POCOCKE, Richard (1704-1765)
A Description of the East, and Some other Countries ... Observations on Egypt; [Vol. II, part 1: Observations on Palæstine or the Holy Land, Syria, Mesopotamia, Cyprus, and Candia; Vol. II, part 2: Observations on the Islands of the Archipelago, Asia Minor, Thrace, Greece, and some other parts of Europe]
London: Printed for the Author, by W. Bowyer, 1743-1745-1745. Two volumes, folio. (15 1/2 x 10 inches). 3 engraved title vignettes, engraved headpiece dedication in vol. 1, engraved dedication in vol.II, 178 engraved plates, plans and maps (the 12 botanical plates by G.D. Ehret, the others unsigned).
Contemporary calf, spine with raised bands in seven compartments, red and black morocco lettering piece in the second and third, the other with a repeat decoration in gilt, expert repairs at joints and top and tail of spine
Provenance: John Rolle, 1st Baron Rolle (armorial bookplate)
A very fine set of the first edition of one of the first accurate records of Middle-Eastern antiquities and culture to be published in the modern era.
After graduating from Oxford, Pococke spent three years travelling in the Middle East, from 1735 to 1738. Upon his return he combined determined scholarly curiosity with artistic ability of the highest order. In his work, he provides descriptions of all aspects of the region, its history and cultures, illustrated by detailed plans and fine plates of costumes, plants and views. As one of the first Englishmen to record his journey up the Nile, his beautifully illustrated account is particularly valuable as an early record of Egyptian antiquities as they stood at the start of the modern era. Pococke visited Thebes and travelled as far south as Philae and the First Cataract at Philae. On his return journey northwards he met, by chance, Danish traveller Frederik Norden (1708-1742). Norden continued southwards, eventually reaching Derr. Both travellers made careful drawings of the Great Sphinx at Giza, but Pococke employed some artistic license and replaced the colossal statue's missing nose. The publication of the present work brought prestige to Pococke and he was subsequently made a founder member of the Egyptian Club.
Allibone 1613; Blackmer 1323; Brunet, IV, 750; Ibrahim-Hilmy II, p124; Lowndes, III, 1893.