Description de l Egypte ou Recueil des observations et des recherches qui ont ete faites en Egypte pendant l expedition de l Egypte. Paris: C.L.F. Panckoucke, 1820-1830
The full set comprised of:
Antiquites: Text: 10 vols. Plates: 5 volumes.
Histoire Naturelle: Text: 6 vols. Plates: 3 vols.
Etat Moderne: Text: 10 vols. Plates: 2 vols.
And the atlas folio Plate volume.
Complete in 38 volumes: 26 text volumes 8vo (208 x 128mm) with 47 engraved plates, multi-panel fold out maps and 34 tables. 12 double elephant folio (700 x 523mm) plate volumes including the atlas folio plate volume. Two engraved frontispieces, one colored, and 894 engraved plates. Blindstamps of the expedition throughout to the upper right corner of each engraving. Contemporary red 3/4 sheep-backed boards, spines ruled, stamped, and lettered in gilt. Provenance: From the Library of the 19th century French Historian Monsieur le Baron de Nervo with personalized coat of arms book plates throughout.
Property from a Private Collector.Footnote: The Description de l Egypte remains as arguably the greatest achievement of Napoleons Expedition / Invasion into Egypt from 1798-1801 as well as the most ambitious scientific publication of the 19th Century. Publication began in 1803 but was not fully completed until 1830 with this the Second Edition. This monumental work paved the way to the modern field of Egyptology.
From the onset Napoleons colonial intent in Egypt was to follow his (envisioned) swift military conquest, with the rapid implementation of economic and social policies so as to create a large swath of French controlled territory at the epicenter of all trade between East and West. With this grandiose plan in mind hundreds of French civilians were deployed with the invading troupes to Egypt led by a group of scientists known as the corps des savants from the Institut de France. Though poorly equipped to face the incredible odds and brutal hardships they would be up against these savants were some of the finest scientific minds of the time. The co-leaders were Gaspard Monge and Claude Louis Berthollet. Other prominent savants were Dominique Vivant Denon, Nicolas Conte, Rene-Nicolas Desgenettes, Joseph Fourier, E.T. Saint Hillaire, Jean Baptitste Jollois, Marie-Jules Cesar Lelorgne Savigny and Henri-Joseph Redoute among many others.
Minor scuffing to boards, minimal bumping to corners. Plates are crisp and bright throughout. Minimal foxing, age toning and off setting present. Overall a very fine set rarely seen on the market, housed in a custom folio display case measuring 48 x 52 x 31in.