Luxurious publications detailing Layard’s first and second excavations in Mesopotamia. The most luxurious publications on Mesopotamia published in Great Britain.
Layard’s interest in Nineveh began when he met the French consul Emil Botta in Mosul. Botta had been excavating the mounds opposite the city, which marked the site of the ruins of Nineveh, and Layard visited the site.
Layard met the British ambassador to Turkey, Stratford Canning, who employed him as an unofficial traveller. Canning was interested in archaeology, and Layard’s description of the mounds at Nineveh prompted him to finance his own expedition, superintended by Layard. The expeditions took place in 1846 and 1847, and were eventually part sponsored by the trustees of the British Museum. Hence, many of the sculptures were transported to England for the British Museum. (ODNB).
First editions. 2 volumes, large folio (57 x 40 cm), first series portrait, second series landscape format. First work: additional chromo-lithograph title and 101 lithograph plates (numbered 1-100, 7a and 95a), mostly on india paper and mounted, 6 coloured and 6 printed in sepia, all mounted on guards, some small traces of old insect damage to a few plates, Second work: 71 lithograph plates, comprising 7 chromolithograph, 61 tinted and 3 plain. Contemporary half brown morocco gilt, brown morocco title label gilt to upper cover, spine in six compartments, letters to second, raised bands, top edge gilt; contemporary half red morocco, large pictorial and decorative vignette gilt to upper cover, neat repairs to joints and extremities,some light spotting, staining etc., a very good set.
Provenance: Lieutenant Commander Edward Scott Williams (ex libris).
Atabey 686 & 688.
Stock ID: 92471