Ancient Excavations at Carli. FROM: Twenty-Four Views Taken in St. Helena, the Cape, India

Henry SALT

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SALT, Henry. “Ancient Excavations at Carli.” FROM: Twenty Four Views Taken in St. Helena, the Cape, India, Ceylon, Abyssinia & Egypt. London: William Miller, 1809. Original hand-colored aquatint, measuring 25 by 18-1/2 inches, beautifully framed; entire piece measures 34-1/2 by 28 inches.

Splendid, large, hand-colored aquatint of the ancient Buddhist Hall of Worship at Karli, Plate XIV from Salt’s folio views of India, Egypt, Ceylon, Abyssinia, the Cape of Good Hope, and St. Helena. Engraved by Daniel Havell.

In June 1802, Viscount Valentia (George Annesley) left England on the Minerva, for a Grand Tour of the East and “the first British mission to Abyssinia… to conclude an alliance to obtain a port in the Red Sea in case France, under Napoleon, should seize Egypt” (Abbey 515). As his official artist and secretary for the tour, Valentia appointed artist Henry Salt, who had recently finished his training with the topographical draughtsman and diarist, Joseph Farington. This wonderful plate by Salt depicts the great Buddhist Chaitya (Hall of Worship) at Karli. The Karli caves are in the Poona district of Maharashtra, and this chaitya is the largest rock-cut cave in India. The cave is distinguished by the entrance pillar, which is 24 feet high and eight feet in diameter, with a summit carving of four lions. Valentia and Salt returned to England in 1806 and set about producing the Twenty Four Views Taken in St. Helena, the Cape, India, Ceylon, Abyssinia & Egypt. The engraver of Plate XIV, Daniel Havell, was a member of the renowned English family firm of artists and engravers, which included Robert and William, “publishers of topographical and architectural works distinguished by a delicacy of line” (Grove). He worked in London and was for a time in the employ of Rudolph Ackermann, for whom he produced aquatint engravings of the “South East View of St Paul’s Cathedral” and “Entrance under Bloody Tower” published by Ackermann in 1818. Salt eventually became British Consul-General in Egypt, where he died at the age of 47. See Tooley 440.

Image in fine condition with colors true. Beautifully framed.

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