View full screen - View 1 of Lot 93. Maxime Du Camp | Egypte, Nubie, Palestine et Syrie. Dessins Photographiques. Paris, 1852.
93

Maxime Du Camp | Egypte, Nubie, Palestine et Syrie. Dessins Photographiques. Paris, 1852

Estimate:

100,000

to
- 150,000 GBP

Property from a Private English Collection

Maxime Du Camp | Egypte, Nubie, Palestine et Syrie. Dessins Photographiques. Paris, 1852

Maxime Du Camp | Egypte, Nubie, Palestine et Syrie. Dessins Photographiques. Paris, 1852

Estimate:

100,000

to
- 150,000 GBP

Starting bid:

100,000

GBP

(0 bids, reserve not met)

Lot closes:

Lot closes:

3 days, 21 hours

3 days, 21 hours

May 13, 02:33 PM (GMT)

May 13, 02:33 PM (GMT)

Property from a Private English Collection

Maxime Du Camp


Égypte, Nubie, Palestine et Syrie. Dessins Photographiques recueillis pendant les années 1849, 1850 et 1851. Paris: par J. Claye et Cie. [for] Gide et J. Baudry, 1852


FIRST EDITION, folio (435 x 295mm.), half-title, title, 125 SALTED PAPER PRINTS (each approximately 165 x 220mm., or the reverse) printed by Blanquart-Evrard, individually mounted on card with engraved title, number and imprint, and 3 engraved plans, one double-page, nineteenth-century, dark-red straight-grain morocco gilt, spine in six compartments with raised bands gilt, marbled endpapers, gilt edges, gilt turn-ins, without the text (see footnote), occasional spotting and stains (mostly to margins of the plates), binding expertly refurbished by James Brockman


A FINELY BOUND COPY OF DU CAMP'S PIONEERING PHOTOBOOK ON EGYPT, PALESTINE AND SYRIA. The 125 salt prints show 112 views of Egypt, 6 of Jerusalem, and 7 of Baalbek.


In November 1849 at the age of just twenty-seven Maxime Du Camp, the son of a successful surgeon, set out for Egypt with his friend the novelist Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880). Each longed to explore the Near East and they secured government commissions to fulfil their ambitions – Du Camp was to photograph archaeological sites and study their history, and Flaubert was to gather information on the commerce, agriculture, and industries of the places they would visit. Du Camp, a writer and journalist, had only just been trained in photography by Gustave Le Gray, who taught him the waxed paper negative process; this method proved challenging for the novice and he did not have much success with it. Fortunately, he met Baron Alexis de La Grange in Cairo who taught him Louis-Désiré Blanquart-Evrard’s improved process, which would allow him to flourish as a photographer during the course of his journey. Du Camp took over 200 photographs of about 60 different monuments and sites. Of those, 125 were selected to be published resulting in the present work, which was the first French book to be illustrated entirely with photographs and was Blanquart-Évrard’s biggest commercial success.


Its precedents were William Henry Fox Talbot’s The Pencil of Nature in England and a few less significant brochures in France – the photographs that illustrate those publications have not survived as well as those in Du Camp’s volume, which retain magnificent contrast and detail to this day. Du Camp’s book was sold by subscription in 25 parts, each containing 5 plates. The total number of complete sets distributed at the time of the volume’s publication is not known, but based on the sum of a payment made to Du Camp at the time, and the rarity of groups of any size today, it likely that no more than 200 copies were printed.


Du Camp’s volume was wildly popular in the 19th century – the French government alone subscribed to 20 copies – and it earned him the prestigious award of Officer of the Legion of Honour. In spite of its exceedingly positive reception, Du Camp never photographed again. When Du Camp and Flaubert arrived in Beirut at the end of their voyage, the former exchanged all of his photographic equipment for large quantities of fine wool and silk embroidered with gold so that the two friends could commission fine upholstered furniture when they returned home. This work remains Du Camp’s first and last foray into photography.


The text that is usually bound with the photographs in this work was either never present or was likely bound in a companion volume that is now lost.


PROVENANCE:

Private family collection, UK

Condition is described in the main body of the cataloguing, where appropriate


The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

Private family collection, UK
A FINELY BOUND COPY OF DU CAMP'S PIONEERING PHOTOBOOK ON EGYPT, PALESTINE AND SYRIA. The 125 salt prints show 112 views of Egypt, 6 of Jerusalem, and 7 of Baalbek.

In November 1849 at the age of just twenty-seven Maxime Du Camp, the son of a successful surgeon, set out for Egypt with his friend the novelist Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880). Each longed to explore the Near East and they secured government commissions to fulfil their ambitions – Du Camp was to photograph archaeological sites and study their history, and Flaubert was to gather information on the commerce, agriculture, and industries of the places they would visit. Du Camp, a writer and journalist, had only just been trained in photography by Gustave Le Gray, who taught him the waxed paper negative process; this method proved challenging for the novice and he did not have much success with it. Fortunately, he met Baron Alexis de La Grange in Cairo who taught him Louis-Désiré Blanquart-Evrard’s improved process, which would allow him to flourish as a photographer during the course of his journey. Du Camp took over 200 photographs of about 60 different monuments and sites. Of those, 125 were selected to be published resulting in the present work, which was the first French book to be illustrated entirely with photographs and was Blanquart-Évrard’s biggest commercial success.

Its precedents were William Henry Fox Talbot’s The Pencil of Nature in England and a few less significant brochures in France – the photographs that illustrate those publications have not survived as well as those in Du Camp’s volume, which retain magnificent contrast and detail to this day. Du Camp’s book was sold by subscription in 25 parts, each containing 5 plates. The total number of complete sets distributed at the time of the volume’s publication is not known, but based on the sum of a payment made to Du Camp at the time, and the rarity of groups of any size today, it likely that no more than 200 copies were printed.

Du Camp’s volume was wildly popular in the 19th century – the French government alone subscribed to 20 copies – and it earned him the prestigious award of Officer of the Legion of Honour. In spite of its exceedingly positive reception, Du Camp never photographed again. When Du Camp and Flaubert arrived in Beirut at the end of their voyage, the former exchanged all of his photographic equipment for large quantities of fine wool and silk embroidered with gold so that the two friends could commission fine upholstered furniture when they returned home. This work remains Du Camp’s first and last foray into photography.

The text that is usually bound with the photographs in this work was either never present or was likely bound in a companion volume that is now lost.