Lot 28
  • 28

Rawlinson, Sir Henry Creswicke

Estimate
800 - 1,200 GBP
bidding is closed

Description

  • Autograph draft description of temples in Babylon and Basippa,
  • paper
giving details of inscriptions he found there and other features, and including cuneiform script, drafted with deletions and revisions, docketed by him "(written in 1856-) and given to Mrs Ford -July 19- 1861, H. Rawlinson", 2 pages, folio, partly laid-down, 1856; together with five later autograph letters signed by Rawlinson, to Mrs Ford, about "the famous spiritualist, Mr Foster", Afghan correspondence, and other matters, 15 pages, 8vo, partly laid-down on an album leaf including three small albumen print photographs of Rawlinson, one letter dated 1874, the others undated

Provenance

Mary Ford, née Molesworth (1816-1910) of Penncarrow, Cornwall; sale in these rooms, "The Pencarrow Collection of Autographs", 8 December 1999, lot 82

Catalogue Note

THE DRAFT MANUSCRIPT INCLUDES EXAMPLES OF RAWLINSON'S CUNEIFORM SCRIPT. The distinguished Assyriologist and army officer Sir Henry Creswicke Rawlinson (1810-95) is noted for his success in deciphering the Old Persian portion of the celebrated trilingual cuneiform inscription of Darius I at Behistun, Persia in 1846. This provided the key to the decipherment, by himself and others, of Mesopotamian cuneiform script, which greatly expanded the knowledge of the ancient Middle East.

Rawlinson played a notable part in his earlier years in "The Great Game", serving in Persia and elsewhere in the military service of the East India Company, as political agent at Kandahar in 1840, and in the Afghan War of 1842, where he distinguished himself. Besides serving in other diplomatic postings, he later became President both of the Royal Asiatic Society (1878-81) and of the Royal Geographical Society (1871-2, 1874-5).

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