UMANETS, Aleksandr Alekseevich (1808-1877). Poezdka na Sinai s priobshcheniem otryvkov o Egipte i Sviatoi Zemle. [Voyage to Sinai with additional remarks about Egypt and the Holy Land]. St. Petersburg: at the Press of the Imperial Chancellery, 1850.
2 vols in 1, 8° (247 x 160mm). 2 engraved titles, 2 plans, 7 plates printed on tan paper and one large folding map. (Occasional light spotting, short tear in the margin of the map, one leaf loose.) Contemporary green quarter morocco, WITH THE ORIGINAL PRINTED WRAPPERS BOUND-IN, spine titled in gilt, and with gilt-arms in the other compartments (light wear). Provenance: Antoine Barthelemy de Clot-Bey (inscription from the author, dated Tbilisi) -- Eugène de Porry (binding).
FIRST EDITION, IMPORTANT PRESENTATION COPY INSCRIBED BY THE AUTHOR to the eminent physician Antoine Barthelemy Clot-Bey (1793-1868), the chief surgeon to Mohammed Ali, Viceroy of Egypt, and later head of the country's medical administration. Clot-Bey published a number of works on medicine in Egypt, including some on the plague. It was primarily to study the prevention and containment of this disease that Umanets, an official in the Odessa quarantine administration, was sent to Egypt. His Poezdka includes detailed descriptions of Bedouins and their customs, the various holy sites in the region, and speculates on the construction of a canal between Suez and the Mediterranean. It also includes interviews with Mohammed Ali, a hydrology of the Dead Sea, descriptions of Arab horses, and various local customs and laws. Eugène de Porry, who later owned the book, translated Pushkin and his contemporaries into French. Stavrou and Weisensel, Russian Travelers to the Christian East, 335.