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NEWTON, Charles Thomas.

Travels & Discoveries in the Levant.

Published: London: Day & Son, Limited, 1865

Stock code: 99196

Price: £1,250

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First edition. Following graduation from Oxford, where he was a friend of Ruskin, “Newton entered the British Museum in 1840 as assistant in the department of antiquities under Edward Hawkins. Here he took advantage of the opportunity to study at first hand a wide range of antiquities, including coins, and acquired a thorough training in curatorship … In 1852 Newton resigned from the British Museum on appointment as vice-consul at Mytilene. From April 1853 to January 1854 he served as acting consul at Rhodes … In addition to consular duties he was authorized to serve the interests of the museum by acquiring antiquities through excavation and purchase. His excavations on Kalymnos in 1854 and 1855, financed by Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, the British ambassador at Constantinople, yielded many inscriptions for the British Museum. Also in 1855 he unearthed the bronze serpent from Delphi in the hippodrome at Constantinople and visited Bodrum (ancient Halicarnassus) for the first time. After a second visit in the following spring he obtained a government grant of £2000 together with naval and military support for an expedition to retrieve some lions from the mausoleum immured in the castle of St Peter and to excavate the site of the mausoleum itself” (ODNB). Newton became the first keeper of Greek and Roman Antiquities in 1861, he was closely involved in the foundation of three highly influential archaeological institutions: the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies, to which he gave an inaugural address in June 1879; the Egypt Exploration Fund, founded in 1882; and the British School at Athens, opened in November 1886. Newton died in 1894. Unusual in the cloth.

2 volumes tall octavo. Original green sand-grained cloth, title gilt to the spines, elaborate blind panelling to the boards, cream endpapers. Folding map frontispiece to each, 12 lithographic plates from photographs by Francis Bedford after drawings by Newton and his wife, 20 plates, one of them folding, the majority etched after photographs by Colnaghi and Spackman, 2 double- and 2 full-page maps, one double- and 2 full-page plans, numerous wood-engraved illustrations to the text. A little rubbed, volume I lower board slightly bubbled and mottled, rear endpapers discoloured, and both hinges repaired, some light browning, but overall a very good set, presenting well.

Bibliography: Atabey 869; Blackmer 1193; Gernsheim, Incunabula of British Photographic Literature, 284

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