7 - 8 April 2004
THE JOURNEY TO MECCA, 1852-1853
BURTON, Richard Francis. Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to El-Medinah and Meccah. London: Longman, Brown, 1855-1856.
3 volumes, 8° (231 x 151mm). Folding map, 13 plates (5 colour lithographs, 8 lithotints) and 8 plans, 2 folding, 5 in-text. Original gilt-lettered blue cloth, panelled and decorated in black on upper and lower covers, advertisements on paste-downs, publisher's catalogue for March 1855 in Vol. I, (slight rubbing to spines). Provenance: Inscribed 'Meg Bertram/with the authors love' on title page of Vol. II. Ownership inscription on front endpaper dated 1856.
FIRST EDITION OF 'ONE OF THE GREATEST WORKS OF TRAVEL EVER PUBLISHED,' very rarely found in such fine condition. Burton was the first English Christian to enter Mecca freely as a true Mohammedan pilgrim (travelling in disguise as an Afghan Pathan) and the first European to travel between the Holy Cities by the eastern route. As notable a feat was his 'getting out of it with a whole skin.' After vigourously pursuing Arabic studies he was frustrated in his original intention to cross the peninsula from either El-Medinah to Muscat or from Mecca to Makallah on the Indian Ocean because of fierce fighting amongst the interior tribes. This was not accomplished until 1917 by H. St. John Philby, from east to west. Undaunted, Burton changed course for Mecca, reached Medina in July 1853 and remained there a full month (devoting the whole of Vol. I to it). On reaching the Holy City he performed all the rituals of the Hajj and was so affected by it that on returning to London he formed a company to enable pilgrims to reach Mecca more easily: 'The Hadjilik, or Pilgrimage to Mecca, Syndicate, Limited.' In Burton's tremendous enthusiasm for this pilgrimage he may have minimized its dangers, leading Penzer to conclude that this was the most daring of his journeys. Penzer p. 43-50. Casada 53. Spink 7. (3)
Contact Client Service
New York +1 212 636 2000
London +44 (0)20 7839 9060
Asia +852 2760 1766
No VAT on hammer price or buyer's premium
Ahead of Christie's inaugural European Paintings auction on 31 October, Arne Everwijn discusses Courbet’s radical nudes
Christie’s Islamic Art specialist Xavier Fournier explains all you need to know about these exquisite embroidered panels