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PERTSCH, Wilhelm.

Die Arabischen Handschriften der Herzoglichen Bibliothek Zu Gotha.

Auf Befehl Sr. Hoheit des Herzogs Ernst II von Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha verzeichnet von...

Published: Gotha: Friedrich Andreas Perthes, 1878-92

Stock code: 94282

Price: £4,500

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First editions, uncommon, OCLC shows perhaps fewer than 20 sets completing worldwide, COPAC lists just 2, SOAS and Glasgow, the Oxford set lacking the much later fifth volume, no other copies traced at auction. A catalogue of the extraordinary collection of Arabic manuscripts at Ducal library at Gotha. The majority of the manuscripts listed here were originally purchased on behalf of Augustus, duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg by the German Orientalist Urlich Jaspar Seetzen (1767-1811) during his residence and travels in Constantinople, Aleppo, Damascus, Jerusalem and Cairo. The compiler Wilhelm Pertsch (1832-1899), was Secret Councillor and chief librarian of the ducal collection of Gotha. Pertsch had studied oriental languages in Berlin and Tübingen, with a nine-month Studienreise taking in Paris, London and Oxford. He began work at ducal library at Schloss Friedenstein in 1855, the beginning of nearly 25 years spent working among the remarkable accumulation of over 3000 Oriental manuscripts in the library, which eventually resulted in the 8 volume catalogue, the 5 volumes offered here, together with 3 covering the Persian and Turkish collections. Pertsch was also responsible for listing the Persian and Turkish manuscripts in the Prussian State Library in Berlin. In 1879 he was appointed chief librarian at Gotha and in 1883 made director of the scientific works at Friedenstein, he was made an honorary member of the Berlin, Leipzig and Göttingen Academies of Science. Pertsch’s primary reputation rests upon his exemplary catalogues of the oriental manuscripts at Gotha and Berlin. This important collection remains intact at the Forschungsbibliothek Burg Friedenstein.

5 volumes octavo (231 150 mm). Near contemporary black half morocco, marbled boards, title gilt to spines, edges sprinkled, turquoise endpapers, original wraps bound in. German and Arabic text. Bookplates to the front pastedowns of the bequest of the great British Arabist Col. S. B. Miles, an excellent association for this valuable reference source. Light shelf wear, pale browning, occasional small blind stamps, a scatter of foxing fore-edge, front and back only, a very good set.

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