9 December 2009
NIEBUHR, Carsten (1733-1815). Beschreibung von Arabien aus eigenen Beobachtungen und im Lande selbst gesammelte Nachrichten. Copenhagen: Nicolaus Möller, 1772.
4o (245 x 195 mm). Engraved title vignette, large engraved folding map colored in outline and 24 engraved plates and maps (7 folding) folding table (occasional light mostly marginal spotting and staining). Contemporary half calf (rebacked, some wear).
FIRST EDITION. Niebuhr was the only survivor of an expedition sent by the King of Denmark to Arabia. Amongst the other members were the philologist van Haven, the naturalist Forskal, a surgeon and an artist: none of whom survived. The present detailed work covers most aspects of the trip, but concentrate largely on the journey itself: the expedition travelled via Constantinople, to Cairo, then Arabia: the Yemen, Persia, Syria and Palestine. The expedition acted as a spur to the study of cunieform: as Niebuhr returned with a large number of examples, particularly from Persepolis. Brunet IV.74; Cox I, 237; Lipperheide Lc6.
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