Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    One Hundred Illustrated Plates from
    Layard's Famous Excavation

    Austen Henry Layard. The Monuments of Nineveh from Drawings Made on the Spot. London: John Murray, 1849. Large folio. [8], 22 pages, 100 illustrated plates. Most plates are black and white, seven duo-toned, seven full color plates, and three plates with small gilt highlights. Thirty-five plates engraved by W. Holl, nine by Hullmandel & Walton, nine by F. Pistrucci (five with I. Gruner), four drawn by Edward Prentis, engraved by John Thompson, and one by J & C Walker. Others unsigned. Half black leather and red paper covered boards with gilt rules, gilt titles on spine, and title page reproduced on front cover. Boards detached, rubbed with small tears and chips at extremities, single small horizontal impression near both upper and lower edges of front cover, backstrip tattered and severely rubbed with loss of surface leather and gilt, partially attached to rear board. All pages loosely laid in. Small hash marks over each plate number on the "List of the Illustrations" page. Leaves have edge wear with minor paper loss, chipping, and edge tears, mostly confined to borders; few dust shadows along edges, occasional smudges or stains, also mostly confined to borders. Otherwise, one hundred incredible illustrated plates in very good condition in a damaged binding.
    Please visit for an extended description of this lot.

    More Information:

    Austen Henry Layard (1817-1894).

    "Archaeologist, adventurer and amateur scholar of Italian renaissance art; discoverer of Nineveh. Layard was the son of Henry Peter John Layard, a civil servant, and Marianne Austen (Layard). He grew up in Florence near the Palazzo Rucellai, instilling in him a lifelong affection in Italy. He knew the British expatriate esthete Seymour Stocker Kirkup (1788-1880) and poet Walter Savage Landor (1775-1864). At 12, Laynard returned to England and was apprenticed as a solicitor under his uncle in 1833.

    "While heading to Ceylon to assist another uncle's business in 1839, he detoured to see the archaeological sites Asia Minor, copying cuneiform inscriptions. He elected to stay in Iraq where he learned Arabic. In 1842 he worked on diplomatic missions for Sir Stratford Canning (1786-1880) in Constantinople. By 1845 Layard convinced Canning to support excavating a mound at Mosul (Nimrud, ancient Kalhu)--ahead of the French--then thought to be Nineveh. His excavations included 9th century BC sculptures, the so-called Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III and several pairs of human-headed winged lions and bulls (British Museum). In 1849 Layard published Monuments of Nineveh still believing he had discovered the famous city. It was only while excavating the citadel mound at Kuyunjik that he realized it was the true Nineveh. There his spectacular discoveries included Sennacherib's palace and its rich relief cycles. The same year he published his popularized account of his findings, Nineveh and its Remains."

    - Dictionary of Art Historians, Lee Sorensen, editor,

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2015
    4th-5th Wednesday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,152

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $100,000 (minimum $14), plus 20% of any amount between $100,000 and $1,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $1,000,000 per lot.

    Sold on Nov 4, 2015 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 3 days left to consign to the 2021 September 25 - 26 Including the Mahoney Collection of George Washington Inaugural Buttons. Americana & Political Signature Auction!

    Learn about consigning with us

    I don’t often do testimonials but in this case I felt truly obligated to thank Heritage Auctions for the extremely professional job your organization did for me.
    Charlie K.,
    Pittsburgh, PA
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search