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 Joseph Thornton
1808 - 1891




The Book of the Dead. Facsimile of the 
Papyrus of Ani in the British Museum, 1890
with an introduction by 
Sir Peter le Page Renouf (23 August 1822 / 14 October 1897) 
together with the  translation volume by E.Wallis Budge 1895. 
Together 2 volumes

Plate 37 
 
An uncommon first edition and presentation copy of this facsimile of the Book of the Dead, published just two years after the purchase of the original for the British Museum. Rarely seen, and almost always a poor institutional copy. Featuring, 37 double-page colour lithograph plates,errata slip,  collated complete. Skilfully restored by Maltby, the Oxford bindery(established  I n 1834, one year before Thorntons. ) Full black cloth with leather title label on the spine, initial pages including first end papers carefully restored,  damp discolouration still visible. Elephant folio (14 x 21 inches, 356 x 533 mm. ) facsimile of the Papyrus of Ani, published by the British Museum in 1890,  a magnificent volume. 

 


Both title pages (apologies for bad quality of these 2 jpegs )


Sample page of the translation volume

This first edition contains a valuable Introduction by Mr. Le Page Renouf, then Keeper of the 
Department of Egyptian and Assyrian Antiquities. [ a Guernseyman, was described by Lord Acton as "the most learned Englishman I know". ] It contained no translation, simply presenting a colour-lithographed facsimile of the sheets of the Papyrus. 

In 1895, the translation of the Papyrus by Wallis Budge was published intended as a companion to the 1890 facsimile which we add here..
The Book of the Dead. The Papyrus of Ani in the British Museum. The Egyptian Text with Interlinear Transliteration and Translation, a Running Translation, Introduction, etc. London, British Museum 1895. Solid quarto later buckram; clv, 1 ,377pp. 
With a presentation stamp from the British Museum on the title and some unobtrusive blind stamps of a library, a rather good copy, Small-folio.  It contains the hieroglyphic text of the Papyrus with interlinear transliteration and word for word translation, a full description of the vignettes, and a running translation.  The reader was expected to read the translation, while looking at the pictures of the scroll in the facsimile. 

The Papyrus of Ani, which was acquired by the Trustees of the British Museum in the year 1888, is the largest, the most perfect, the best preserved, and the best illuminated of all the papyri which date from the second half of the XVIIIth dynasty (about B.C. 1500 to 1400). Its rare vignettes, and hymns, and chapters, and its descriptive and introductory rubrics render it of unique importance for the study of the Book of the Dead, and it takes a high place among the authoritative texts of the Theban version, the funerary papyri that were written between B.C. 1500 and B.C. 1350  of that remarkable work. 

  Plate 36 stamp on title
                                                                                            of the translation volume

Although it contains less than one-half of the chapters which are commonly assigned to that version, we may conclude that Ani's exalted official position as Chancellor of the ecclesiastical revenues and endowments of Abydos and Thebes would have ensured a selection of such chapters as would suffice for his spiritual welfare in the future life. We may therefore regard the Papyrus of Ani as typical of the funeral book in vogue among the Theban nobles of his time. The first edition of the Facsimile of the Papyrus was issued in 1890, and was accompanied by a valuable Introduction by Mr. Le Page Renouf, then Keeper of the Department of Egyptian and Assyrian Antiquities. 


restored pages/ prelims (above and below )

  restored title page

The original Papyrus of Ani measured 78 feet long by 1 foot 3 inches deep. Unfortunately, Wallis Budge -in tune with the mentality of the majority of his peers at large- cut the original using the "yardstick" method, dividing it into thirty-seven sheets of relatively even length, thus disfiguring the flow of the original scroll.
The Papyrus of Ani was written in cursive hieroglyphs and illustrated with colour miniatures in the 19th dynasty of the New Kingdom of ancient Egypt, c. 1275-1250 BCE, for the scribe Ani. It is among the most richly illustrated of all surviving copies of the Book of the Dead, which was also called the "Book of Going Forth by Day". The text usually contained declarations and spells to help the deceased in their afterlife. 

  Plate 1

The papyrus excavated from the tomb of Ani in Thebes was acquired by the Trustees of the British Museum, in 1888 , or rather stolen from an Egyptian government storeroom as described in his two-volume By Nile and Tigris,   by Sir E. A. Wallis Budge for the collection of the British Museum where it remains today. Before shipping the manuscript to England Budge cut the seventy-eight foot scroll into thirty-seven sheets of nearly equal size, damaging the scroll's integrity.  In 1890 the British Museum issued a large folio colour facsimile of the thirty-seven sheets entitled The Book of the Dead: Facsimile of the Papyrus of Ani in the British Museum, with an introduction by Peter le Page Renouf. This was followed in 1895 by E. Wallis Budge's The Book of the Dead: The Papyrus of Ani in the British Museum, the Egyptian Text, with interlinear transliteration and translation, a running translation, introduction etc. to accompany the second edition of the folio colour facsimile of the Papyrus.
2 volumes £ 3000

Plate 7


Plate 29                                     Plate 23

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