1839. Paris: Firmin Didot Frères et Compagnie, 1837-1839. Large folio. Cloth-backed boards with gold-lettered label affixed to spine; 52 pp. of text comprising preface, historical introduction, and description of plates, followed by 101 plates (71 engraved and 30 lithographed versions of some of the engravings). Some scattered foxing throughout, most images bright and clean, light edgewear, spine slightly shaken, overall very good.
One of the most elegant renderings of Islamic Cairo. The plates show many of the best-known Islamic monuments of Cairo, at a time when the city was in a state of preservation vastly different from that of today. Included are the most important mosques, the city gates, tombs, bedouin camps, and other locations and landmarks, with numerous measured drawings, plans, cross sections, and elevations. The degree of detail in the images is so high that one can see precise patterns in floors, ceilings, furniture and carpets. Many city dwellers are also shown.
Pascal Coste of Marseille was appointed chief architect of the Egyptian viceroy, Mehmet Ali, from 1818 to 1828. These drawings were done during that period, between 1818 and 1825. Coste was a vital part of Egypt's development at the time. Among his achievements were the Mahmoudieh Canal at Alexandria, irrigation canals, telegraph lines, bridges and work at the ruins in Memphis. In this work, Coste provided Europeans the first precise measured drawings of these monuments. His drawings of the monuments of Cairo were subsequently exhibited in several Salons, in tune with the Orientalist tendencies of many Romantic artists of the time.
Book ID: 51958