3 June 2009
LABORDE, Léon de, Marquis (1807-1869). Voyage en Orient: Voyage de l'Asie Mineure. Voyage de la Syrie. Paris: Firmin Didot Frères, 1838 [- c.1845].
2 volumes, 2° (615 x 450mm). The plates only but with 4 printed leaves of provisional text, and one leaf of supplemental text relating to one of the plates, all laid-in. The plates comprise: Asia Minor vol.: title-vignette and 49 (of 79) mostly tinted lithographic plates of which 4 are double-page panoramas; Syria vol.: title-vignette, leaf of introductory text with lithographic vignettes, and 65 (of 88) mostly tinted lithographed plates. A few plates in each partly coloured. (Spotting, a very few short marginal tears, one of which with an old repair, occasional marginal dampstain.) Loose as issued and gathered in the first two original printed part wrappers (light wear), together in one 19th-century portfolio with cloth ties.
A collection of plates, in the original sheets, for approximately half of both parts of Laborde's 'BEAUTIFULLY PRODUCED WORK (Blackmer). ABPC records no occasion of both parts being offered together at auction in over 30 years. Although they are typically found individually, L'Asie Mineure and Syrie were in fact issued together within the same parts, and subscribers would then divide the works for binding. This copy includes uncommon ephemera: four printed leaves of provisional plate descriptions, and a leaf of supplemental text for the plate showing the travellers' narrow escape from bandits. In the leaf of provisional text for Part III Laborde explains that the text for each work would only be published after all the plates had been issued; meanwhile subscribers were to refer to the leaf of provisional descriptions issued with each part. In the same place Laborde writes that he anticipates finishing one work before the other -- which may explain why some bibliographies give 1845 and others 1861 as the completion date for this work. In the event, the subscriber of the present set appears to have lost patience about half-way through. Neither part in Atabey. Blackmer 931 (for Asia Minor), Brunet III, 714.
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