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The Prince of Prussia in India

Waldemar, Prince of Prussia. Zur Erinnerung an die Reise des Prinzen Waldemar von Preussen nach Indien in den Jahren 1844-1846.

Berlin, Deckersche Geheime Ober-Hofbuchdruckerei, 1853.

Royal folio (454 x 594 mm). 4 parts in 2 vols. (2), V, (3), 33, 45 pp., 34 ff., 18 pp. (4), 22 pp., 26 ff., 30 pp., 15 ff. With 1 lithographed portrait, 2 lithographed title-pages, 6 engraved maps, coloured in outline, and 104 tinted, lithographed plates (1 double-page-sized). Original full calf, gilt.

First edition: very rare, posthumous luxury publication issued at the expense of King Frederick William IV after the death of the Prince in 1849, published in a very limited press run and never available in the trade. The work gives an account of the Prince's journey of the Orient, India, and Ceylon, his Himalayan expeditions and of the Anglo-Sikh War of 1846. With a preface by Alexander von Humboldt. An abridged edition was published in 1857.

In 1844 Prince Waldemar embarked on a journey of India, together with general staff captain Eduard von Oriola, lieutenant Albrecht Wilhelm von der Groeben, and his childhood friend, the physician Werner Friedrich Hoffmeister. Their travels took them as far as the border of Tibet. During their time in India they observed the First Anglo-Sikh War on the British side. Waldemar witnessed the battles of Mudki on 18 December 1845, of Ferozeshah on 21 and 22 December 1845, and of Sobraon on 10 February 1846. After Hoffmeister was fatally hit by a bullet, the British commander Hugh Gough urged Prince Waldemar to return home. Back in Berlin, he and Oriola were decorated with the Pour le Mérite.

The splendid plates were drawn and lithographed by Bellermann, Tempeltei, Haun, and Klaus after the Prince's original sketches. They show views of Aden, Athens, Benares, Cairo, Corfu, Delhi, Kandy, Kathmandu, Lahore, Madras, Patna, Trieste, etc., as well as several Himalayan landscapes (among which is the double-page-sized panoramic view), the local population, hunting and battle scenes.

Spine, extremeties and endpapers refurbished (as in the copy in the Library of Congress, DS412 .W2). Interior variously foxed with occasional slight waterstaining; some light worming to margins of text. Altogether a fine copy.


Lipperheide Ld 38. Aschoff 1443.