ROBERTS, David (1796-1864, artist) and George CROLY (1780-1860). The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt & Nubia. London: F.G. Moon, 1842-1849.
3 volumes bound in 4, 2° (607 x 440 mm). Mounted lithographic frontispiece portrait of Roberts on india paper (in volume 3) by and after C. Baugniet, 2 hand-colored lithographic titles, 121 plates finely colored and finished by hand and mounted on card, all by L. Haghe after Roberts. (Lacking map, possibly as issued [see below], a few leaves loose, some minor staining mostly to mounts, some staining to title and last plate in volume 4, a few plates slightly cockled, minor offsetting to blank versos.) Contemporary dark blue morocco, stamp signed by “Hering Newman Street,” with large central gilt stamp of the Armorial Ensigns of Jerusalem on sides (hinges of first two volumes cracked, joints with splitting or light wear, upper portion of spine of volume one detached, some chipping to spine ends, rubbing and light wear). Provenance: Subscriber’s copy, Henry Hering (1814-1893) for William Knight (binder’s stamp, pencil note in subscriber’s list); John Murphy (bookplate).
FIRST EDITION OF THE FINEST AND RAREST HAND-COLORED ISSUE OF ROBERTS' MONUMENTAL WORK ON SYRIA, IDUMEA AND ARABIA, part of Roberts' Holy Land, but published separately. "One of the most important and elaborate ventures of nineteenth-century publishing, and... the apotheosis of the tinted lithograph" (Abbey p. 341). It is masterfully illustrated by Louis Haghe's lithography, of which Roberts wrote, "Haghe has not only surpassed himself, but all that has hitherto been done of a similar nature. He has rendered the views in a style clear, simple and unlaboured, with a masterly vigour and boldness which none but a painter like him could have transferred to stone."
The Holy Land was originally published in 3 states: tinted, with tinted proofs, and colored and mounted on card (as here). It was issued in 20 parts between January 1842 and the end of 1845 "containing all the plates listed [in Abbey] but not the map, and not in the same order. There were two title-pages only" (Abbey). This might explain why William Knight’s SUBSCRIBER’S COPY is bound without the map, with two title-pages and in a different order. Abbey, Travel 385; Tooley 401.