PRISSE D'AVENNES, Achille Constant T. Emile (1807-1879)
L'Art Arabe d'apres les monuments du Kaire
Paris: A. Quantin for widow of A. Morel et Cie, -1877. 4 volumes (3 folio atlas volumes [25 x 19 1/2 inches], quarto text volume [13 x 10 inches]). Half-titles in each volume, titles printed in red and black. Text with 34 engraved plates and illustrations in text, atlases with 200 lithographed or engraved plates, approximately 130 printed in colors.
Contemporary red morocco-backed marbled boards, panelled spine lettered and decorated in gilt, marbled endpapers.
Provenance: Frederick du Cane Godman (bookplates)
First edition of the most important work of the nineteenth century devoted to Islamic art, with an exhaustive description of the applied arts in Cairo.
The author spent over thirty years in Egypt, as an engineer in the service of Mehmet Ali and later travelling disguised as an Arab under the name Edris Effendi. In 1860, he returned to France and produced this monumental work based on his drawings and notes. "The result is that his book offers invaluable glimpses of aspects of Arab life as they were viewed by a sympathetic West European" (preface to the 1963 facsimile edition). Richly illustrated, the fine plates in the work are both architectural, showing exteriors and interiors, with details of their ornamentation (e.g. doors, knockers, torches), as well as furniture, textiles, ceramics and glass, woodwork, tiling, arms and armour, glass and enamels, carpets, manuscripts and Korans. The work also includes lithographed views after images by the photographer Giraud de Prangey, one of the first French travellers to take photographs in Cairo and Jerusalem.
Cresswell I, 81; cf. J.Gay Bibliographie des ouvrages relatifs a l'Afrique et a l'Arabie no.1897. Not in Blackmer or Atabey.