A truly outstanding Cedid in its original binding

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

Üsküdar/Istanbul, Tab'hane-yi Hümayunda / Mühenduishâne Press, [April 1803-March 1804 CE] = 1218 H.

Folio (533 x 364 mm). (3), 79 pp., engraved, illustrated title-page and 25 engraved maps after William Faden, in contemporary hand colour. Contemporary black morocco, richly stamped in silver and blind. Bright yellow pastedowns. In custom-made half morocco solander box.

Auf Anfrage

The first European-style atlas printed in the Islamic world: an exceedingly rare, handsome, and entirely complete example in its original first binding. "[T]he first world atlas printed by Muslims [...], of which only fifty copies were printed" (Library of Congress, Near East Collections: an illustrated guide, online). Several copies were reserved for high-ranking officials and important institutions; most of the remainder were 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 is one of the rarest printed atlases of historical value" (Wikipedia).

A prestigious project for the Ottoman Palace with the seal of approval of the Sultan Selim III, this work 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 on 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 frequently missing folding celestial map on blue paper.

Maps very clean, showing only a few minor stains and repaired tears to folds; a creasemark to the map of Africa; an internal tear to pre-Revolutionary map of France. Binding professionally repaired at extremeties and upper hinge with a few scuffmarks and insignificant traces of worming. An excellent copy, one of the very few surviving specimens in the beautiful original oriental leather binding (the only other known example was sold through us in 2019). A severely defective copy recently commanded an auction price of USD 118,750 (Swann Galleries NY, 26 May 2016, lot 199).


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

Art.-Nr.: BN#52221