LAYARD, Austen Henry. Discoveries in the Ruins of Nineveh and Babylon; with Travels in Armenia, Kurdistan and the Desert: being the Result of a Second Expedition undertaken for the British Museum. John Murray, Albemarle Street, 1853.
8vo. Original brown cloth, overall image of Assyrian monument blind-stamped to covers and spine, lettered in gilt to spine; pp. xxiii, 686, [2, advertisements]; 8 tinted lithographs, one uncoloured lithographic plate of Assyrian script, 2 folding engraved plates, 2 large folding maps and 3 folding plans, numerous wood-engravings (some full-page) in the text; minimal marking to cloth, else a very good and clean copy.
First edition. Layard's discoveries, made on his first expedition to Mesopotamia during the years 1842-7 and described in his Nineveh and its Remains of 1849, met with popular acclaim back in Britain. In consequence, the British Museum funded a second expedition, of which Layard gives an account in the present work. This enabled Layard to return innumerable cuneiform documents from the 'King's Library' at the Kuyunijk Mound near Mosul, the eventual decipherment of which proved conclusively that ancient Nineveh had been located there.
The binding is a three-dimensional representation of a colossal statue of a winged bull (lamassu), similar to the ones kept in the British Museum. It was produced by Remnant & Edmonds, who employed as well Owen Jones as designer and produced the cloth bindings for Murray's Darwins.