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Document number: 92
Date: 12 Jan 1857
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: PANIZZI Anthonio Genesio Maria
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number: envelope 21300
Last updated: 9th March 2012

British Museum
Jany 12th. 1857


On receiving from Sir H. Rawlinson <1> a letter dated the 9th. inst, and of which I enclose a copy, I did myself the honor of submitting it to the Trustees who will have no objection to communicate to you the lithographed copies of the inscriptions <2> now preparing, as mentioned in that letter, on your agreeing to comply with Sir H. Rawlinson’s terms.

I have the honor to be Sir Your Obedt. Sert
A Panizzi

H Fox Talbot Esq



21, Langham Place,
Jany. 9th., 1857.

My dear Panizzi,

Absence in the Country has prevented me from writing to you earlier on the subject of the Lithographed Inscriptions, which Mr Fox Talbot desires to obtain from the Museum.

I can have no objection to his being furnished with copies of these inscriptions provided that he engage not to publish translations of these Inscriptions either in part or in whole, before the issue from the Museum of the volume of which they form a portion. As the work of Lithographing the Inscriptions commenced in last July, and a year was calculated to be required for the completion of each Volume, No1, may be expected to be ready in July 1857.

The reason why I make the above proviso is that I intend to publish transliterations and interlinear translations of the Inscriptions, simultaneously with the issue of the Cuneiform texts by the Museum and that I think I have a right to claim, in consideration of the great amount of time and labor I have bestowed on the preparation of the texts that I should not be forestalled in communicating their contents to the public.

The only two Inscriptions quite ready for issue are those of Tiglath Pileser I and Sennacherib – but the annals of Sardanapalus <3> will receive its final corrections in a few days and several others are already far advanced - If the Trustees approve of this arrangement I will supply you with the Sheets for transmission to Mr Fox Talbot as they are completed.

I remain Yours very truly
signed H. C. Rawlinson

H. Fox Talbot, Esqre.
Lacock Abbey


1. Sir Henry Creswicke Rawlinson, 1st Baronet (1810–1895), orientalist.

2. Inscriptions of Assyrian cuneiform. On 17 March 1857 WHFT had sent his translation of a recently discovered cylinder dating from the reign of Tiglath Pileser I. See below and H J P Arnold, William Henry Fox Talbot; Pioneer of Photography and Man of Science (London: Hutchinson Benham, Ltd, 1977), pp. 304–305.

3. The inscriptions dated from the reign of the Assyrian Kings Tiglath Pileser I (1115–1077 BC), and Sennacherib (705–681 BC). Sardanapalus was a legendary King of Assyria. [See Doc. No: 07354, Doc. No: 07386, Doc. No: 07368, and Doc. No: 01186].

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