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The Ruins of Palmyra, otherwise Tedmor, in the Desert

Robert Wood. London: 1753. Gift of Anna Lloyd Reilly, Marion Reilly, Class of 1901, and Garrett Lloyd Reilly.

Restored through the generous contribution of the Harry and Helen Cohen Charitable Foundation.

The Ruins of Palmyra - sample plate

Between 1750 and 1751, Robert Wood and two companions traveled through modern-day Turkey, Lebanon, and Syria, documenting the ancient ruins that they encountered. Upon returning to England, Wood published this lavish account of the Ruins of Palmyra, including a striking fold-out panorama of the entire site. The book's success helped to spark the English love for all things Greek, and its author became famous as "Palmyra Wood." This large, double-folio sized book contains some of the finest architectural engravings of the eighteenth century.

The book is in a contemporary eighteenth century leather binding. The front board was nearly detached, the back board was loose, and the leather on the spine disintegrating. In addition, a number of the plates were badly foxed, including the massive 3-sheet foldout image of the entire site of Palmyra. The restoration work repaired the binding and cleaned the most important of the foxed plates.

Documentation images before (left) and after (right) restoration by the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts.


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