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Louis P. di Cesnola, Golgoi, Hagios Photios, 1870, 1870 - 1879

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/Y3018I/2

Scope and Contents

132 x 191 mm. Mounted on card and captioned by Cobham. Showing Count Luigi Palma di Cesnola seated beside a semi-colossal statue found at Aghios Photios in 1870. This figure is described thus: '... one of semi-colossal dimensions, the body of which is in an admirable state of preservation; the head, arms, and feet were at first missing, but I had the good fortune to recover them from the different peasants who had carried them off. They are now united [and thus seen in the print], and the whole has an imposing appearance. The head-dress is pointed, and finished at the top by the representation of a calf's or bull's head. The front of the helmet is divided by six straight lines converging towards the top ... The beard, which was once painted red, is elaborately arranged in very short curls. The hair in front is also curled ... The dress is a long robe falling to the feet, and worn much in the same manner as the peplos on early Greek female figures ... These attributes would seem to indicate the office of a high priest of Venus ...'. (Cesnola 1877, pp. 130-132).

Count Luigi Palma di Cesnola (1832-1904) was an Italian-American soldier and archaeologist who, after service in Austria (1848-49) and the Crimea, went to New York in 1860 where he founded an army school. A few years later he also saw service in the American Civil War. From 1865-77 he was U.S. Consul in Cyprus and during this period made examinations at Larnaca and Salinas, and verified and surveyed the sites of Paphos, Soli and Pali. His collection of Cyprus antiquities was purchased by the New York Metropolitan Museum in 1872 and Cesnola served as Director of that institution from 1879 until his death.


  • 1870 - 1879

Conditions Governing Access

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Biographical / Historical

Photographer unknown.

Language of Materials


Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Good condition, apart from slight yellowing.

Existence and Location of Copies

CN 2714.


For a line drawing of the figure see: Cesnola, Luigi, di Palma (1877), Cyprus: its ancient cities, tombs, and temples. A narrative of researches and excavations during ten years' residence..., London: John Murray. A colossal head and 31 other statues were also found at the site. The story of how Cesnola acquired those artefacts before the Turkish authorities could intervene is told on pp.105-164, together with detailed descriptions and illustrations of the sculptures.





Finding aid date

2003-05-16 16:37:42+00:00

Includes index.


Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

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