MELLING, Antoine Ignace (1763-1831). Voyage pittoresque de Constantinople et des rives du Bosphore. Paris, Strassburg and London: Treuttel et Würtz, -1819. 3 vols., 2° (656 x 530mm). Pagination: [vi], 10, . Text vol. with half-title, engraved portrait frontispiece of Selim III after Lemoine, and title with chromolithographed tugra. Other vols. with engraved title, 48 double-page etched plates after Melling, some before numbers, and 3 double-page engraved maps. (Plates all on new mounts, some with light spotting to engraved area, more persistent spotting at plate margins, occasional slight staining or soiling in gutter area, plate 37 with corner torn away and closed tears in gutter, another plate with long closed tear at lower margin, text vol. affected by spotting and browning, title heavily browned.) Modern green half calf and marbled boards, gilt edges.
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 for his work soon afterwards, only began publication in 1809, finally completing it in 1819. The plates include some of the earliest interior views of the harem and the sultan's 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. (3)