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In contemporary colour, including the the first scientific map of Arabia published in the Islamic world

Katib Chelebi (Haji Khalifa/Mustafa ibn Abdallah). Kitab-i Cihânnümâ. [Jihan-numa, The mirror of the world].

Constantinople, Ibrahim Müteferrika, 3 July 1732.

Folio (c. 330 x 204 mm). (28), 698 pp., each page within double rule border added in gilt. With 12 engr. plates and celestial maps, and 27 engr. geographical maps, all in contemp. hand colour. Modern blindstamped red morocco with richly gilt spine. Marbled endpapers.

First edition. Almost unobtainable thus with 39 maps and plates: Koeman mentions a total of merely 37 maps and plates; Shirley cites 27 maps (including one of the celestial hemispheres) and an unspecified number of "other prints". Even the British Library copies (Oriental and India Office Collections, Or.80.a.10 and a.7) have one map fewer than ours.

Includes the famous map of the Arabian Peninsula drawn by Ahmed Al-Qirimi, based on Sanson's 1654 map, but with important changes. Tibbetts depicts this rarest and most desirable map of Arabia - the first ever to be printed with captions in Arabic - as the frontispiece of his groundbreaking bibliography of "Arabia in Early Maps"; no specimen is listed in the catalogue of the collection of H.R.H. Sultan Bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi. "This map can be seen as a mixture of Eastern and Western cartographic experiments of the 17th century. It was the first scientific map published in the Islamic world. Its details include data on the names of the towns, watercourses, and topographical features. The Red Sea is labelled bahr Swîs (Sea of Suez) and the Arabian Gulf is labelled Basra kûrfazî (Gulf of Bassora)" (Khaled Al Ankary).

For his famous universal Islamic geography, the Ottoman scholar Katib Chelebi (1609-57) drew on Mercator's and Hondius's "Atlas Minor" as well as other Western sources. "Of the utmost interest both as the best-known work of Ottoman geographical literature and as the document of a pivotal moment in the history of ideas" (Wolff). Printed at the first Turkish press by Ibrahim Müteferrika, a Hungarian convert to Islam, who completed Katip's unfinished work, hitherto circulated in manuscripts only, and had the maps specially engraved for it. "In a report given to the Académie after the Danish expedition of Niebuhr, it is stated that D'Anville's main sources for Arabia in his Asia map were the Geographies of Idrisi and Abu'l Feda, and the 'Jihan-numa' of Katib Chelebi" (Tibbetts, p. 29).

As usual without the Zodiac chart (as the British Museum copy); slight loss to upper corner of f. 1 (remargined, not touching text). Occasional brownstaining, reinforcements, and remarginings. Old waqf stamps on recto of first and verso of final f. Altogether a very appealingly bound, near-complete copy in good condition. Of the utmost rarity when found with all maps as present. We could not trace a complete copy in libraries worldwide (the Houghton copy at Harvard also wants 2 pages of text and the celestial map, inter alia), and all copies recorded at auction within the last decades were incomplete as well.

Shirley T.KAT-1. Koeman II, 549 (but misdated). Wolff, Mercator 2.12.a. Lex. der Kart. 829. HoC 2.1, p. 195 & 218. Khaled Al Ankary collection (The Arabian Peninsula in Old European Maps), p. 316f. Tibbetts, p. 26 (misdated "1728"). Yazmadan Basmaya (Müteferrika) 11. OCLC 613412138.