Lot 165
  • 165


80,000 - 120,000 GBP
212,500 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Mekka ... mit Bilder-Atlas [zu Mekka [and] Bilder aus Mekka]. The Hage: Martinus Nijhoff, 1888-1889 (& Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1889)
FIRST EDITION, THE AUTHOR'S COPY, 4 volumes, comprising: 2 volumes text, 4to (244 x 167mm.), and 2 atlas volumes (Bilder-Atlas zu Mekka and Bilder aus Mekka), folio (364 x 270mm.), TEXT: SPECIAL ISSUE PRINTED ON THICK PAPER, half-titles, 3 double-page genealogies (manuscript additions in pencil to the third genealogy), 2 folding plans of Mecca, errata leaf at end of volume 1, single page of MANUSCRIPT NOTES IN DUTCH AND ARABIC BY THE AUTHOR loosely inserted in volume 1, CONTEMPORARY POLISHED CALF GILT, spines gilt, gilt edges, marbled endpapers, ATLAS VOLUMES: Bilder-Atlas zu Mekka with printed contents leaf and 40 numbered plates, comprising 65 photographs mounted on 30 leaves, 6 tinted lithographs (one folding) and 4 chromolithographs, Bilder aus Mekka with half title, title and 2 leaves of text, and 20 photographs mounted on 18 leaves, text and plates loose as issued, EXTRA-ILLUSTRATED with a loose folding plan of the mosque at Mecca (identical to that in text volume 1) and a printed (proof?)list of the first 17 plates issued in Bilder zu Mekka, atlas contents loose as issued, ATLAS VOLUMES UNIFORMLY BOUND IN ORIGINAL TAN CLOTH PORTFOLIOS, decorated in blind and gilt, upper covers titled in gilt, lined with patterned gilt paper, slight damp-stains to covers of text volumes, puncture marks to lower cover of text volume 1, text of Atlas aus Mekka spotted, minor wear to atlas spines


C. Snouck Hurgronje (1857-1936); thence by family descent

Catalogue Note

SNOUCK HURGRONJE'S OWN SPECIALLY BOUND SET OF HIS BOOKS AND PORTFOLIOS OF PHOTOGRAPHS OF MECCA, INCLUDING IMAGES BY THE FIRST ARAB PHOTOGRAPHER OF MECCA, AL-SAYYID ABD AL-GHAFFAR. Offered here for the first time is the author's complete set of his important photographically illustrated works on Mecca with a special edition of the text.

Snouck Hurgronje was a respected Dutch orientalist who converted to Islam and spent the years 1884 to 1885 living in Mecca and assumed the name Abd al-Ghaffar. On his return to the Netherlands, he published a history and details of life in Mecca which was published with a portfolio of photographs Bilder-Atlas zu Mekka in 1888-89. Compiled on the eve of the modernisation of Arabia, this landmark work is the largest single illustrated monograph on Mecca of its time. The first text volume contains an historical survey of Mecca, the second describes the daily life of the inhabitants, based partly on the notes compiled by Snouck Hurgronje's Muslim informant from the East Indies, Abu Bakar Djajadinigrat. The plates are among the earliest published photographs illustrating Mecca and pilgrims from all parts of the Islamic world. The photographs were taken by Snouck Hurgronje, and Al-Sayyid Abd al-Ghaffar, a doctor in Mecca who was taught photography by Snouck Hurgronje in 1885.

Encouraged by the success of this publication, Snouck Hurgronje went on to publish a further set of photographs in 1889, titled Bilder aus Mekka. "[With these two works] Hurgronje has given us a rare and unique archive of photographs of the Hijaz, and of Makkah in particular... The photographs provide an insight into the world of Mecca's inhabitants, pilgrims from all over the Islamic world, in addition to the sharif of Makkah, the Turkish governor, and various religious and secular figures" (Badr el-Hage, Saudi Arabia Caught in Time, pp.43-46). See also Arnoud Vrolijk and Richard van Leeuwen, Arabic Studies in the Netherlands, 1580-1950, pp.117-150.