Robert Hay was one of the pioneers of Egyptology. He first visited Egypt in 1824, and returned "as one of the leading members of an archaeological expedition between 1826 and 1838. Among his companions were the artists Arundale, Atherwood, J. Bonomi the younger, and E. W. Lane" (DNB). He established a base camp on the Nile from which the first systematic exploration of the Nile Valley was carried out, and presented a number of Egyptian antiquities to the British Museum which also houses his 49-volume collection of drawings. A similar copie was sold Christie's South Kensington, Sale 9280, 30 November 2001, lot 442.