in the offprint works of his friend.


S.A.L.. R.[abat], on 19 Oct. 32. 4 pp. in-4° double sheet.

He is delighted that his last note has been accepted. He would like to hear from the Company’s numismatists. He sends some changes to his text, the passage on the primitive Volubilis being inaccurate, based on erroneous sources. On this occasion he warns about some obsolete works. He attaches a photo [missing] of a small selection of the bracelet’s coins. He does not know where to publish this study, perhaps in the journal of the Moroccan High Studies. He then talks about news from Alsace: he read his friend’s last summary on the barbaric graves, refers to the sale of the Meininger printing house “I was surprised, another very Mulhousian house that will disappear “, requests information about Armand’s death and what Marcel will do; he talks about the difficulties of moving the municipal library. He waits patiently for the offprints. “It’s been six months since I handed over my first text, there are 3 months I gave the ready-to-print, but childbirth is long overdue. Little by little we take the fold of many things, while others are difficult to digest. ”


S.A.L.. R.[abat], on 21 Oct. 32. 2 pp. in-4°.

In an emergency, he asks his friend to quickly publish his note on the famous Volubilis bracelet. Because he learns that the curator of the museum “had already prepared a work on the same subject and that he currently puts his hand to the conclusion! My study, on the other hand, is ready and I’m determined not to let myself be outpaced by anyone. ” He therefore sends him a new revised and augmented copy to be reviewed and sent back by return. He points out that he had to delete some passages, based on “curator’s excavation report, inaccurate document in many sides. ” He is looking for a scientific journal ready to publish it “in a minimum of time. […] Life, even in the”wealthy empire”, isn’t always easy. But, what do you want, such things, between colleagues, are vexing. But, don’t care…. However, this is easier said than done.


S.A.L.. Rabat, on 30. XII. 32. 4 pp. in-4°.

He wishes and thanks him for his support, advice and collaboration. His account on the bracelet interested him a lot. He specifies the clear difference between the Strasbourg and Volubilis bracelets. [See more infra Forrer-Werner correspondence on this subject] As for his publication, it is not moving forward, despite the urgency; “we’re wasting an infinitely precious time! ” He then refers to the small article of the “Rosmos “, his first service job, of which he specifies that he is not the author of either the title or the first two paragraphs. He received the newsletter of the Historical Society. “It looks very good and it would be a shame if we could not pull out one 2th No. only in a few years. We need to find “subscribers”. ” He will be a member, from the 1st January, of the International Institute of Anthropology “that will then allow me to place in the newsletter of this association one or the other work “. He’s very busy., “every day there are new discoveries and there are not eight or so or I have not had to do my part of work. But on the other hand, we are asking for work, publications, etc., to prove our business, our existence, our vitality. ». He speaks of the Fez Congress, of which nothing is still known from the list of official guests. “On the other hand, Morocco’s finances are very sick. We live without a budget, we’ll vote a 12th, we’ll see after. But cuts are being announced, restrictions, finally, beneficial measures – for finance. The current situation is very serious, not only in France or other European countries, but also in Colonies, Protectorates and others. “


S.A.L.. Meknès, 23. I. 33. 4 pp. in-8°. Header of the Antiquities Department of the Protectorate of the French Republic in Morocco. With sketch and photo.

He’s on his way to Tafilalet., where the military authority requested a visit from a “specialist”. “It’s all about, seems, a series of rock carvings that officers discovered during recent military expeditions. But there are also reports of prehistoric remains. It will eventually be a long expedition, because the “deposits” and engraved rocks are at distances ranging from 100 to 200 km in south of Erfoud, the last military center. This promises surprises, unprecedented, fatigue, but also discoveries that may be interesting. » He sent him the draft of a note on the prehistoric Volubilis for the Fez congress; he waits for his critical notes. He insists on 2 details : an axe which type intrigues him, and which he joins 3 sketches on an orange sheet, and a vase with which he joins a photo. On the other hand, he is hopeful that his friend can come on a mission to Rabat.

Ruhlmann. lettres et documents

Various documents :

  • Robert Forrer (Zurich, 1866 – Strasbourg, 1947), Swiss archaeologist and scientist, Curator of the Society for the Conservation of Historic Monuments of Alsace 1909 to 1939. L.A.S., Strasbourg, on 20. X. 1932, to Leonardo-Georges Werner. 1 p. ½ in-8°. SCMHA header.

He asks him if he would not have in his museum “one of those purse-rings […] in bronze, of which we have just found a rarely complete copy still bearing its lid with clasp and hinge, so that by being open it had to present itself like this [2 sketch]. Size of a large enough bracelet for a strong arm. The item was found in front of the Rohan Palace […], with many Gallo-Roman shards and also with the top of a column with four heads almost identical to the sandstone room that your museum has […] “; with sketches.

  • Autograph draft of the response of ,, no place, on 23/10/32 to “Cher Monsieur” [Robert Forrer]. 1 p. in-12.

He points out that his museum does not have any specimens of purse-bracelet. He points out, however, ” a similar item, found in Volubilis (Morocco) end 1930 and which a study by M. Ruhlmann is currently in press “. This is followed by an accurate description of the bracelet “the only copy of its kind that is known to me “.

On the back, is the red-deleted draft of a letter refusing an offer concerning a cup whose Mulhousian origin he refutes (Strasbourg coat of arms, non-Mulhousian stamp and goldsmith).

  • Armand Ruhlmann. Fragment d’une lampe chrétienne trouvé à Thamusida. Tapuscrit in-4°. 7 pp., no place no date [between 1935 and 1938]. With 3 reproductions of blue drawings captioned in blue ink by the author “fig. 1 Disc found in Thamusida“, “fig. 2 Disc found in Carthage (according to the R. P. Delattre” and “fig 3. Reflector disc lamp“. With a photo, small format of excavations captioned on the back: “Excavations of Sidi Sliman’s Tumulus / February 1938 / For. Ruhlmann ». Published in the Bulletin de la Société Nationale des Antiquaires de France, 1938, p. 115 to 121.
  • With Léonard-Georges Werner’s autograph draft ,, no place no date, probably of the text announcing Werner’s reading to the Society of Ruhlmann’s note concerning the Fragment d’une lampe chrétienne trouvé à Thamusida. 1 p. in-8°.

2 800 €