Complete set of “the finest illustrated work ever published on India” (Tooley). The work comprises six series of engravings of Indian views, three published under the title “Oriental Scenery”, and three as “Twenty Four Landscapes, Views in Hindoostan”, “Antiquities of India”, and “Hindoo Excavations in the Mountain of Ellora”, with altogether 144 hand-coloured aquatint plates (and six sepia aquatint title-pages). An octavo volume of text was issued with each part, probably when each series reached completion. Perfect sets like the present one, in fine original condition, including all plates and text volumes, very rarely appear on the market.
Fine set of this uncompleted work documenting ancient sites and scenes from daily life observed during the author’s travels in 1785-1787 through the Ottoman Empire. Few copies contain much (if any) text and the number of plates varies from about 170 to 192 (the latter total in an unidentifiable copy cited by Cohen-De Ricci). Our copy contains 178 plates (plus five duplicate plates). The copy in the British Library contains 40 leaves of text and 180 plates; the same number of plates is reported in the Blackmer copy. The copy in the British Architectural Library contains 179 plates avant la lettre and its cataloguer speculates that the total number of plates published was 183 (all 180 plates present in the British Library copy, plus plates numbered 23 bis and 109 bis in volume I, and a plate numbered 77 bis in volume II). At the Getty Research Institute is a collection of documents, manuscript material, and drawings, made in preparation for the publication; it is said to contain “a letterpress title page, indices, tables for the arrangement of prints” and “190 printed proofs”.
Magnificent copy of the first edition of Denon’s account of his travels in Egypt as a participant on Napoleon’s Egyptian campaign, combining topographical observations with the first comprehensive and accurate descriptions of ancient Egyptian architecture. The work was an instantaneous success, enjoyed an extensive circulation in several languages, and had an extraordinary impact on the architecture and decorative arts in the opening years of the new century. “With its publication the nineteenth-century Egyptian Revival began in earnest” (James Stevens Curl).
Fine copy of the first edition, with plates printed on a thick paper, mounted on guards and interleaved with card, features designated by Abbey as denoting a copy of an early issue (Abbey’s own copy was a late issue, post-1818).
A superbly-bound copy of Murphy’s posthumous work on the Islamic architecture and art of Spain, edited by Thomas Hartwell Horne, and published serially between July 1815 and mid-1816, with the complete volume offered for sale later in that year. The ninety-eight plates are architectural plans, elevations, exterior and interior views; topographical views; and reproductions of antiquities, including the famed Alhambra vases, mosaic pavements, mural paintings, and inscriptions.
Paris, Librairie de Firmin Didot père et fils, 1827-1828
First edition of an account of the author’s exploration of Cyrenaica, accomplished between November 1824 and July 1825. On his return to France, Pacho claimed a prize of 3000 francs sponsored by the Société de Géographie in Paris for an account of that part of ancient Libya. A prospectus for the work was circulated in July 1826, projecting fourteen fascicules: four parts of text, imposed in quarto; and ten of plates, in folio, each fascicule priced on papier ordinaire 10 francs and on papier vélin with the engraved plates on papier de Chine 20 francs (“Après le Ier janvier 1827, les prix seront augmentés d’un tiers”). The first fascicules were issued in April 1827; one fascicule of text and three of plates had yet to appear when on 26th January 1829 the author committed suicide. This copy is printed on papier ordinaire, as was the only copy seen in the market in recent times. The same plates were coloured in all copies.
Paris, Giard (Imprimerie de Jules Didot l’Aîné), 1830-1833
First edition of a detailed, day-to-day report of the author's exploration of Petra in 1828, illustrated with a fine series of lithographs after his own drawings, and after drawings by his travelling companion, the engineer Louis Maurice Adolphe Linant de Bellefonds, known as Linant Pasha (1799-1883). For at least ten years, until the publication of David Roberts's lithographs, Laborde's illustrations were the only graphic representation of Petra available in the Western world. In this copy, the lithographs are printed on india paper and mounted, as in the Blackmer, Atabey, and Botfield copies; in another issue, they were printed directly on the sheets.
Paris, Imprimerie et Librairie de Firmin Didot Frères, 1835-1845
A fine set in the original sheets of Champollion’s famous publication reproducing the wall paintings and hieroglyphs recorded in Egypt and Lower Nubia during his expedition in 1828-1829 with the Italian scholar Ippolito Rosellini. Although the “Ordre des Quatre Volumes des Planches” (inserted in volume I) calls for 511 plates, the number of plates in a “perfect” set is uncertain. The present copy contains 504 plates and is lacking four plates known in other copies and another four plates listed in the tables of contents, but doubtfully issued. The copy “bien complet de la Bibliothèque d’Art et d’Archéologie de l’Université de Paris” also contains 504 plates (collated by Seymour De Ricci). In comparison, the British Library copy contains 505 plates (our collation); the copy in the Royal Academy (London) also has 505 plates (collation on library OPAC). All copies offered in the market in recent years have been smaller; the Blackmer copy (as collated by Leonora Navari) contains just 495 plates.
The first book on Islamic architecture in India, printed by “The Oriental Lithographic Press” in Calcutta, and issued to subscribers in fascicules consisting of four plates accompanied by a leaf of letterpress. Twelve parts were published in an orderly way (two leaves of preliminaries, twelve leaves of text, and forty-eight plates); thereafter, highly irregularly, until publication was suspended in 1841. No copy is known with the full complement of text and plates (69 plates appear to have been issued; plate XXV: “Doorway of a Merchant’s House, City of Bunarus” is absent in this set). The principal sites documented are in Uttar Pradesh: the Mosque Shahi Qila at Jaunpur, the mosques at Jami and Jhanjhiri, and the Chihil Sutūn at Jaunpur, built by Fīrūz Shah’s governor, and destroyed by the British in 1859. At Agra, Kittoe records the fort and Taj Mahal and sites at Benares and Fatehpur Sikri, all with plates of architectural details. Some Hindu sites are also documented, including the Cow Temple near Agra and the ancient temple to Shiva at Kalpi.
London, Ackermann & Co. (Whitehead and Co. Printers), 1841
A fine, coloured copy in the original printed boards of Schomburgk’s account of his exploration of the Upper Guiana River basin, conducted in three expeditions in 1835-1839 under the auspices of the Royal Geographical Society. It is the first book with coloured plates depicting the topography of the British colony. Abbey’s copy was also in “original stiff wrappers: front wrapper lithographed, as the lithographed title”, but was uncoloured.
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.
(23 cm), 235 pp., frontispiece and 5 plates. Publisher’s black cloth, title in gilt on spine, blind panelling to the front board (no dust jacket issued). - The faith, rites and customs of the Yezidi tribes of Iraq, worshippers of Melak Taus, “The Peacock Angel”. According to the appended commentary by Sir Richard Carnac Temple (1850-1931), the Yezidi are really extremists (Ghulât) of the Shi’a Muslim sect. There are several clear photographs, together with a plan of the temple of Sheikh Adi ibn Musafir. ¶ Owner’s inscription in ink on endpaper: Chas. M. Hollingham; occasional neat annotation. Bookseller’s label: Thornton & Sons, Booksellers, 11 The Broad, Oxford. Good copy.
Three volumes (25 cm), I: lxviii, 637 pp. II: 644 pp. III: 659 pp., illustrations. Publisher’s printed wrappers, original card slipcase. - Original, limited edition (700 copies) of the catalogue of the library of travel books and Italian local history collected by Luigi Vittorio Fossati Bellani (1889-1944), since 1958 in the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, Milan. ¶ Fine copy.
Two volumes (25.5 cm), I (7 June 1971): (2) 106 (4) pp.,  leaves of plates (inserted after pp.46, 60, 96, 100), text illustrations. Lots numbered 1-152. II (9 November 1971): 161 (3) pp. (some folding), folding colour frontispiece,  leaves plates (inserted after pp.68, 104, 106, 108, 112, 116, 140, 152, 156), text illustrations. Lots numbered 153-366. Typed List of prices realised and buyers’ names (Part I); printed List (Part II). Uniform publisher’s printed green boards. - Fine collection of pre-1641 travel and exploration, containing a manuscript of Sir John Mandevilles’ travels in English (extracted from the Clopton Manuscript, a devotional miscellany, c. 1403-1425; now Princeton University, R.H. Taylor Ms 10), a 1520 manuscript by Marco Polo, an early 15th-century manuscript of Chaucer’s Treatise on the astrolabe (ex-E.P. Goldschmidt; now Toshiyuki Takamiya Collection, Japan), the Basel Columbus Letter of 1494, and important maps and atlases. A magnificent English manuscript map of Guiana of c. 1596-1599 was bought by the Duke of Northumberland. Penrose commenced collecting in 1926 and had sold books previously at Sotheby’s in 1934 and at Parke-Bernet in 1945-1947. Percy Muir, “Private Libraries, VII: Boies Penrose” in The Times Literary Supplement, 17 September 1938, p.604; cf. Donald C. Dickinson, Dictionary of American Book Collectors (New York 1986), pp.256-257; William H. Helfand, in Grolier 2000: a further Grolier Club biographical retrospective (New York 2000), pp.284-286. ¶ Unmarked copies.
(28 cm),  pp., illustrations. Lots numbered 1-292. Publisher’s pictorial wrappers. - Sale catalogue for a superb collection of Brasiliana, “annoncée sous le mystérieux nom de ‘collection Ferreira das Neves’ alors qu’il s’agissait d’un ensemble réuni pour la circonstance, provenant en partie seulement de la collection Jacques Renout − de laquelle avait été toutefois soustraite la pièce peut-être la plus précieuse, le rarissime Culture e opulencia do Brasil d’Antonil, publié à Lisbonne en 1711” (Jean-Marc Chatelain, “Pierre Berès: Disparition d’un bibliophile” in SLAM Newsletter 32, October 2008). Blogie II, 429. ¶ Good, unmarked copy. No Price list.
(28 cm),  pp., illustrations. Lots numbered 1-292. Publisher’s pictorial wrappers. - Sale catalogue for a superb collection of Brasiliana, “annoncée sous le mystérieux nom de ‘collection Ferreira das Neves’ alors qu’il s’agissait d’un ensemble réuni pour la circonstance, provenant en partie seulement de la collection Jacques Renout − de laquelle avait été toutefois soustraite la pièce peut-être la plus précieuse, le rarissime Culture e opulencia do Brasil d’Antonil, publié à Lisbonne en 1711” (Jean-Marc Chatelain, “Pierre Berès: Disparition d’un bibliophile” in SLAM Newsletter 32, October 2008). Blogie II, 429 ¶ Good, unmarked copy. Lacking price list.
(28 cm), 194 (18) pp., illustrations (some in colour). 1097 lots. List of prices realised and buyers’ names loosely inserted. Publisher’s printed boards. - Collection of books on the Levant gathered by Camille Aboussouan, Lebanese ambassador to UNESCO. “The quality of this large collection was various, some good, others less so, others again rather spoiled by the owner’s conspicuous device stamped on bindings and title pages… The top price was £26,000, paid for a set of drawings of the Levant, made c. 1839 for the Prince de Joinville, serving in the escadre de l’est of the French navy” (from a saleroom report in The Book Collector, Autumn 1993, p.401). ¶ Annotated in ink; partly priced.
New York, Christie, Manson & Woods International Inc., 2007
Two volumes (27.5 cm), I (16-17 April 2007): 349 pp., illustrations (most in colour). Lots numbered 1-291. II (16-17 April 2007): 321 pp., illustrations (most in colour). Lots numbered 292-552. Publisher’s printed green cloth. - Library of Frank Streeter (1918-2006), son of the famous Americana collector Thomas W. Streeter (1883-1965). ¶ Annotated copies, partly priced.