Only 200 copies printed. A remarkable record of the ruins of this area including the palace at Khorsabad. This monumental and splendid work was commissioned by the Emperor Napoleon III, from Place who was consul general. It is an Imperial work on the scale of the earlier Napoleonic publications.
After Emile Botta’s excavations at Khorsabad, the French largely neglected the site. British interest in Assyria was considerable and this led to the leaders of the Louvre to contact Place, at that time French Consul in Mosul, to resume excavations at the site. The British, particularly Rawlinson, were occupied with spectacular excavations at Kuyunjik, leaving Place to get on with his work largely unhindered by Anglo-French rivalries. Indeed Place and Rawlinson enjoyed a very good relationship, despite opposition from the British consul, Hormuzd Rassam.
Place’s finds were magnificent and would have overshadowed what Botta had already brought to the Louvre. They included reliefs, two gigantic bulls and other very large sculptures. He opened seventy-eight rooms at the palace and excavated more than 9000 square metres. However the transport of the discoveries was a disaster and nearly all were lost through shipwreck and looting.
First edition. 3 volumes, folio (63 x 46 cm): (I) [a]2, A4, 1-276, (II) [a]2, 1-276, (III) [a]2, A4; (I) [iv], viii, 324 pp., (II) [iv], 323, [1 (blank)], (III) [iv], viii; (III) 87 plates including map, of which several coloured or tinted; tall set, complete with half titles. Light dust-stains and spotting to titles, occasional spotting, modern half calf gilt, a very handsome set.
Provenance: Free Library of Philadelphia.
Stock ID: 96296