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Opening of a tomb... by Sir William Hamilton. c1811

Opening of a tomb... by Sir William Hamilton. c1811

by Moses, Henry

Antique print of Hamilton Vases discovered in Italy.

Original copperplate engraving c1811 by Henry Moses to illustrated how and where many ancient artifacts were found. Sir William Hamilton (1730-1803) was Ambassador of Great Britain to the Court of Naples between 1764 and 1800. Hamilton studied volcanoes, so was able to work on the excavation sites of Herculaneum, Pompeii and Stabiea, the great cities buried by the eruption of Mt Vesuvius in AD79. As well as being a diplomat of superior position, Hamilton was a connoisseur of superior artwork and an avid archaeologist. He employed many young local boys as 'runners' to assist him in his quest for treasures. He bought and sold antiquities with other dealers, writers, travellers, the trustees of the British Museum, and kings and countesses of Europe; illegally exporting them from their sites of discovery. This is undoubtedly the simplest and most graphic illustration of  his questionable behaviour.  

This engraving is from the first edition of A Collection of Antique Vases, Altars, Paterea, Tripods, Candelabra and Sarcophagi, from various Museums and Collections, published in London on hand-laid paper in 1814 (later colour).

Page size is 225 x 180mm (approximately 9 x 7 inches).



Stock Number: apHM104Price: $80.00