Inscribed by the author to Sultan Abdul Hamid II, in Ottoman Turkish and Arabic

Gråberg de Hemsö, Jacques. Observations authentiques sur la peste du Levant et sur la vertu spécifique de l'huile d'olive contre cette effrayante maladie [...].

Florence, Guillaume Piatti, 1841.

4to. 47, (1) pp. Contemporary green half calf with giltstamped spine and borders.


Only edition of this detailed account of the outbreak of the plague in the Levant, describing the situation in Tangier in 1818 and 1819, which the Swedish polymath Graberg (1776-1847) experienced at first hand as Swedish consul. While the first part graphically describes the sanitary crisis in Tangier, distinguishing between cases with or without skin eruption, the shorter second part deals with the occurence, spread, and extinction of the disease.

Extremities bumped. A fine, wide-margined copy removed from the library of Sultan Abdul Hamid II, with traces of requisite marks and a full-page inscription by the author on the front flyleaf, handwritten in Ottoman Turkish and Arabic, dated and signed "Min madinat Ifluransiya, fi 5 min Sha'ban, am 1263 / al-mu’allif / Yaqub Grubarg da Hamsu" (i.e., Florence, 19 July 1847, shortly before Graberg's death on 29 November).

Abdul Hamid II (1842-1918) was the last Sultan of the Ottoman Empire to exert effective contol over the fracturing state and also remembered as a poet, translator and one of the dynasty's greatest bibliophiles. While his passion for books is memorialized by the many precious donations he gave to libraries all over the world and which mostly have remained intact to this day (including the 400-volume "Abdul-Hamid II Collection of Books and Serials" gifted to the Library of Congress), his own library was dispersed in the years following his deposition in 1909: books were removed to other palaces and even sold to Western collectors, the greatest part of his collection is today preserved in the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin.

Wellcome III, 143. Not in Waller.

Stock Code: BN#52210 Tags: , , ,