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LABORDE, Léon de.

Voyage de l'Arabie pétrée.

Par Leon de Laborde et Limont, publié par Leon Laborde.

Paris: Giard, 1830 Stock Code: 107973
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The first illustrated account of Petra

First edition of "an important work" (Blackmer), extensively illustrated with lithographs, and including a lengthy introductory essay on different aspects of the region, including travel, pilgrim routes, and trade. In 1826 the 17-year-old de Laborde (1809-1869) travelled with his father across Asia Minor and Syria to Cairo, where he met the engineer Louis Linant de Bellefonds (1799-1883), then in the service of Muhammad 'Ali Pasha. The two Frenchmen decided to set up an expedition to the site of Petra with a view to making drawings of the monuments there, and travelled by way of Suez and Mount Sinai in local dress. The Mamluk Sultan Baybars visited Petra towards the end of the 13th century, but no westerner visited the city until Johann Ludwig Burckhardt in 1812. Burckhardt was followed by Irby and Mangles in 1817 but Laborde was the first traveller to spend enough time in the area in order to record his observations in the form of plans, views and maps, which remained the only visual representations of Petra available to Western scholars until Roberts's Holy Land (1842-5).

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Folio (575 x 400 mm). Contemporary green half morocco, marbled sides ruled in gilt, gilt-tooled flat bands to spine forming compartments, titles direct to second gilt, all edges gilt, marbled endpapers.


Engraved calligraphic title-page with lithographic vignette mounted on india paper, 45 engravings to the text, and 69 plates comprising 101 discrete images: 44 single lithographs, mounted, of which the El Oueber plate hand-coloured; 10 plates with 2 litho


Armorial bookplate of Scottish collector John Waldie of Hendersyde (1781-1862) with his hand-numbered shelfmark label to front pastedown. Joints and board-edges skilfully restored, morocco sunned to tan in places, front free endpaper creased, pale tide-mark to gutter of a few early leaves, light spotting to half-title and folding map and to margins of a small number of plates, only encroaching on a few of the unmounted images, hinges of double-page plates sometime reinforced. An excellent copy, internally bright and fresh, with rich impressions of the plates.


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