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Voyage à Méroé, au Fleuve Blanc

CAILLIAUD, Frédéric.

Voyage à Méroé, au Fleuve Blanc

au-delà de Fâzoql dans le midi du royaume de Sennâr, à Syouah, et dans cinq autres oasis; fait dans les années 1819, 1820, 1821 et 1822.

Published: [Paris:] à l'Imprimerie Royale, 1823–26–27

Stock code: 92988

Price: £19,200

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First edition, presentation copy, inscribed by the author at the head of the title of the first text volume: “Au Général de Lamotterouge hommage de F. Cailliaud 11 nov[ember] 1857”. The recipient was very likely Joseph Édouard de La Motte-Rouge (1804–1883), the distinguished French general whose lengthy service extended from the Peninsular War in the 1820s through to the Franc0-Prussian War in 1870, including action at Solferino and the Crimea. At the time of this presentation, he was commander of the 15th division at Nantes, Cailliaud’s home town. Frédéric Cailliaud (1787–1869) was a French naturalist, mineralogist and conchologist. He travelled in Egypt, Nubia, and Ethiopia, collecting minerals and making observations. On his second voyage he visited the oasis of Siwah and Jupiter Ammon and accompanied the military expedition of Ismail Pasha (son of Mehmet Ali) to Nubia, where he explored the ruins of the ancient city of Meroe, remarkable for its two hundred pyramids. Published on his return to France, the present work offered pioneering information on the peoples and regions south of the Nile’s first cataract, and also constituted the first scientific survey of Sudanese monuments. In addition, he brought back a large corpus of correctly copied textual material that, along with objects in his newly acquired collection, helped the historian Jean-François Champollion decipher the hieroglyphic language of ancient Egypt.

Together 6 volumes, 2 folio atlas volumes (500 × 339 mm) and 4 octavo text volumes (217 × 132 mm); atlas volumes in contemporary half calf, smooth spines gilt, double red labels, marbled sides; text volumes uncut in original printed wrappers. Text volumes: half titles, 15 engraved plates, 12 hand-coloured. Atlas volumes: half titles, 149 engraved or lithographed plates. Some slight soiling to printed wrappers, front joint of vol. I splitting; some foxing (as usual) to atlas plates, severe erosion to one board edge; overall, an excellent copy of the rare complete set, including two atlas volumes published first, in 1823, and the four text volumes published in 1826–7.

Bibliography: Blackmer 270; Gay 2572; Hilmy I, p. 113.

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