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The folio edition: presentation copy

Roberts, David. Egypt & Nubia, from Drawings Made on the Spot With Historical Descriptions by William Brockedon, F.R.S. Lithographed by Louis Haghe.

London, F. G. Moon, 1846-1849.

Large folio (600 x 433 mm). 3 vols. With 3 frontispieces and 3 tinted lithographic titles, 118 plates by Louis Hughe after drawings by David Roberts, and one engraved map. Contemporary brown half morocco, covers gilt-stamped, spines gilt, edges gilt.

First edition of Roberts' monumental work on the Middle East, "one of the most important and elaborate ventures of nineteenth-century publishing and [...] the apotheosis of the tinted lithograph" (Abbey, p. 341). Presentation copy inscribed by the publisher. After an apprenticeship to the Scottish house-painter, Gavin Buego, David Roberts (1796-1864) became assistant scene painter at the Pantheon theatre in Edinburgh. He continued scene painting in Glasgow and finally, in 1821, was hired to work with Clarkson Stanfield at the Drury Lane theatre in London. Both artists exhibited at the Society of British Artists, Royal Academy and British Institution, and by 1830 Roberts was firmly established as a topographical artist and was able to give up his work in the theatre. In 1838 he made plans for a journey to the Near East, inspired by his passion for artistic adventure. He departed in August 1839 for Alexandria and spent the remainder of the year in Cairo and visiting the major tombs and sites of Egypt. The following February he journeyed to the Holy Land, making stops in Suez, Mount Sinai and Petra. He spent time in Gaza before entering Jerusalem and concluded his tour by spending several months visiting the Biblical sites of the Holy Land. Roberts returned to England at the end of 1839 and submitted his drawings to F. G. Moon in 1840. Moon arranged to bring out a volume of Scripture history, paying Roberts 3,000 pounds for the copyright of the sketches and for overseeing Haghe's efforts.

A few leaves lightly spotted; original publisher' bindings near-perfect with occasional traces of professional repairs. Provenance: William Tenguerand (presentation inscription by publisher F. G. Moon on title to volume one); later in the Theological Institute of Connecticut (institutional stamp on a few leaves and labels on spines and covers).

Ibrahim-Hilmy II, 176. Abbey Travels 272. Tooley 402. Lipperheide Ma 27. Cf. Hiler 753. Heritage Library, Islamic Treasures, s. v. "Art" (illustration). pkpk