first edition, second issue, 2 volumes bound in 3 (volume 2 is in 2 parts), folio (502 x 324mm.), half-titles, 3 engraved titles, portrait in volume 3, 2 unnumbered folding maps of Greece in volume 1, 285 (including 8bis and 76bis) plates on 168 sheets, elaborate engraved head- and tailpieces, folding letterpress genealogical table, early nineteenth-century green straight-grained morocco by simier (signed at foot of volume 1 spine), gilt floral border on sides and inner panel with fleur-de-lys and a coronet at corners, in the centre the arms of marie caroline de bourbon-sicile, duchesse de berry, spines richly gilt in compartments with five raised bands, inner gilt border, marbled endpapers, gilt edges, some light spotting, bindings slightly scuffed, corners and edges rubbed
Marie Caroline de Bourbon-Sicile, duchesse de Berry (1798-1870), arms to sides. The 1837 Rosny sale catalogue records volume I only (lot 1264), so this set must have been included in another of the sales of the duchesse de Berry
King's Inns Library, Dublin, old ink stamp on verso of title and on final text leaf of each volume
Blackmer 342; Cohen-de Ricci 238; Weber II, 571; Atabey 241
a magnificent copy from the library of the duchesse de berry.
Choiseul-Gouffier travelled to the Levant in 1776. He took with him the artist Jean-Baptiste Hilaire, whom Auguste Boppe (Les peintres du Bosphore au dix-huitième siècle, Paris, 1911) considered to be the artist who best understood the nature of the Levant. They travelled on board a ship commanded by the Marquis de Chabert, traversing the islands of the Archipelago and the coast of Asia Minor before landing at Coroni where Choiseul-Gouffier began his exploration of mainland Greece. On his return to France at the end of 1776 he began to prepare his work for publication. The author's unreserved admiration of Greece and its people, combined with the skill of J.-B. Hilaire's recreation of its topography and costume, was received with great enthusiasm by the French public. On its appearance in 1782, volume one was so successful that in 1784 Choiseul-Gouffier was appointed ambassador to Constantinople. The second volume appeared in 1809 and the third (i.e. volume 2, part 2) was published posthumously in 1822.
The first and second issues of volume one are distinguished by the ending of the preliminary discourse; for the second issue the discourse was changed and reset and ends on line 22 of page xij (i.e. xii).
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