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humble origin, we may well be content. The first Address or Prospectus of the Library was issued in 1758:
“As many kinds of useful and polite knowledge can no otherwise be
acquired than by READING ; an attempt to furnish the public with an ample fund of amusement and improvement of this kind, at the easiest
Expense, can hardly fail of general Approbation. “ To answer this valuable purpose, the establishment of a LIBRARY in Liver
pool, has often been wished for; and to gratify so laudable a Desire, a Scheme has been proposed, & is now carrying into Execution. The terms are moderate ; and the prospect of Advantage is obvious and extensive ; so that those Gentlemen and Ladies who wish to promote the Advance. ment of Knowledge will here have an opportunity of doing much good,
by adding their assistance to that which the Scheme has already received. "A Collection of valuable Books, chiefly in the English language, is now
purchased, agreeable to the annexed CATALOGUE ; which will be constantly enlarging in proportion to the Increase of the Fund, and the generous
Benefaclions of those who think the Design worthy of their Attention.” The above illustrates the remark that there is anothing new under the sun.” It shows that what is felt, and spoken, and acted upon in the present day; that what inspires the munificent kindliness of a William Brown,—the desire to "furnish the public with an ample fund of amusement and improvement at the easiest expense"—had entered into the minds of a few kindred spirits in the town of Liverpool, when its streets were narrow, and its means were small. Although they kept their books for a time in a corner cupboard in Mr. Everard's parlour, yet we see that they were right in anticipating “the prospect of advantage” by the founding of this library. When we look at the progress it has made, and the benefits known and unknown that it has conferred, we can afford, even in the midst of our Free Libraries and Museums, to give honour to the men of a former day, for beginning so good a work, and in a spirit so pure and unselfish.
REMARKS ON ANTIQUE IVORY CARVINGS.
By Francis Pulszky, F.H.A.
(Read 23RD April, 1857.)
The facility with which ivory is carved, the polish it easily receives, and the mellow tone of its colour, recommended this material for sculpture from the earliest time of human civilisation. Already in Pharaonic Egypt, in ancient Assyria, in the earliest epochs of Etruscan, Greek, and Roman history, it was employed for ornamental purposes. The difficulties besetting, in ancient times, the communication with India and Inner Africa, whence ivory was brought, enhanced its value far beyond its present price ; though the ancients knew of one other source of supply, now fully exhausted, viz., Northern Africa. The country between the Mediterranean and the Sahara was still, in the times of the Phænicians and Romans, the dwelling-place of elephants. Hannibal had them tamed for the purposes of war; the Roman Consuls and Emperors transferred them to Rome, to be slain at the games of the Circus, or to carry the triumphal cars of victorious chiefs to the Capitol. The continuous drain exhausted, at last, the stock of elephants and their tusks in Northern Africa. No ivory comes now from the regions bordering the Mediterranean. Central Africa proved a more plentiful source, which, from times immemorial down to the sixteenth century, supplied Europe, by way of Egypt, with elephant tusks. In Egypt we see the elephant as a hieroglyphical character, on tablets anterior to the invasion of the Hyksos, therefore anterior to the Egyptian bondage of the Hebrews. The town of Abydos, (which means ivory city, since Abu is the name of elephant and ivory, in the language of ancient Egypt,) and the isle of Elephantinae, * both in Upper Egypt, received their names from the ivory, which was the staple article of their trade ; and on the triumphal reliefs of the Ramessides we see regularly, among the tribute bearers, several negroes carrying tusks of elephants. Still,
• The name of the island, Phili, may likewise come from the word, Fil, an Elephant,
antique Egyptian carvings in ivory are rare. The dryness of the climateto which we are indebted for the preservation of such perishable materials as wood, and the colours of the reliefs--proves destructive to ivory ; for as soon as the animal glue which gives it consistency evaporates, it cracks, and crumbles to pieces.
Assyria and Persia were supplied with ivory from India and Bactria. The bearers of elephant tusks are never wanting in the triumphal processions of the eastern conquerors: we see them on the black marble obelisk of the Assyrian king Divanabar, in the British museum, and on the reliefs of the ruined palaces of Darius and Xerxes, in Persepolis.
The sculptors of Greece derived their ivory both from India and Africa ; though it seems that the African, with its yellow tint and more agreeable sheen, was more frequently employed than the white Indian ivory, of chalky appearance ; so much the more as the commerce to the East was often hampered by Persian wars, whilst Egypt exported the products of Africa without interruption.
In Greece, not only was ivory used for ornamental purposes, as in Egypt and Assyria, but statues of large dimensions were built up from this precious material, which likewise served for the insignia of royalty and priesthood, and, together with the purple, remained the symbol of princely power and sacerdotal honour through all the epochs of antiquity. By joining smaller bits of ivory, in a manner not yet sufficieutly explained, even after the learned researches of Quatremère de Quincy, the Greeks carved colossal statues of this material, adorning them with enammelled gold--the only metal believed to be worthy of being joined to ivory. Some of the Chryselephantine statues became celebrated as wonders of the world, both for their precious material and the eminence of the workmanship. The Olympian Jupiter of Phydias, at Elis—his Minerva at Athens—and the Juno of Polycletus, at Argos-remained unsurpassed for beauty and magnificence. The great French archæologist and patron of art, the Duc de Luynes, had lately made a copy of the Minerva of Phidias, according to the description of the anciert authors, and its representations on medals vases and gems. His Chryselephantine statue was one of the most interesting objects of the great French exhibition of fine arts, and gave some idea of the magnificence and costliness of this kind of sculpture.*
• The statue cost the Duke 300,000 francs.
At the time when the conquests of Rome extended to the Sahara, to the upper cataracts of the Nile, and the course of the Euphrates, the facilities of communication throughout the empire supplied the mistress of the world with a great amount of ivory. It grew more common; it was lavished on the furniture of the houses of the rich to such extent, that Horace, to show that he is not rich, says, that neither ivory, nor a ceiling of gold, glitters in his house. Its principal use was for book covers (libri elephantini : see Vopisci Tac. 8, et pugillares membranacei operculis eburneis); and such was the profusion of ivory, under the later Emperors, that the poet Claudian, probably unacquainted with the fact that female elephants have no tusks, describes the great pachyderms of India roving through the woods without tusks, which, he believed, were extracted from their mouths, in order to supply the display of ivory at Rome. He did not surmise that a time should come when one single commercial house at Sheffield would yearly convert a greater number of elephant tusks into unpretending handles of knives and razors, than imperial Rome could import during a score of years.
When the rise of the Mohammedan powers interrupted orice more the communication with India and inner Africa, ivory became again scarce and expensive. It was used for ornamenting the covers of sacred books, for portative altars and vessels of the Church, for the handles of croziers, sceptres, and swords, for the frames of mirrors, for marriage boxes and chess-pieces ; but on account of the costliness of the material, all these sculptures were reserved for the use of the highest classes of society.
As to the ivory remains of classical antiquity, they are of excessive rarity. One only sceptre has been preserved to our days ;* stiles for writing are more numerous ; so are ornamented hair pins, toys, dice, scentboxes. Admission-tickets to the theatres and amphitheatres have likewise survived the great catastrophies of history; and with them a few reliefs, amongst which the most important are the “ Diptycha.” We designate by this name large double ivory tablets, ornamented with reliefs on the outside, whilst the inside was covered with wax, on which the ancients used to write with metallic or ivory stiles. Diptychon means, originally, anything doubly folded ; and therefore St. Augustine calls the oysters Dypticha ; but the term was principally applied to ivory book-covers, or tablets for writing.
* It is published in Professor Gerhard's Centurien, T. lxxxvii. 5, 6.
The most interesting of these tablets were the Consular Diptycha, because we are able to assign a certain date to them; and as they were manufactured for the highest functionaries of the State, and presented to the Senators, we may presume that they are the best specimens of the art of the time, and therefore highly valuable documents for the history of art. They serve likewise to elucidate some dark points of Byzantine history; and afford most valuable information on the manners and customs of a period about which but scanty information can be gathered from contemporaneous authors, whose attention was principally directed to the development of the Christian dogmas, and who neglected political history, so far as it remained unconnected with the Church. Accordingly those ivories, which were always highly prized from the time of their manufacture up to our days, and remained the ornaments of the treasuries of churches and monasteries, attracted the attention of scholars immediately after the revival of letters. The Jesuit Wiltheim, Du Cange, and Banduri, the Byzantine historians,—the celebrated Hagenbuch,—the Benedictine Montfaucon,—the learned Florentine Senator Buonarotti,—the Prior Gori,Professor Saxe,-Father Allegranza, — Bianconi,-Carroni, Millin, the French Archæologist,--and Forsterman, the German,-published many of them, illustrating them by elaborate commentaries, and paving the way for a comprehensive view of the entire subject of antique Diptycha.
The ancient Romans did not like abstractions. Even in their chronology, the designation of years by figures, the era of the foundation of Rome, could not become popular ; they preferred to call the year by the names of their annually elected chief magistrates, the Consuls, and to mention two names instead of a figure whenever they had to give a date, because the names reminded them instantly of the events of the year in question, which were mostly connected with the Consuls. Thus, for instance, instead of saying, In the year 690 of Rome, they said, Under the consulship of M. Tullius Cicero and C. Antonius. This custom implied a thorough knowledge of Roman history, and shows at once, why so much importance was attached to the register of the Consuls, the so called Fasti Consulares, increasing every year in bulk by two names. Roman chronology was, therefore, an epitome of Roman history to be mastered by everybody who took an active part in public affairs, that is to say, by all the citizens of Rome, as long as the Republic existed. When Julius Cæsar applied his genius to selfish aims, and to the violent destruction of the established