7 June 2006
CHAMPOLLION, Jean-François (1792-1832). Lettre a M. Dacier, relative a l'alphabet des hiéroglyphes phonétiques. Paris: Firmin Didot père et fils, 1822.
8° (207 x 145mm). 4 large folding plates. (Light scattered spotting, small dampstain in margin of first few leaves.) Contemporary green quarter cloth and marbled boards, manuscript paper label on upper cover (spine ends with small chips, light wear to extremities); custom red cloth box, red morocco label lettered in gilt on spine.
FIRST EDITION OF CHAMPOLLION'S FIRST EXPOSITION OF HIS METHOD FOR DECIPHERING EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHS, the cornerstone of Egyptology, and one of the most significant archaeological achievements. Champollion's discovery gave civilization access to more than three millennia of its own history during one of its most remarkable periods. The four folding plates, signed by Champollion in hieroglyphs, consist of hieroglyphic cartouches and demotic inscriptions, and a table of symbols which Champollion had identified as phonetic. RARE; only one copy has sold at auction over the past 30 years. Brunet III, 1780; En Français dans le texte 234 ('l'acte de naissance de l'égyptologie').
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