The first comprehensive description of ancient and modern Egypt

[Description de l'Égypte]. Description de l'Égypte, ou, Recueil des observations et des recherches qui ont été faites en Égypte pendant l'éxpédition de l'armée française. Planches. [Antiquities. Etat Moderne, Histoire Naturelle].

Paris, L'Imprimerie Imperiale, 1809.

Elephant folio (685 x 510 mm). 2 plate volumes. [Antiquities volume]: Half-title, title for Histoire Naturelle [!], list of artists (mounted). 92 large engraved plates, maps, and plans, including 2 colour, 9 double page, and a few folding, numbered 1-97 (lacking plates 15, 18, 49, 79, 87).

[Etat Moderne]: Half-title, title, list of artists (all trimmed and mounted). 57 engraved plates and maps, including 2 double page. 19th century green half morocco, spines gilt. All edges gilt.


From the first comprehensive description of ancient and modern Egypt. Two plate volumes from the 23-volume series produced by the commission of scholars and artists that accompanied Napoleon's expedition to Egypt in 1798-1801. The complete set comprises 10 text and 13 plate volumes, divided into "Antiquités", "Mémoires", "Histoire naturelle", "Etat moderne", and "Carte topographique", published between 1809 and 1828. The present volumes are something of an amalgam: the spine and title page of one indicate the first volume of plates for "Histoire Naturelle", but the 92 large plates within are from the first volume of "Antiquités", depicting architecture and ruins, monuments, tombs, artifacts, views, elevations, and maps from Philae, Eswan, Edfou, Esne, Koum Omobu, and elsewhere. The volume labeled "Etat Moderne" (with a corresponding title page) features a selection of plates from volumes 1 and 2 of "Etat Moderne", in addition to 21 plates from the first volume of "Histoire Naturelle", including 17 ichthyological plates as well as plates mineralogical and botanical.

Condition report for "Antiquités": all plates backed with new sheets, scattered foxing (significant to 2 or 3 plates) and a few pale dampstains, a few repaired tears and marginal restorations, lower third of plate 10 lacking, some restoration to spine.

"Etat Moderne": Plates trimmed at plate marks and mounted to elephant folio sheets, dampstaining throughout at upper right quarter, restoration to margins outside image of several plates, title page trimmed close at upper margin and worn at lower margin, plate 14 scuffed with loss of text, foxing throughout, staining to natural history plates, repairs to margins mostly outside of image of several plates.

Blackmer 476. Ibrahim-Hilmy I, 239. Gay 1999. Cf. Tobler p. 236 (citing the Carte Topographique only). Heritage Library, Islamic Treasures, s. v. "Art" (illlustration). Graesse II, 365.

Art.-Nr.: BN#31490 Schlagwörter: , , , ,