DAVID ROBERTS (1796-1864)
The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt & Nubia. From drawings made on the spot ... with historical descriptions, byt The Revd. George Croly ... lithographed by Louis Haghe. London: F.G. Moon, 1842-9.
3 volumes in 2, 2° (61 x 44cm). Lithographic portrait of Roberts by C. Baugniet on india paper mounted, three hand-coloured tinted lithographic titles and 120 hand-coloured lithographic views, 60 full-page and 60 half-page, by Louis Haghe after David Roberts, engraved map 'to illustrate the route of David Roberts', (Some spotting, chiefly marginal but affecting portrait, title page, and some plates, title page of vol. 2 detached, dampstaining to text leaf 'Bethlehem', bound after Abbey's plate 83, short neatly repaired tear to margin of plate 98, lacking the two subscribers leaves.) Contemporary red half morocco, gilt edges, spines in six compartments, lettered in two (extremities rubbed, some small losses, paper label on upper cover of vol. 1).
'ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT AND ELABORATE VENTURES OF NINETEEN-CENTURY PRINTING' (Abbey). David Roberts was born in Stockbridge, Edinburgh, and from a humble background rose through a seven year apprenticeship to a house-painter and decorator, time as stage-set designer, the Society of British Artists (1824-1836), to election to the Royal Academy (1941). He was successful as a professional artist both with his paintings and his prints. The present work is a fine example of his style and the quality of the lithographs which were made after his work. The Holy Land was originally published in 20 parts between the beginning of 1842 and late 1845, but the actual book in its two volume form was probably not available until early 1846. The map and third title page, dated 1849, were issued later and can be found bound in at the end, suggesting that this copy is in an entirely contemporary state. A further 21 parts were issued under the title Egypt and Nubia, and the two works are often found bound together as a six volume set. For a fuller discussion of the publication history see Abbey. Abbey Travel 385; Tooley 401. (2)