SPL Hand Coloured Rare Book Collection Featuring Norman R Bobins

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MAYER, Luigi.
Views of Egypt, from the Original Drawings in the Possession of Sir Robert Ainslie, taken during his Embassy to the Constantinople by Luigi Mayer

FIRST EDITION of Mayer's 48 views of the pyramids, Alexandria, Cairo, etc., including depictions of Arabs, Mamelukes, and even a Bedouin husband and wife. This is the first of his monumental works on the Middle East, taken during his travels in the region between 1776-1794.

London: R. Bowyer, 1801.
Abbey Travel II 369; Blackmer 1097; Colas 2018; Bobins I 152.
London: R. Bowyer, 1801.

Large folio (18 1/2 x 13 inches) [iv] 102 [2 plate list] pp. Paper watermarked 1794 and 1801. FIRST EDITION. Complete with all forty-eight hand-coloured aquatints of scenes in Egypt. Contemporary half straight-grain red morocco over marbled boards; gilt in rule and letters to spine; Some wear to the edges and some damage to corners. A few plates with some offsetting (as is usual). Overall an immaculate copy and in the original binding. Mayer was employed to accompany a young Englishman on a tour of the Levant in 1792. Mayer was an accomplished watercolourist and draughtsman and is renowned as the most accurate delineator of the Near East before David Roberts. This work, along with his other two works: "Views in Palestine" & "Views in the Ottoman Empire," were reprinted in one book in 1804. Coloured plates in order: 1. View of the Nilometer. 2. First and Second Pyramid of Gizah, Ancient Memphis. 3. Top of the First Pyramid of Gizah. 4. Passage from the Second to the Third Gallery in the Great Pyramid. 5. Chamber and Sarcophagus in the Great Pyramid of Gizah. 6. Head of the colossal Sphinx. 7. Entrance to a Sepulchral Chamber near the Sphinx. 8. Subterranean Chamber, near the Pyramids at Geeza. 9. An Ancient Sarcophagus of Basaltes, called The Lovers Fountain. 10. Interior view of the Catacombs at Alexandria. 11. The Obelisk at Alexandria, called Cleopatra's Needles. 12. An Ancient Obelisk at Matarea, formerly Heliopolis. 13. Pompey's Pillar. 14. Baths of Cleopatra, at Alexandria. 15. Ruins of the Gymnasium, near the Canopic Gate of Alexandria. 16. Granite Pillars of the Portico of Canopus in Ancient Alexandria. 17. Ruins of the Ptolomean Library. 18. A Mosque with an antique fragment in Old Alexandria near the Gate of Rosetta. 19. Exterior view of the Ancient Wall of Alexandria, with Cleopatra's Needle. 20. Fort & Harbour of Aboukir, Ancient Canopus. 21. The City of Rosetta. 22. Sepulchres of Arabian Saints, near Rosetta. 23. Mosque of Abou-Mandour. 24. The town of Foua on the banks of the Nile. 25. Gate of Grand Cairo - Arabian Architecture. 26. Principal Square in Grand Cairo, with Murad Bey's Palace. 27. The Mosque of Four Hundred Pillars at Cairo. 28. The Lovers Fountain, with the adjacent Mosque. 29. Ruins in the Castle of Cairo, near Joseph's Hall. 30. Joseph's Hall in the Castle of Cairo. 31. Egyptian Antiquities in the Vestibule of a Country House at Bulac. 32. An Arabian Summer House upon antique fragments on the Canal of Menouf. 33. The City of Menouf. 34. Mamalukes Exercising in the Square of Mourad Bey's Palace. 35. A Mamaluke Exercising. 36. An Arab Sheik of a village in Egypt. 37. An Egyptian Ball, at Ned Sili. 38. An Egyptian Fair at Kafr Radoin. 39. Ferry Boat near Nedssili. 40. An Egyptian Bey. 41. A Lady of Cairo. 42. Egyptian Dancing Girls. 43. An Egyptian Peasant and Family. 44. A Bedoween Man and Woman. 45. An Egyptian Herdsman. 46. The Gate of Rosetta in Alexandria. 47. Part of the New City of Alexandria with the Lighthouse. 48. Bridge over the Canal of Alexandria.