The Tomb of Tutankhamen.
Discovered by the late Earl of Carnarvon and Howard Carter.London: Cassell and Company, Ltd, 1923-33 Stock Code: 141797
First editions, first impressions, in notably attractive condition, of Carter's popular account of the most spectacular archaeological discovery of the 20th century. Volume I of this set has the publisher's "presentation copy" blindstamp on the title page, and is in the uncommon publisher's presentation binding, with a brown morocco ground to front cover scarab device.
Carter began his association with the Earl of Carnarvon in 1909 and in 1914 convinced him to gain concession for the Valley of the Kings. While "many believed that there was nothing of importance left in the valley to be discovered" Carter thought otherwise, after the interruption of the First World War, conducted annual surveys of the Valley (ODNB). In the summer of 1922 Carter persuaded Carnarvon to allow him to conduct one more campaign, and, starting work earlier than usual, Howard Carter opened up the stairway to the tomb of Tutankhamun on 4 November 1922. Carnarvon hurried to Luxor and the tomb was entered on 26 November. "The discovery astounded the world: a royal tomb, mostly undisturbed, full of spectacular objects. Carter recruited a team of expert assistants to help him in the clearance of the tomb, and the conservation and recording of its remarkable contents. On 16 February 1923 the blocking to the burial chamber was removed, to reveal the unplundered body and funerary equipment of the dead king. Unhappily, the death of Lord Carnarvon on 5 April seriously affected the subsequent progress of Carter's work. In spite of considerable and repeated bureaucratic interference, not easily managed by the short-tempered excavator, work on the clearance of the tomb proceeded slowly, but was not completed until 1932. Carter handled the technical processes of clearance, conservation, and recording with exemplary skill and care" (ibid.)
3 volumes, large octavo. Original brown fine diagonally-ribbed cloth, titles gilt to spines and front covers, gilt scarab-and-sun-disc device on black ground to front covers, the ground consisting of onlaid brown morocco to vol. I, pictorial endpapers.
Photographic frontispiece to each volume, 186 similar plates (many double-sided, and numbered accordingly), taken from photographs by Harry Burton.
Small book label of A. A. Duncan to half-title of vol. I. A couple of small patches of surface scuffs to endpapers from prior tape removal. Minor creasing to cloth at spine ends, slight rubbing to board edges, a couple of bumps to vol. I, cloth lightly marked, gilt notably bright: a very good, attractive, copy.
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