[MELLING, Antoine Ignace (1763-1831)]. Voyage Pittoresque de Constantinople et du Bosphore. [Paris, Strassburg and London: Treuttel et Würtz, 1809-1819].
Atlas vol. only, large 2° (650 x 500mm). Engraved title, 3 double-page maps and 48 double-page etched plates after Melling by Schroeder, Bertaux, Le Rouge, Pillement, Desaux, Dessaulx, Desmaisons, Duparc, Dequevauviller, Née, and others, some before numbers. (First map slightly soiled at margins, with 150mm. tear through engraved area and smaller tear at bottom margin, plate 37 with 155mm. tear through bottom margin, some shorter tears to folds, light spotting to maps and variable spotting to plates chiefly affecting either margins and/or sky areas, some browning to edges and folds, and some offsetting to plate versos, a few plates creased, text vol. lacking.) Green straight-grained morocco by Fairbairn and Armstrong, panelled in gilt and blind, gilt edges (worn).
MAGNIFICENT EXTERIOR AND INTERIOR VIEWS OF CONSTANTINOPLE, published in 13 parts. Melling, who was trained in both architecture and painting, went to the city at the age of nineteen as a member of the Russian ambassador's retinue, and remained there for eighteen years. He became architect to Hatice Sultan, Selim III's sister, and the favour of the sultan himself eventually allowed him to study the interior of the Harem and other palaces. He returned to Paris in 1803, but despite producing a prospectus soon afterwards only began publication in 1809, finally completing his work in 1819. The fabulous plates include some of the earliest interior views of the harem and other palaces, besides stunning delineations of the city's skylines, often with members of Ottoman society in the foreground. Atabey 798-799; Blackmer 1105; Brunet III, 1591; Lipperheide LB 41.