Sea Shanty Town

Nautical Treasury

Gilbert Reading's Shrunken Head

Gilbert Reading's Shrunken Head © Graeme Walker / The Pebble Museum 2019

Gilbert Reading, a chartered accountant from Biggleswade, UK made a critical decision in the winter of 1889 when he chose to swim to a remote island in the Donesian Prumbostin Archipelago after the ship on which he had been held captive sank due to a clerical errer [sic]. Having reached ashore, he set about managing the local chieftain's accounts, only to be captured by another tribe who typically use the heads of civil servants as local currency. His head and business card was found in a box in the attic of Admiral David Stevens in April 1934 after he died from "Naval Crummets".