3 June 2009
LABORDE, Léon de, Marquis (1807-1869). Voyage de l'Arabie Pétrée. Paris: Giard, 1830.
2° (555 x 400m). With the half-title and the printed notice. Lithographic illustration on india paper mounted on the title, complete with 69 plates, one hand-coloured, of views and maps mostly lithographs on india paper. (Some spotting, mostly in the margins and tissue guards.) Contemporary olive-green morocco, sides panelled in blind with a wide gilt border incorporating crescent moon and star tools (extremities lightly rubbed, spine evenly darkened).
FIRST EDITION. 'AN IMPORTANT WORK' (Blackmer). For at least ten years, until the publication of David Roberts's lithographs, Laborde's illustrations were the only graphic representation of Petra available in the western world. Laborde and his travelling companion Louis 'Linant Pasha' de Bellefonds set off for Petra from Cairo via Mt Sinai dressed as Bedouins. The introductory essay covers various aspects of the region, including trade, travel, and pilgrimage, with fascinating descriptions of the preparations for the journey, and descriptions of the travelling costumes and equipment. This copy is bound with the rare printed notice relating to the late publication of the map, and also shows contents of the last parts and instructions to the binder. The Atabey collection included only the 1836 English translation, and the Blackmer copy evidently lacked the printed dedication. Blackmer 929; Brunet III, 714; Nissen ZBI 2335; Vicaire IV, 758-9.
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