A truly outstanding Cedid: the only one in its original binding and with verified Western provenance ever offered

Mahmoud Ra'if. Cedid Atlas Tercümesi [= New Atlas, Translated].

Üsküdar/Istanbul, Tab'hane-yi Hümayunda / Mühenduishâne Press, 1218 H (April 1803-March 1804).

Folio (538 x 363 mm). Engraved, illustrated title-page, 79 pp. and 25 engraved maps (2 on 2 sheets joined), after William Faden, in contemporary hand colour. Contemporary blindstamped limp morocco, richly gilt. Stored in custom-made half morocco case.

Auf Anfrage

The first European-style atlas printed in the Islamic world: an exceedingly rare, handsome, and complete example in its original first binding of "the rare Cedid Atlas, the first world atlas printed by Muslims, of which only fifty copies were printed" (Library of Congress, An illustrated guide ). Several copies were reserved for high ranking officials and important institutions. The remainder was partially destroyed in a warehouse fire during the Janissary Revolt of 1808. "Based on several estimates and accounting for the single maps (torn-out from bound volumes of the atlas) sold or being offered worldwide, it is believed that a maximum of 20 complete examples could be present in libraries or in private collections, whereas some sources suggest that there exist only 10 complete and intact copies in the world. As such, it's one of the rarest printed atlases of historical value" (Wikipedia, s. v.).

This work, a prestigious project for the Ottoman Palace with the seal of approval of the Sultan Selim III, was one of the avantgardistic enterprises promoted by Mahmoud Ra'if to introduce Western technical and scientific knowledge to the Ottoman state. Composed of 25 maps based upon William Faden's 'General Atlas', it is the first Muslim-published world atlas to make use of European geographic knowledge. On each of the maps the place-names are transliterated in Arabic. The Atlas includes Raif's 79-page geographical treatise "Ucalet ül-Cografiye" and the usually missing folding celestial map on blue paper.

An excellent copy, only a few minor stains, some offsetting of a sea chart onto verso of map of England, the beautiful binding expertly rebacked. A severely defective copy recently commanded an auction price of USD 118,750 (Swann Galleries NY, 26 May 2016, lot 199).

Provenance: 1) Hussein Dey, 1765-1838, the last Ottoman ruler of the Regency of Algiers, who governed from 1818 until the French takeover in 1830; 2) Zisska & Kistner sale 8 (Munich, 24 Oct. 1986), lot 3325; sold to 3) Michael S. Hollander, California, from whom we were able to acquire the present volume in 2019.

OCLC 54966656. Not in Philipps/Le Gear. Not in Atabey or Blackmer collections.

Art.-Nr.: BN#49575