Melling. Voyage pittoresque de Constantinople. 1819. 2 volumes. folio. plates edge-bound. The Atabey copy
MELLING, ANTOINE IGNACE
Voyage pittoresque de Constantinople et des rives du Bosphore. Paris: P. Didot l'ainé, 1819
FIRST EDITION, 2 volumes, comprising text: folio (670 x 510mm.), and plates: elephant folio (977 x 645mm.), text with half-title, printed title with gold printed tughra and engraved frontispiece of Sultan Selim III, atlas of plates with 48 views engraved by Duparc, Schroeder, Née, Dupréel, Dessaulx, Marillier and others after Melling, EDGE-BOUND AND NOT FOLDED, text in modern red half morocco, atlas in contemporary russia, sides panelled and framed in gilt, lettered in gilt on upper cover, atlas title cut down and neatly mounted, frontispiece portrait strengthened in inner margin on verso, plates on new guards, lacking the 3 maps and plans, 8 plates with neat marginal repairs, a few plates lightly spotted (mainly in margins), atlas volume expertly rebacked and re-edged, slightly rubbed
THE ATABEY COPY OF THE GRANDEST ENGRAVED VIEWS OF CONSTANTINOPLE, THE PLATES EDGE-BOUND IN THE RARE AND MOST DESIRABLE UNFOLDED STATE.
Melling (1763-1831), having studied architecture and painting, went to the Levant at the age of nineteen and remained in Constantinople for eighteen years. In 1795 he was charged by the Sultan's daughter to renovate her palace at Ortakeui. He was consequently granted access to the Sultan's palaces, including the Harem, Melling's sketches of which provided the earliest interior views. Having completed various projects for Selim III, Melling returned to Paris in 1803.
A prospectus for Voyage pittoresque appeared in 1804, but production did not start until 1809 and was not completed until 1819 after the appearance of the thirteenth livraison. The outstanding success of the exhibitions on which the work was based earned Melling the title of Painter to the Empress Josephine.
Atabey 798; Blackmer 1105; Brunet III, 1591; Lipperheide 1431; Weber I, 77
Sefik E. Atabey, book label, sale in these rooms, 29 May 2002, lot 794, £38,240; Fine Travel and Plate Books: a Private Collection, sale in these rooms, 28 February 2013, lot 92, £42,450
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