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Wednesday 19 January 2022

Jules Laurens’ etching, “Sous les Murs de Téhéran (Perse)”, 1863


Jules Laurens (aka Jules Joseph Augustin Laurens) (1825–1901)

Sous les Murs de Téhéran (Perse)” (aka “Under the Walls of Tehran [Persia]”), 1863. I understand from the British Museum’s description of the frontispiece to the same publication in which this print features (see inv. no. 1864,1008.270) and to Léon-Honoré Labande’s (1910) account of Jules Laurens in “Jules Laurens: Ouvrage Illustré d'Après les Œuvres de l'Artiste” (p. 244), that this print was executed for the Société des Aquafortistes, printed by Auguste Delâtre (aka Auguste Marie Delâtre) (1822–1907) and published by Cadart & Luquet (fl. 1863–1867) in Paris in 1863 as plate 51 to the first volume of “Eaux-Fortes Modernes: Originales et Inédites”. Note that Laurens made the frontispiece etching to the second volume of “Eaux-Fortes Modernes”, published in 1864, with the numbering of the plates in the 1864 volume continuing from the first volume (1863) and commencing with plate 61 onwards.

Labande (1910) offers the following description of this print (in transl.): “Under the walls of Tehran (Persia) (no. 51). The subject represents the stopping of a caravan near old half-torn towers; the camels have been unloaded, a traveler keeps watch while the others rest” (p. 244 []).

Etching with pale plate-tone printed in a warm-black ink on heavy wove paper trimmed with a small margin around the platemark and backed with a support sheet (with margins).

Size: (support sheet) 42.6 x 49.9 cm; (sheet) 25.6 x 33.9 cm; (plate) 23.8 x 32.8 cm; (image borderline) 22.3 x 31.7 cm.

Inscribed in plate within the image borderline: (upper right corner) “51.”; (lower left corner) “LAUREN [reversed ‘S’]”.

Lettered in plate below the image borderline: (left) “Jules Laurens sculpt.”; (left of centre) “Paris, Publie par A. Cadart & F. Chevalier, Éditeurs, Rue Richelieu, 66.”; (centre) “SOUS LES MURS DE TÉHÉRAN (Perse).”; (right) "Imp. Delâtre, Rue St. Jacques, 303, Paris." 

State i (of i)

Beraldi 6 (4–17) (Henri Béraldi 1889, “Les Graveurs du XIXe Siècle: Guide de l'Amateur d'Estampes Modernes: Laemlein–Mécou”, vol. IX, Paris, Librairie L. Conquet, p. 61, cat. nos. 4–17).

See also the marvellous description and insights about this print offered by Art of the Print:

Condition: a richly inked and very strong impression showing use of retroussage (i.e., a technique employed when wiping the still wet plate to allow ink to “spill” over the lines), trimmed with small margins and laid upon an archival support sheet of millennium quality washi paper. The sheet is in a good condition with no tears, holes, folds, abrasions, significant stains or foxing.

I am selling this remarkable etching of a seldom portrayed scene in nineteenth century printmaking featuring a caravan of dromedary camels camped outside the crumbling walls of Tehran—my eye loves the somewhat stretched portrayal of the sleeping dog with large droopy ears shown in the foreground, but I wonder if such a dog (or any dogs) would accompany a caravan—for the total cost of AU$286 (currently US$206.71/EUR182.08/GBP151.72 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world, but not (of course) any import duties/taxes imposed by some countries.

If you are interested in purchasing this rare and historically significant record of the artist’s own experience of camel caravan life in Iran, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold 

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