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CARAPANOS, Constantin.

Dodone et ses Ruines.

Paris, Librairie Hachette et Cie., 1878 Stock Code: 132854
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First and only edition, well represented institutionally, but uncommon on the market with just a single set recorded at auction. An attractive, if mildly tenuous, association copy inscribed "Au très Honorable Lord Houghton, Hommage, Constantin Carapanos". Born at Arta in Epirus, Carapanos studied law at the University of Athens, on graduation joining the Ottoman embassy at Paris as an attaché. He soon moved to Istanbul where he worked for a bank, and became an important member of Greek community, president of the Greek Philological Society, member of the National Council of the Patriarchate, and a philanthropist generous in the support of Greek causes. In 1872 he purchased land in Epirus which he had come to believe was the site of Dodona, the oldest Hellenic oracle, a hypothesis confirmed when his excavations of 1875-6 unearthed numerous lead votive platelets and decrees engraved on bronze leaves symbolic of the foliage of the oracular grove. Carapanos donated his collection to the National Archaeological Museum in Athens in 1902. The recipient of this set Richard Monckton Milnes, first baron Houghton, author, politician and patron of Tennyson, Swinburne and Coventry Patmore, had visited the site in 1832 with Christopher Wordsworth, author of Athens and Attica, and Greece, Pictorial, Descriptive, and Historical, better known as Wordsworth's Greece; "One of the most interesting points in the book is the ingenious guess, or rather the shrewd deduction, which fixed the site of Dodona, many years before its actual discovery, at the ruins of an old city (about eleven miles south-west of Janina) near a place called Dramisus, which he visited on September 12, 1832, in company with Mr. R. Monckton Milnes, afterwards Lord Houghton; and few things gratified Bishop Wordsworth more in his old age than the discoveries (published in 1878 by M. Constantine Carapanos), which irrefragably confirmed those conclusions" (Overton & Wordsworth, Christopher Wordsworth, Bishop of Lincoln p. 395). Handsomely presented copy of this interesting work.

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2 volumes quarto, (315 x 245 mm) text and (354 x 273 mm). Contemporary half brown hard-grained morocco on dark pink pebble-grained cloth boards, title gilt to spines, raised bands, compartments gilt, Greek key roll to spine and corner edges, Lord Houghton's garb - heraldic wheatsheaf - device gilt to the centre of each board, marbled endpapers.


Coloured engraved map, 2 plans one of them bound in the text volume, 56 engraved plates, one of them double-page and three photogravures.


Some judicious light restoration and recolouring to the spine and corners, boards sunned at the edges, scattered foxing to the text volume, the plates a little foxed front and back, but largely clean, overall very good.


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