45
45
Description de l'Égypte
OU RECUEIL DES OBSERVATIONS ET DES RECHERCHES QUI ONT ÉTÉ FAITES EN ÉGYPTE PENDANT L'EXPÉDITION DE L'ARMÉE FRANÇAISE, PUBLIÉ PAR LES ORDRES DE SA MAJESTÉ L'EMPEREUR NAPOLÉON LE GRAND. PARIS: IMPRIMERIE IMPÉRIALE, 1809-1822
Estimate
80,000120,000
LOT SOLD. 169,250 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
45
Description de l'Égypte
OU RECUEIL DES OBSERVATIONS ET DES RECHERCHES QUI ONT ÉTÉ FAITES EN ÉGYPTE PENDANT L'EXPÉDITION DE L'ARMÉE FRANÇAISE, PUBLIÉ PAR LES ORDRES DE SA MAJESTÉ L'EMPEREUR NAPOLÉON LE GRAND. PARIS: IMPRIMERIE IMPÉRIALE, 1809-1822
Estimate
80,000120,000
LOT SOLD. 169,250 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Fine Travel and Plate Books: A Private Collection

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London

Description de l'Égypte
OU RECUEIL DES OBSERVATIONS ET DES RECHERCHES QUI ONT ÉTÉ FAITES EN ÉGYPTE PENDANT L'EXPÉDITION DE L'ARMÉE FRANÇAISE, PUBLIÉ PAR LES ORDRES DE SA MAJESTÉ L'EMPEREUR NAPOLÉON LE GRAND. PARIS: IMPRIMERIE IMPÉRIALE, 1809-1822
23 volumes, comprising:

9 volumes of text, folio (390 x 250mm.), half-titles, contemporary half straight-grained black morocco, spines gilt in compartments, many edges uncut, occasional light foxing, joints rubbed, with plates as follows: Antiquités mémoires I: 3 engraved plates and maps (2 folding), 2 engravings, 5 folding letterpress tables; Antiquités mémoires II: 21 engraved plates (mostly of the demotic text on the Rosetta Stone) and maps (2 folding), engraved portrait, small stains on H1 and L4; Antiquités déscriptions II: engraved portrait; Histoire naturelle II: folding engraved plate, engraved portrait; État moderne I: typeset music; État moderne II pt 1: engraved plate; État moderne II pt 2: 4 engraved plates (3 folding), engraved portrait

11 plate volumes, elephant folio (665 x 510mm.), all with half-titles, comprising:

Préface historique; Explication des planches, text only, occasional foxing (some heavy), wormtracks in lower margin also affecting silk endpapers, wormholes in first few leaves repaired
Antiquités I: frontispiece, 100 engraved plates (4 with hand-colour), 87 in this volume, remaining 13 plates bound in larger volume, a few wormholes at head and foot (just touching top of frontispiece), upper joint weak
Antiquités II: 92 (of 93, lacking plate 82bis) plates (18 with printed and/or hand-colouring), 61 in this volume, remaining 31 plates bound in larger volume
Antiquités III: 69 plates (1 colour), 43 in this volume, remaining 26 plates bound in larger volume
Antiquités IV: 74 plates (1 colour), 61 in this volume, remaining 13 plates bound in larger volume
Antiquités V: 89 plates, 73 in this volume, remaining 16 plates bound in larger volume
État moderne I: folding map, 83 plates, 75 in this volume, remaining 8 plates bound in larger volume
État moderne II: 87 plates, 83 in this volume, remaining 4 plates bound in larger volume
Histoire naturelle I: 62 (14 plates of birds with hand colouring) engraved plates
Histoire naturelle II: 105 plates, wormtrack in upper corner of last ten plates (not affecting image)
Histoire naturelle II bis: 77 plates (15 coloured, mostly mineralogy), very small wormtrack at foot of last few plates

3 oversize plate volumes, double elephant folio (1050 x 680mm.), two containing 95 of the larger plates from all of the above, 31 (7 folding, of which 4 with hand-colour, most slightly torn at fold) + 64 (5 folding), the third volume being: "Carte topographique", engraved title-page, letterpress "Noms des ingenieurs...", key plate and 47 engraved maps (3 with two sections per plate), all with wormtracks in lower margin (not affecting plates), first volume with small crack in foot of lower joint with slight scraping

Bindings of the plate volumes: contemporary navy straight-grained morocco elaborately tooled in blind and gilt with Egyptian motifs by Tessier (with his ticket in Antiquités plate volume I and État moderne plate volume I), central gilt arms of Louis-Antoine Bourbon with his LL crowned monogram and dolphin device in spine compartments, wide gold-tooled dentelles, gilt edges, crimson silk endpapers with gold-tooled border, all plate volumes with some foxing or show-through, bindings slightly rubbed


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Provenance

Louis-Antoine Bourbon (1775-1844), duc d'Angoulême, arms on bindings with his symbol as dauphin (he became dauphin in 1824)

Literature

BAL RIBA 846; Blackmer 476; Nissen BBI 2234; Nissen ZBI 4608

Catalogue Note

A magnificent set of Napoleon's monumental undertaking, in a contemporary French armorial binding with Egyptian motifs. The Description de l'Égypte was the first scientific survey of all Egypt, from its antiquities to its agriculture including language and music and costume and natural history, and it concludes with a detailed and accurate map of the region. The numerous plates depicting the antiquities provide a breathtaking record of the richness of ancient Egyptian culture.

The binder Jean-Joseph Tessier, who specialised in large format bindings, executed several elaborate bindings for the Description de l'Égypte with these Egyptian motifs; see P. Culot, Relieurs et reliures decorées en France à l'epoque romantique, Brussels, 1995, p.75, for the copy bound for Jean-Joseph Courvoisier, minister of the interior. According to a prospectus included with the Courvoisier copy, a binding of this quality would have cost the enormous sum of 2,150 francs.

Fine Travel and Plate Books: A Private Collection

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London