Beautifully illustrated expeditions searching for ancient Egyptian antiquities

Cailliaud, Frédéric / Drovetti, Bernardino / Jomard, M. (ed.). Voyage à L’Oasis de Syouah. Rédigé et publié par M. Jomard [...] d’aprés les matériaux recueillis par M. le Chevalier Drovetti, Consul Général de France en Égypte, et par M. Frédéric Cailliaud, de Nantes, pendant leurs voyages dans cette oasis en 1819 et en 1820.

Paris, 1823.

Folio (45 x 29 cm). (2) (half title and title), (4) (description of plates), 28 pp. With 20 plates (including a map of Northern Africa and the region around Siwa). Very nice contemporary half calf, spine richly gilt. Map slightly cropped in right-hand margin, but only touching frame, no loss of picture. A fine, very attractive copy of a particularly scarce work.

(Bound after:) Cailliaud, Frédéric. Voyage a l'Oasis de Thèbes et dans les Déserts situés a l'orient et a l'occident de la Thébaide, fait pendant les années 1815, 1816, 1817 et 1818. Contenant: 1. Le Voyage à l'Oasis de Dakel, par M. le Chevalier Drovetti. 2. Le Journal du premier Voyage de M. Cailliaud en Nubie. 3. Des recherches sur les Oasis, sur les Mines d'émeraude, et sur l'ancienne Route du commerce entre le Nil et la mer Rouge. Paris, l'Imprimerie Royale, 1821. XVII, 120 pp. With 24 (1 colour) plates (including 2 maps).


I) Voyage y l'oasis de Syouah: An important work on Siwa and at the same time the only source on Drovetti's research in the oasis - a particularly rare book! - In September 1819, Cailliaud travelled from Fayun westward to Siwa, where he carried out important research which was the foundation of the scientific discovery and exploration of Siwa oasis. In 1820 Bernardino Drovetti arrrived in Siwa together with Mehmed Ali's expedition. Accompanied by 2 draughtsmen and protected by the Egyptian troops, Drovetti was able to explore the oasis and to have plans and views drawn. Thus, he managed to supplement the picture Cailliaud had given of Siwa. He was also the first European to visit the village of Agharmi. Drovetti's and Cailliaud's reports were sent to Jomard who edited and published them.

II) Voyage à l'oasis de Thèbes: In 1815, Cailliaud travelled to Nubia together with B. Drovetti. When he had returned, Mehmed Ali advised him to explore the adjacent desert regions near Egypt. First he went east through the Arabian desert to the Red Sea. After seven days he reached the diamond mines at Djebel Subara. From Djebel Kebrit, his easternmost point, he went back to the Nile. In June 1818 he went east of Esna to the Great Oasis (Kharga), which, although Poncet und Browne had already seen it, had still remained unexplored.

The plates show Sekket, Douch El Qualah, Chargeh, El Gabouet, the ruins of Chargeh, etc. Also contains the only publication of Bernardino Drovetti's 'Le Voyage à l'Oasis du Dakel'. Drovetti was, after Edmonstone, the second explorer to reach Dakel.

A separate second volume of the Voyage a l'oasis de Thèbes was issued in 1824.


I: Henze I, 474/475 (Cailliaud) and II, 97/98 (Drovetti). Ibrahim Hilmy I, 113. Not in Blackmer.

II: Cf. Henze I, 474 ff. Blackmer 268. Gay 1967. Ibrahim-Hilmy I, 113. Embacher 66.