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DOROW, Wilhelm.

Morgenlaendische Alterthümer.

Die Assyrische Keilschrift erläutert durch zwei noch nicht bekanny gewordene Jaspis-Cylinder aus Nineveh und Babylon; begleitet mit dem nachtstiche des vom abte Lichtenstein herausgegebenen cylinders, und dem genauen abdrucke einer alten Tibetanischen handschrift in schönen utschen-charakteren [with:] Die Indische Mythologie erläutert durch drei noch nicht bekannt gewordene Original-Gemählde aus Indien; begleitet mit dem abdrucke eines noch unbekannten bronzenen götzenbidles und priesters mit sonderbaren charakteren.

Weisbaden: L. Schellenberg, 1820-1 Stock Code: 126249
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First editions, only two numbers were published, of this rare German periodical devoted to Indian and Assyrian art and archaeology. Volume I deals with cuneiform tablets and cylinder seals, many from Dorow's own collection, and the Tibetan written language; volume II covers Indian and Tibetan mythology and symbolism in Indian art. The distinguished German archaeologist Wilhelm Dorow (1790-1845) made excavations in both Germany and at Etruscan sites in Italy before being appointed first director of what was to become the Rheinisches Landesmuseum, Bonn; the Wilhelm-Dorow-Gesellschaft was named in his honour.

"In 1820 Dr. Dorow published, at Wiesbaden, Heft I notebook I

of his Morgenlaendische Alterthümer... In it he gives engravings of three cylinders, one of them after Lichtenstein's 'Tentamen' Helmstadt 1803 and the two others not before published. They are both among the most important cylinders known... It was brought from Constantinople by Graf Joseph von Schwachheim, who was for eight years Austrian Minister at the Porte, and was given by his heir, through the intervention of Prof. G. C. Braun, Mainz, to Dr. Dorow, in 1819... The other is the even more important cylinder belonging to Dr. John Hine of Baghdad, a copy of which had been sent to Dr. Dorow by Rich, now, after long disappearance, one of the treasure of the British Museum... Attached to Dr. Dorow's paper are several letters on the subject from his scholarly friends, the longest and most important of which is from the distinguished scholar, Prof. G. F. Grotesend, who was the first to discover a clue to the decipherment of the cuneiform script" (Wiliam Hayes Ward, The Seal Cylinders of Western Asia, Washington DC, 1910, p. 13).

Conspicuously uncommon: of the first part Library Hub cites copies at BL, Oxford, Cambridge only; of the second BL, SOAS, Oxford, Cambridge; among international holdings WorldCat locates a further two dozen copies of the first part but one only of the second (Bibliotheek Universiteit van Amsterdam).

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2 volumes quarto (all published). Original orange fine diaper-grain paper-covered boards, smooth spines with gilt fillets, sides with border of delicate gilt swags and corner ornaments of neoclassical ovals, all edges gilt, sheen-finish blue endpapers. Housed in a custom made blue cloth solander box.


5 lithograph plates (one folding), 2 large folding facsimiles (one on heavy violet paper and printed in gilt, now somewhat oxidised, in the style of the original).


Armorial bookplate (in vol. I) of Gerold Zimmerlin (1856-1942), owner of a spinning mill at Basel. Some rubbing and chipping to extremities, general light toning to letterpress but generally very good and sound, with the original pink printed wrappers for vol. II bound in.


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