Description de l'Égypte ou Recueil des observations et des recherches qui ont été faites en Egypte pendant l’expédition de l’armée française. Seconde édition. Dédiée au Roi
24 parts in 26 volumes, 8vo, and 11 volumes, large folio including 10 of plates and one atlas. Quarter blue glazed calf, flat spines with titles and volume numberung gilt, blue marbled paper boards (binding by Tessier relieur et doreur de S.A.R. le Duc d’Orléans, with his label pasted on front end paper of volume Antiquités 1). (Modern spines, boards preserved with small restorations of paper. Very light and scattered foxing, frontispiece restored).
SECOND EDITION of this monumental work illustrated with 994 plates.
The Description de l’Egypte is the result of the collaboration between scholars, artists and experts who followed Bonaparte in Egypt, and THE MOST MONUMENTAL WORK EVER DEDICATED TO A POPULATION. Monge and Denou were the prime contractors.
The set consists of :
Antiquités. Description - 5 volumes
Antiquités. Mémoires - 4 volumes illustrated with 13 tables, 5 plates and one map.
Etat Moderne – 8 parts in 10 volumes illustrated with 45 plates (on 25 sheets), 17 tables (on 17 sheets) and 2 maps (ancienne et comparée de l’Egypte, - de la Basse-Egypte).
Histoire Naturelle - 6 volumes illustrated with 2 tables (on 4 sheees) and 1 plate.
Explication des planches – 1 volume
Antiquités - 5 volumes illustrated with the frontispice, 420 plates (including the portrait of Louis XVIII) and one table (Tableau synoptique des constellations semblables dans les différents planisphères, generaly bound in the volume of text Antiquités Mémoires 8).
Etat Moderne - 2 volumes illustrated with 189 plates on 181 sheets.
Histoire Naturelle - 2 parts in 3 volumes illustrated with 245 plates.
Atlas géographique - 1 volume illustrated with 53 maps and plates including an engraved double-page title.
A total of 908 plates for the atlases, together with 3 maps, 32 tables and 51 plates for the text volumes.
A very nice copy.
The expedition to Egypt led by Bonaparte in 1798 was not only a military expedition but also a scientific expedition.
To this end, a commission of Sciences and Arts of Egypt composed of scholars and experts was created, bringing together 167 people : draughtsmen, painters, naturalists, mathematicians, astronomers, physicists, geographers, architects, sculptors, writers, printers, ..., including Jacques Barraband, Geoffroy Saint Hilaire, Jules-Cesar Savigny, Pierre-Joseph Redouté, Vivant Denon, Conte Méchain... All these experts and scholars undertook an extensive survey of the country’s archeology, topography, and natural history.
Two months after they arrived in Egypt, Bonaparte created the Institute of Egypt whose purpose was to record, reproduce and identify the work and research of the scholars in all the fields of antiquities, architecture, language, crafts, music, industry, mineralogy, medicine....
Despite all the obstacles, the expedition brought a number of impressive and unique documents. The expertise of all those men made possible this monumental work.
First published in 1809, the Description de l’Egypte ou Recueil des observations et des recherches qui ont été faites en Egypte pendant l’expédition de l’armée française is divided into 4 main sections: Ancient Egypt (Antiquities), Modern Egypt, Natural History and geography.
The Second Edition, known as the Panckoucke Edition, was published between 1821 and 1829 in a smaller format.
It is still today a prime documentary source ; number of buildings represented on the plates were afterward completely destroyed.
Atabey, 343 (1st edition) ; Brunet, II, 617.