RICHARD POCOCKE (1704-1765)
A Description of the East and Some other Countries. London: W. Bowyer, for the author, 1743-45. 3 volumes, 2° (414 x 253mm). Engraved frontispiece by C. Grignion after H. Gravelot and 178 engraved plates, of which 9 double-page, 2 double-page and 1 folding map. (A very few plates and contents leaves bound out of sequence, occasional light soiling, occasional light browning.) Contemporary speckled calf, gilt rules to sides and spines, brown morocco labels, gilt turn-ins (sides with small areas of superficial loss, some joints just starting, small chips at spine heads).
FIRST EDITION of this work of 'superior learning and dignity' (Edward Gibbon Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, chap. 11, note 69). 'The quality and particularly the earliness of his observations and their record in prose, maps, and diagrams make him one of the most important near eastern travellers, ranking with Frederik Ludvig Norden and Carsten Niebuhr, in stimulating an Egyptian revival in European art and architecture, and recording much that has subsequently been lost' (DNB). Pococke spent three years from 1737 travelling in the Mediterranean, visiting Greece, Egypt and the Holy Land. His work, illustrated after his original drawings, enjoyed great success within Pococke's lifetime, and was translated into French, German and Dutch. Atabey 965; Blackmer 1323; Brunet IV, 750 ('fort recherché').