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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: 129893
£2,500.00
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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. We have handled a set bound in contemporary orange boards which included an additional version of the large folding facsimile printed in gilt on heavy violet paper; this is not present here but may have been issued with "deluxe" copies only - others we have traced collate as the present copy, with the plain lithograph version.

"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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Description

2 volumes quarto (all published). Original printed wrappers.

Illustrations

5 lithograph plates (two folding), one large folding facsimile.

Condition

Contemporary ownership inscription to cover of part I (address of "rue de Calade"). Wrappers a little dust-soiled and thumbed, worm trail though part I affecting a few words and letters but lessening on its progress from front to back, scattered foxing and some toning, yet a good set in the original wrappers.

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Established in 1969, Peter Harrington is one of the leading rare book firms in the world. It is a proud member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association – along with ILAB, the PBFA and Lapada – and from shops in Mayfair and Chelsea, London, sells rare books, prints and ephemera to customers across the world.

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