Plate 14 "Mosquée El-Hakem, au Kaire" View larger
Plate 14 "Mosquée El-Hakem, au Kaire"
Girault de Prangey (Joseph-Philibert), 1804-1892

Monuments arabes d’Égypte, de Syrie et d’Asie mineure, dessinés et mesurés de 1842 à 1845; par Girault de Prangey. Ouvrage faisant suite aux Monuments Arabes de Cordoue, Séville et Grenade, publiés de 1836 à 1839 [title on printed wrapper; issued without a title-page]

Paris, Publiés par l’Auteur (Imprimerie Lithographique de Lemercier; Typographie de Firmin Didot Frères), 1846-1855
Fine, complete copy of one of the earliest publications with illustrations based upon daguerreotype originals. In 1842, Girault de Prangey embarked on an ambitious tour of the Mediterranean, travelling through Greece, Asia Minor, Egypt, Palestine, and Syria. He had begun to experiment a year before with Daguerre’s invention, and took with him a custom-made daguerreotype camera. After travelling for more than two years, he returned to France in early 1845, and began work on a comparative history of Islamic architecture featuring illustrations based on his archive of nearly 900 daguerreotypes, of which some 250 recorded the principal archaeological sites, landscapes, and people of Egypt. According to advertisements, Monuments arabes d’Égypte, de Syrie et d’Asie mineur was projected in twenty to thirty livraisons, each priced sixteen francs, and containing four lithographs printed in two tints accompanied by historical and descriptive text. Only six parts were issued before the publication was abandoned. Although inventoried by the Count de Simony in 1937, and by Helmut Gernsheim in the 1950s, the great majority of Girault de Prangey’s daguerreotypes remained in their original plate boxes, receiving little attention until quite recently. After a large group of plates was seen in the auction rooms, in 2003, it was widely realised that the lithographs illustrating Monuments arabes d’Égypte, de Syrie et d'Asie mineur had been based directly on these daguerreotypes, the artists tracing over the photographic images.
Subjects
Archaeology, Ancient Near East & Egyptian
Egypt - Description and travel
Islamic art and architecture
Authors/Creators
Girault de Prangey, Joseph-Philibert, 1804-1892
Artists/Illustrators
Bichebois, Louis-Pierre-Alphonse, 1801-1850
Cicéri, Eugène, 1813-1890
Clerget, Hubert, 1818-1899
Dauzats, Adrien, 1804-1868
Fichot, Charles, 1817-1903
Girault de Prangey, Joseph-Philibert, 1804-1892
Herbsthoffer, Karl, 1821-1876
Mathieu, Auguste, 1810-1864
Monthelier, Alexandre Jules, 1804-1885?)
Printers/Publishers
Didot, Ambroise, Hyacinthe & Frédéric (Librairie de Firmin Didot Frères), active 1827-?
Lemercier (Imprimerie Lithographique de Lemercier), 1846-1855

Girault de Prangey, Joseph-Philibert
Langres 1804 – 1892 Courcelles (Langres)

Monuments arabes d’Égypte, de Syrie et d’Asie mineure, dessinés et mesurés de 1842 à 1845; par Girault de Prangey. Ouvrage faisant suite aux Monu­ments Arabes de Cordoue, Séville et Grenade, publiés de 1836 à 1839 [title on printed wrapper; issued without a title-page].

Paris, ‘Publiés par l’Auteur’ (‘Imprimerie Lithographique de Lemercier; Typographie de Firmin Didot Frères’], 1846 [–1855]

folio (565 × 395 mm), (8) ff. letterpress, unsigned and unpaginated (complete); plus twenty-four irregularly numbered plates (all published), by Alphonse Bichebois, Eugène Ciceri, Hubert Clerget, Adrien Dauzats,1 Charles Fichot, A. Mathieu, Monthelier, with figures by Bayot and Karl (Charles) Herbsthoffer, most with a dated publication line (e.g. pl. 25: Girault de Prangey del. 1844 | Eugene Ciceri lith | Imp. Lemercier à Paris).

contents Text (folios 1–2) drop-title, Monuments Arabes. vii siècle. Égypte. Mosquée d’Amrou, au Kaire. Pl. 4, 5, 9; (3–4) the same text, reset, with inserted printed notice: ‘Avis. Par suite des modifications apportées au texte de l’ouvrage, les Souscripteurs sont priés de déchirer la feuille de texte, mosquée d’amrou, qui accompagnait la 1re Livraison. Elle doit être remplacée la feuille ci-jointe’; (5–6) drop-title, Monuments Arabes. Syrie. Alep. Pl. 25 et 26; (7) drop-title, Monuments Arabes, xiv e siècle. Syrie. Chateau d’Alep. Pl. 58 et 59; (8) drop-title, Monuments Arabes, xiv e siècle. Syrie. Porte de Kennesrin, a Alep. Pl. 60. Plates ■ 1 Haram el Chérîfe, Jérusalem ■ 4 Mosquée d’Amrou, au Kaire ■ 5 Détails. Mos­quée d’Amrou, au Kaire ■ 12 Intérieur, Mosquée d’Ibn-Toûloûn ■ 13 Détails, Mosquée d’Ibn-Toûloûn ■ 14 Mosquée El-Hakem, au Kaire ■ 22 Cour de la Mosquée El-Azhar, au Kaire ■ 25 Alep ■ [unnumbered] caption Mon.ts Arabes Égypte xive siècle [depicts top of a Mineret, the upper half of following print] ■ 38 Minaret, Mosquée Mohammed el Naçer, au Kaire [lower half of preceding print] ■ 41 Mosquée de Beybars ■ 48 Château d’Alep ■ 56 Porte de la Citadelle, au Kaire ■ 59 Plans et Détails, Château d’Alep ■ 60 Porte Kennesrîne à Alep ■ 70 M. Naçeriyéh. Kaire. M. El Bordéni ■ 72 Mos­quée Kaïtbay, au Kaire ■ 80 Mosquée et Tombeau d’El Goury, au Kaire ■ 84 Tombeau du Sultan Tarabey ■ 87 Tombeau et Minarets, au Kaire ■ 88 Une Rue a Rosette ■ 95 Foûah, sur le Nil ■ 98 Mosquée Nabédémiane, Alexandrie ■ 100 Un Iwan a Damas.

binding publisher’s printed wrappers (for livraisons 1–3)

Fine, complete copy of one of the earliest publications with illustrations derived from daguerreotype originals.

The work is presented as a continuation of the author’s account of the Islamic architecture of southern Spain, based on an extended tour of Spain he had undertaken in 1832 and 1833, and published at Paris between 1836 and 1839 illustrated by lithographs after his own drawings. In 1842, Girault de Prangey embarked on an ambitious tour of the Mediterranean, travelling through Greece, Asia Minor, Egypt, Palestine, and Syria. He had begun to experiment a year before with Daguerre’s invention, and took with him a custom-made daguerreotype camera. After travelling for more than two years, he returned to France in early 1845, and began work on a comparative history of Islamic architecture featuring illustrations based on his archive of nearly 900 daguerreotypes, of which some 250 recorded the principal archaeological sites, landscapes, and people of Egypt.

Plate 14 ‘Mosquée El-Hakem, au Kaire’
Plate 100 ‘Un Iwan a Damas’

According to advertisements, Monuments arabes d’Égypte, de Syrie et d’Asie mineur was projected in twenty to thirty livraisons, each priced sixteen francs, and containing four lithographs printed in two tints accompanied by historical and descriptive text.2 Only six parts were issued before the publication was abandoned,3 probably because of insufficient subscriptions.4

Although inventoried by the Count de Simony in 1937,5 and by Helmut Gernsheim in the 1950s,6 the great majority of Girault de Prangey’s daguerreotypes remained in their original plate boxes, receiving little attention until quite recently.7 After a large group of plates was seen in the auction rooms, in 2003, it was widely realised that the lithographs illustrating Monuments arabes d’Égypte, de Syrie et d’Asie mineur had been derived from daguerreotypes, the artists merely tracing over the photographic images.8

These copies are known to the writer

● Antwerp, Bibliothèque universitaire Moretus Plantin, Réserve, R 19D00429 ● Berlin, Staatsbibliothek, gr.2º Ny 2094 ● Braunschweig, Technische Universität, I.P.65U ● Cairo, American University, Creswell Collection, NA381. G5x 184610 ● Cambridge, University Library, S402.bb.84.911 ● Halle, Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Sachsen-Anhalt, Ec 1132, 2º ● Leipzig, Universitätsbibliothek, Bibliotheca Albertina, Gr. Fol. 308 ● London, British Library, HS 74/111812 ● London, Victoria & Albert Museum, National Art Library, 110.F.3713 ● London, Royal Institute of British Architects, British Architectural Library, 72.033.3 // GIR14 ● Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Gr Fol - O3B - 426 ● Unlocated (ex-Welbeck Abbey copy)15

The present copy contains two settings of the first bifolium of text (Monuments Arabes. vii siècle. Égypte. Mosquée d’Amrou, au Kaire. Pl. 4, 5, 9), the latter setting accompanied by a printed notice: ‘Avis. Par suite des modifications apportées au texte de l’ouvrage, les Souscripteurs sont priés de déchirer la feuille de texte, mosquée d’amrou, qui accompagnait la 1re Livraison. Elle doit être remplacée la feuille ci-jointe’.

further reference Ibrahim Hilmy, The Literature of Egypt and the Soudan (1886), p.176

1. Cf. Bibliothèque nationale, Département des estampes, Inventaire du fonds français après 1800, i (Paris 1930), pp. 192 (Léon-Auguste Asselineau: pl. 38), 444 no. 123 (Adolphe Bayot: pl. 41), ibid., vi (Paris 1953), p.17 no. 41 (Adrien Dauzats: pl. 88), etc.

2. Advertisement printed on the wrapper of the copy in the Victoria & Albert Museum (shelfmark 110 F.37): ‘Paraîtra en livraisons, au nombre de vingt à trente, se succédant aussi régulièrement que possible, de trois en trois mois. Chaque livraison, du prix du 16 francs, contiendra quatre planches lithographiées à deux teintes par les premiers artistes; un texte historique et descriptif de deux à quatre pages, suivant l’importance des monuments, accompagnera chaque livraison. Les plans, coupes et élévations seront gravés au trait, et quelques planches de détails imprimées en couleur’.

3. Joseph-Marie Quérard, La littérature française contemporaine, 1827–1849 (Paris 1852), iv, p.104 no.4: ‘Les cinq premières sont en vente (1848)’. According to the Catalogue général de la librairie française (Paris 1862), ii, p.454, six parts were issued, and the price later reduced: ‘Livraisons 1 à 6. In-fol. avec 4 pl. cha­cune. 1846. Imprimerie F. Didot. 60 fr. L’ouvrage, qui devait paraitre en 30 livrai­sons, ne sera pas continué’.

4. According to Henry Brocard, ‘M. Girault de Prangey [obituary]’ in Bulletin de la Société historique et archéologique de Langres (no. 50, 1 July 1893), pp.15–22, Girault de Prangey’s ambition to publish ‘important works’ was curtailed by the ‘considerable expense’: ‘C’est au moyen de ces éléments qu’il put entreprendre la publication d’œuvres importantes, mais qu’il n’eut pas la satisfaction de voir termi­nées… Rentré définitivement en France, vers 1840, Girault de Prangey revint se fixer à Langres, où il s’occupa d’études-archéologiques et de la publication de ses ouvrages sur l’art arabe. Mais cette der­nière exigeant des frais considérables, il dut y renoncer et se retira dans sa villa de Leuchey, près de la fontaine de la Douy, au milieu des rochers et des broussailles’ (quotations pp.18–19). Brocard omits Monuments arabes d’Égypte, de Syrie et d’Asie mineure from his list of the author’s publications.

5. Charles de Simony, Une curieuse Figure d’Artiste, Girault de Prangey (Dijon 1937).

6. Gernsheim acquired some plates for his personal collection (now Harry Ransom Center, The Univer­sity of Texas at Austin); see Helmut and Alison Gernsheim, L.J.M. Daguerre (1787–1851), the world’s first photographer (Cleveland 1956), pp.107–108.

7. Miroirs d’argent: daguerréotypes de Girault de Prangey, catalogue of an exhibition held at Musée gruérien, Bulle, 30 November 2008–29 March 2009 ([Bulle] & Geneva 2008); Sur les traces de Girault de Prangey, 1804–1892: dessins, peintures, photographies, études historiques, edited by Dominique Gueniot ([Langres]: Musées de Langres, 1998).

8. The daguerreotype plates offered in Christie’s sale, ‘Important daguerreotypes by Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey from the archive of the artist’, London, 20 May 2003, lot 21 (a view of Fouah on the Nile) and lot 22 (a street in El-Rashid), correspond directly with pls. 88 and 95 in the book. Weston Naef, Photographers of genius at the Getty (Los Angeles 2004), p.20; Lindsey S. Stuart, ‘In Perfect Order: Antiquity in the daguerreotypes of Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey’ in Antiquity & photog­raphy: early views of ancient Mediterranean sites, edited by Claire L. Lyons (Los Angeles 2005), p.88.

9. Présence de l’Egypte: dans les collections de la Bibliothèque universitaire Moretus Plantin, catalogue of an exhibition (Namur 1994), p.222 no. 93: ‘[24] pl.., [1] f.; 58 cm’ (incomplete?).

10. Library opac: ‘[16] p., [25] leaves of plates; 54 cm. No more published’.

11. Library opac: ‘12 p.: ill. 23 × 16 in. 23 lithogr. incl. plans’.

12. Examined by the writer: (8) ff. text (contains both versions of letterpress for plates 4–5–9), 24 plates; bound-in are the wrappers for six livraisons (same printing, all dated 1846, emended in pencil 1–6).

13. Examined by the writer: (6)ff. letterpress only (original version of explicatory letterpress for plates 4–5–9 is absent), 24 plates (the two halves of plate 38 are joined); printed wrapper dated 1846. Universal Catalogue of Books on Art (London 1870), p.1648.

14. Library opac: ‘Incomplete’; Catalogue of the Royal Institute of British Architects Library (London 1937–1938), i, p.394: ‘incomplete’.

15. From the sale catalogue (2004): ‘Parts 1–6 in one volume, 2° (565 × 382 mm). 12p. letterpress, 24 lithographic plates… The 24 plates, based on Girault de Prangey’s daguerreotypes, are bound in the following irregular sequence: 1, 4, 5, 12, 13, 14, 41, 22, no number, 25, 48, 38, 56, 70, 72, 80, 59, 60, 84, 87, 88, 98, 95, 100’. Provenance: William Arthur, 6th Duke of Portland – Christie, Manson & Woods, ‘Catalogue of valuable printed books from the Titchfield Library at Welbeck Abbey sold by order of His Grace the Duke of Portland, K.G.’, London, 23–24 March 1953, lot 378 (sold £4 10s, to Francis Edwards) – Christie, Manson & Woods, ‘Valuable printed books and manuscripts, including natural history’, London, 17 November 2004, lot 111 (sold £2,151, inclusive of premium).

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