3 June 2009
COSTE, Pascal (1787-1879). Architecture arabe ou monuments du Kaire. Paris: Firmin Didot Frères and Co., 1837-39.
2° (553 x 400mm). Two titles, one with engraved vignette of Mecca, an additional engraved title bound before the plates, and 100 plates, 30 of these lithographs. (Spotting, long shallow crease in additional title.) Contemporary russia, sides panelled in gilt and blind and with a gilt strap-work frame, sprinkled edges (spine-foot compartment split at joint but holding, light scuffing).
FIRST EDITION, IN A HANDSOME CONTEMPORARY BINDING and with all plates, including the excellent lithographic views, and both variants of the title-page, one dated 1837 and the other 1839. Coste was in the service of Mehmet Ali as architect from 1818 until 1827. He was responsible for a number of projects including the Mahmoudieh Canal, the telegraph line from Alexandria to Cairo, and the reconstruction of the defences at Aboukir. Published in 15 parts, copies are very often defective; the RIBA copy lacks one title and two plates. Rare. Blackmer 415; RIBA 709; Brunet II, 322.
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