London, South Kensington
3 May 2007
FORBES, James (1749-1819). Oriental Memoirs ... including Observations on Parts of Africa and South America. London: for the author by T. Bensley, 1813. 4 volumes, 4° (298 x 234mm). Engraved portrait and 93 plates of which 7 lithographed, 5 hand-coloured, and the remainder engraved, 23 hand-coloured (plain plates to a greater or lesser extent foxed and offset onto other plates or pages of text). Contemporary green calf, decorated in gilt and blind to a chequered pattern, marbled edges (rebacked, extremities rubbed). Provenance: Mary Rawson (contemporary signature on an endpaper).
FIRST EDITION with the plates agreeing exactly, in number and position, to the list given at the end of volume IV. In 1819, at the author's death, the unsold copies were deposited in a warehouse where some twenty years later they were rediscovered and reissued with an additional twenty-seven plates. Abbey Travel 436 (later issue with the additional plates); Borba de Moraes I, p.315: 'Magnificent publication'. (4)
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