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Main Entrance to the Great Mosque of Al-Azhar. "Principal Entrance to the Great Mosque El-Azhár" On stone by T.Boys from a Drawing by O.B.Carter Archt. Printed by C. Hullmandel.
Middle East: London Tilt and Bogue 1840. Tinted lithographof the main entrance to the Great mosque of Al-Azhar, Cairo from Robert Hay's "Illustrations of Cairo..." The view shows the ornately carved entrance to the mosque. The plates of the streets within Cairo are often the only records of the city at that time, as many of the buildings were demolished in the succeeding years. Robert Hay much less famous than his fellow countryman and contemporary David Roberts nevertheless made the greater contribution to Egyptian Archaeology with his two expeditions of 1824-8 & 1829-34. Generally clean & bright; slightly toned to edges of page; lithographers pinholes to corners of image, as usual. Robert Hay, 1799-1863 Egyptologist, first visited Egypt in 1818 whilst serving in the Royal Navy. Inspired by the work of Giovanni Battista Belzoni, and others he would return in 1824 and spend most of the next 10 years in the country, heading 2 expeditions with the intention of recording detailed accounts of as many Pharonic sites as possible; Robert Hay was typical of the new generation of Egyptologists, interested in recording rather than hoarding unlike the previous generation's dealer-collectors . As heir to the Earl of Tweeddale he was wealthy enough to employ a number of artists to join him in his expeditions, intended to be the greatest since that of Napolean. He collected together, artists, architects, topographical draughtsmen and antiquarians. These young men : Joseph Banoni, Francis Arundale, James Halburton {known as Burton], Charles Laver, Edward Lane, John Wilkinson GB Greenhough ,John Wilkinson, George Hoskins and Frederick Catherwood all of whom would become famous in later years, laid down the basis of Egyptian archaeology (Incidents of Travel in Egypt, Arabia Petræa, and the Holy Land John Lloyd Stephens, Courier Corporation, 1996 ) The intention was to record all the ruins, murals & inscriptions and make detailed ground plans of the sites. They were greatly assisted by the use of the camera lucida, a means of reflecting an image on to paper which Frederick Catherwood in particular among Hay's party used to great effect. Considering the scope of the expeditions it is surprising that Hay's only published work is the Illustrations of Cairo... Drawn on Stone by J. C. Bourne, under the superintendence of Owen B. Carter, architect. London Tilt and Bogne, 1840. [the text would appear the following year] Unfortunately Hay was a procrastinator, having dithered about selling his plaster casts to the British Museum until they began to lose interest and the more he procrastinated, the less the museum was interested. In the end, after years of expensive storage, the large heads and two of the other casts went to the British Museum with the single stipulation that a present of £100 be given to Bonomi for all the work he had done. Hay received nothing "The book project followed a similar course. Lane, a disciplined artist and writer, was clearly the man for the job. But Hay wanted to dedicate the book to Lane, so he asked Charles Carter to do the drawings and James Burton, who was even less decisive than Hay, to do the writing. Thanks largely to Lane's prodding, the book was finally published in November 1840, beautifully printed, lavishly bound--and expensive. The public passed it by, and Hay lost almost £2000-the equivalent of £95,000 ($150,000) today.... Thoroughly annoyed over the huge sums he had lost and uncertain why his efforts had failed so miserably, Hay sank into the life of a country gentleman, his interest in Egypt displaced by the time-consuming management of a large estate. From time to time he would write to the faithful Bonomi how much he missed their days in Egypt and lamenting his own lack of discipline..... ..Hay's legacy was not what he might have wished. The great head from Abu Simbel, which was far too large to exhibit successfully, was cut up--"not judiciously"--and stored in pieces in the British Museum, along with most of the casts that the Museum had acquired in 1840. The antiquities Hay had collected while in Egypt fared somewhat better. After his death, the British Museum purchased 529 items from his estate for £1000. The remaining objects in Hay's collection were placed on public display and then sold to a Boston banker and collector whose son later bequeathed them to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, where they formed the basis of that museum's Egyptological collection. The drawings remained for some time in the Hay estate, but eventually went to the British Library (then part of the British Museum), where they are now housed in 49 portfolios." [ The Lost Portfolios of Robert Hay by Jane Waldron Grutz from Saudi Aramco World March/April 2003 ] Owen Browne Carter (1806-1859) was an English architect,In about 1829-30 he went to Egypt in the company of Robert Hay. He spent some time in Cairo, where he made a large number of architectural and topographical drawings, about fifty of which are in collection of the British Museum. Abbey Travel I 270; Blackmer 794; Gay 2497; Ibrahim-Hilmy I, p 292 Middle East Egypt Cairo Mosque of Al-Azhar El Azlar.
      [Bookseller: Mary Louise Bryan/Paralos Gallery]
Last Found On: 2017-06-09           Check availability:      Biblio    


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