Three rare studies falling within "the rarely-entered territory of Muslim archaeology"

(Assemani, Simone). Spiegazione di due rarissime medaglie cufiche della famiglia degli Ommiadi appartenenti al Museo Majnoni in Milano.

Milan, Giulio Ferrario, 1818.

Folio (244 x 341 mm). (12) pp. With 2 engravings (one in the text, one on the title).

(Bound after) II: (Schiepati, Giuseppe / Assemani, Simone). Descrizione di alcune monete cufiche del Museo di Stefano de Mainoni. Milan, Paolo Emilio Giusti, 1820. 136 pp. With 3 engraved plates.

(And) III: Reinaud, [Joseph Toussaint]. Lettre à M. le baron Silvestre de Sacy sur la collection des monuments orientaux de [...] comte de Blacas. Paris, Firmin Didot, 1820. 16 pp. Original pink printed wrappers. 8vo. All three within contemporary green boards with giltstamped red spine label.


Collection of three rare studies falling within "the rarely-entered territory of Muslim archaeology" (cf. Fück, p. 153), comprising the two final works of Simone Assemani and the first publication of Joseph Toussaint Reinaud.

In 1818, the orientalist Assemani, well known as an authority on Kufic coins through his "Museo Cufico Naniano" (1787) and, more recently, his treatise "Sopra le Monete Arabe effigiate" (1809), published his "Spiegazione", a discussion of two rare Cufic coins in Stefano de Majnoni's collection. Subsequently, Majnoni called on Assemani to identify several additional coins and in 1820 requested him to check a catalogue of his collection compiled by Giuseppe Schiepati. When Schiepati published the second work here included, "Descrizione di alcune monete cufiche", it was found to contain many unacknowledged contributions by Assemani, as well as extracts from his "Museo Cufico Naniano". Also, Schiepati’s historical comments relied on, and indeed summarized, C. O. Castiglioni’s "Monete Cufiche dell’ I. R. Museo di Milano" (1819). A controversy arose, in the course of which Schiepati was accused of plagiarism - a matter exacerbated by the fact that Assemani had died in early 1821, at the age of 69.

The third work in the volume is a slim octavo brochure, composed by Reinaud as a letter to his teacher Silvestre de Sacy reporting on the Islamic collection of the French antiquarian and diplomat Pierre de Blacas (1771-1839). Eight years later Reinaud would publish his famous, lavishly produced two-volume catalogue "Description des monumens musulmans du cabinet de M. le duc de Blacas", which made his name.

Occasional insignificant browning; Reinaud's work untrimmed, the folio works printed on large paper retaining very wide margins. From the library of Jean-Baptiste Alexandre Billard de Saint-Laumer (1814-92) with his collection drystamp to title page of "Descrizione"; the three plates interleaved with smaller sheets bearing numbered annotations, likely in his hand.


I: Leitzmann 5. Achat 11216. OCLC 84477158.

II: Leitzmann 124. Brunet V, 199. Graesse VI, 301; I, 240. OCLC 52651290.

III: Leitzmann 114. OCLC 229903535.

Art.-Nr.: BN#47626 Schlagwörter: , , , ,