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"one of the most renowned nineteenth-century photobooks"

FRITH, Francis.
Egypt and Palestine. Photographed and described.
London, James S. Virtue, [1858-1859]. 2 volumes. Folio (44.5 x 32.5 cm). With 76 photographs on plates by Francis Frith (ca. 14.5-16.5 x 21.5-23 cm), each with a separate leaf of text. Contemporary red morocco, gold-tooled spines and boards, marbled endpapers, gilt edges.
€ 40,000
First edition of an important early photobook on the Near East by one of the greatest pioneers of early photography. From 1856 to 1859, Frith (1822-1898) made three visits to Egypt and the Holy Land. He published this selection of his photographs, from wet-collodion 9 x 7 inch glass negatives taken with an 8-by-10 inch camera, in 25 fascicles of 3 prints each, a work hailed as "one of the most renowned nineteenth-century photobooks" (The Photobook). Most are dated 1857 either in the plate or the printed caption. They include a portrait of the artist in oriental costume and views of Abu Simbel, Aswan, Baalbek, Bethlehem, Damascus, Giza, Hebron, Jerusalem, Karnak, Luxor, Nazareth, Philae, Tiberias, Wadi Kardassy etc. The preliminaries of vol. 1 include title, introduction, table of contents and subscribers, those of vol. 2 include title and contents. Each plate is accompanied by a full-page letterpress description. "Francis Frith is undoubtedly one of the best-known photographers to work in the Near East. His trips to the Levant were a brilliant commercial success as well as an artistic one" (Perez 163).
Modern bookplate of the German anthropologist Jasper Köcke. Some foxing to blank margins, as well as to a few photographs, but otherwise in fine condition. Bindings very slightly rubbed, hinges somewhat brittle, unobtrusive scuff-mark on front cover of vol. 2. Important original early photographs of Egypt and the Holy Land in an attractive contemporary binding. Blackmer 1942; Gernsheim, History 286; Van Haaften-White XII & XV; Hannavy 561; Perez, Focus east 165; The photobook I, 28.
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Africa  >  Drawings, Prints & Watercolours | North Africa & Egypt
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