Travels in Upper and Lower Egypt During the Campaigns of General Bonaparte in That Country

Travels in Upper and Lower Egypt During the Campaigns of General Bonaparte in That Country

Travels in Upper and Lower Egypt During the Campaigns of General Bonaparte in That Country

A three-volume 1803 English edition (quite rare) of "Travels in Upper and Lower Egypt During the Campaigns of General Bonaparte in That Country", written and illustrated by Vivant Denon, published by T.N. Longman & O. Rees (London). In the spring of 1797, with a direct assault against Britain out of the question, Napoleon Bonaparte suggested threatening Britain's rich commerce with India by invading Egypt. A unique feature of the expedition, which set sail on 19 May 1798, was the large number and high caliber of the attached civilians, among them Baron Dominique Vivant Denon (1747-1825). Denon was one of the founders of the Louvre Museum, and was responsible for saving many works of art and monuments of French culture from destruction during the French Revolution. Denon was entrusted by Napoleon to assemble a team of artists, archeologists, linguists and scholars to study the antiquities of Egypt for the first time since Antiquity. In addition to assisting in the formulation of practical measures for the rule of Egypt, the 167 savants accompanied the army to every corner of the country. Protected by the French troops, Denon was able to explore the country extensively. This book contains many etchings of Egypt, including the famous etching of the Sphinx of Giza shown at the top of this web page.

In the south, he reached Assouan; from Keneh he went to Kosseir. Their studies of the great monuments of ancient Egypt paved the way for the science of Egyptology. It was during this expedition that the Rosetta Stone was discovered, which ultimately enabled people to decipher and translate ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. Denon's book was the first important fruit of the French expedition to Egypt. This is an early English translation of the work (apparently the first English edition was printed a year earlier), and contains a wealth of beautiful fold-out plates and maps, including contemporary scenes from Denon's travels, plans of ruins, engravings of the monuments and reproductions of some of the art in the ruins and temples.  Contemporary half leather binding with marbled boards and edges. 392, 312, 366pp. Illustrated with 57 engraved plates and maps. 8vo (standard sized book). CONDITION: Good to Very Good. All volumes: Rubbing and edge wear to boards and spine. Hinges cracked. Front board of Volume 1 loose but not yet detached. Split to centre of spine of Volume 2, binding still okay. Missing 5 plates, but has 2 uncalled for. Some sunning to page. Varying foxing to pages and plates, some plate just at edges, others have some spots to plates themselves. A few plates have tape repairs to reverse. Scattered dirt spots to pages. In general a tidy set, all text pages present and text clear and readable, foxing to margins of text pages only.

-- First Edition (American) book by Gaston Maspero, "The Dawn of Civilization / Egypt and Chaldea", 1894 (400 images)
-- First Edition (London) book by Joseph Pollard, "The Land of the Monuments: Notes of Egyptian Travel", 1896
-- March, 1873 Harper's Weekly article by Rev. William Hayes Ward, "Our Debt to Cadmus: Hieroglyphics"
-- Original British Museum booklet, "History of the Rosetta Stone", printed by Harrison and Sons, London), 1939
-- "Ancient History: Egyptian..." by Charles Rollin, 1854
-- "The Hebrew Bible, With Respect to Egypt" (incl. maps), by Robert, Lord Bishop of Clogher. Printed for J Warcus, London, 1760 (3rd Edition, Corrected), 493 pages, bound with full original full calf leather.
-- "The Story of the Nations: Ancient Egypt", by George Rawlinson, First Edition, 1887, with many illustrations.
-- French edition of "L' Archeologie Egyptienne" by Gaston Maspero, 1887. Rare, with many illustrations.
-- Leeds, England newspaper article erroneously announcing the death of Napoleon in Egypt. Intriguing.
-- The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte by J.G. Lockhart (1886), 496 pages with 9 tipped-in illustrations and many wood engravings. London: Bickers & Sons, Leicester Square. Faversham School Prize full calf binding with marbled endpapers and edges. Prize bookplate on pastedown. Portrait frontispiece slight foxing. Text, slight foxing. Slight foxing in prelims and last few pages, otherwise clean. Plates, lovely and luminous.
-- Hand written letter (Nov. 5th, 1805) by the former Chief Ordonnateur (Director) of the French Army during the Napoleonic Egyptian Campaign.
-- "Egyptian Antiquities", produced by the British Museum for the Library of Entertaining Knowledge, and published by Knight London in 1832, this is a splendid 2 volume, 12mo size work. The two volumes have full page and other engravings and have around 800 pages in total. Really detailed work on Egyptian monuments, Rosetta Stone, buildings, sculptures, tombs, papyrus, etc., etc. In the original half calf boards.
-- Rare Original French Text Book, copyright 1900 -- "L'Expedition de Bonaparte en Egypte", Written by L.A. Thiers, with introduction by C. Fabregou, published by D.C. Heath & Company. Most of the book is written in French, with some English translation in the back. 100 pages. It is an old college text book from Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster, PA.
-- L’Egypte, by old French traveler/diplomat/student of Egypt, Gabriel Charmes, published by CALMAN LEVY, Rue Auber, Paris, France, 1891, Chapters include, in part -- Mariette Pacha, Les Etudes Egyptologiques en Egypte, Les Pyramides D’Ounas et de Meydoum, Dier-El-Bahari, L’Institut D’Archeologie Orientale Du Caire, and more. Very antique volume of 396 rich crispy style pages in its original Calmann Levy, ‘L’EGYPTE’ soft card covers as published.

-- Lettre Ecrites D'Egypte et de Nubie en 1828 et 1829, by Champollionn le Jeune (Letters Written in Egypt and Nubia in 1828 and 1829 by Francois Champollion) with all illustrations intact. This very, very rare First Edition by the translator of Egyptian Hieroglyphics is seldom seen on the open market. Most copies are in large University or Public library rare book collections. This work is an important insight into the early work of one of the Fathers of Egyptology. These are his own reflections and opinions regarding the monuments of Egypt. It is important to remember that Champollion only ever made one trip to Egypt as he died soon after his return. A great loss to the science of Egyptology.
-- Jean-Francois Champollion, a 10 year old child saw some of the Egyptian artifacts and enquired about the strange pictures (Hieroglyphs) where he was told that no one yet understands what these pictures means. Since that time Champollion committed himself to decipher the Hieroglyphs. By the age of 16 he became a professor mastering 10 languages at the same time. Champollion then compares the two cartouches of PTOLEMY & CLEOPATRA found on the Rosetta stone which contains similar characters. He continued deciphering more cartouches and texts from the temple of El Karnak. It took Champollion 24 years until he published his work in a book " Precis du systeme Hieroglyphique ". Sadly Champollion died by a stroke on 1832 when he was 41 years old.

-- Two extremely rare First Edition French volumes, "Complete Summary of Archaeology" by Jean Champollion-Figeac (Published in Paris, 1825 and 1826, just a few years after he cracked the code to hieroglyphics in 1822). Divided into volumes. First: Monuments of architecture, Sculpture and Painting, including/understanding constructions of any kind, the statues, low-reliefs, figurines, tombs, furnace bridges, vases painted, mosaic, etc...with an introduction historical and finished by a vocabulary divides into volumes. Second: Containing the treaties on the engraved stones, the inscriptions, the medals, the utensils crowned and common, movable, weapons, etc, followed by the biographies of the most famous antique dealers, archéologieque bibliography and of a vocabulary.

-- Vintage framed image of Dr. Thomas Young.
Background: Dr. Thomas Young is the man who undertook the task had perhaps the keenest scientific imagination and the most versatile profundity of knowledge of his generation — one is tempted to say, of any generation. For he was none other than the extraordinary Dr. Thomas Young, the demonstrator of the vibratory nature of light. Young had his attention called to the Rosetta Stone by accident, and his usual rapacity for knowledge at once led him to speculate as to the possible aid this tri-lingual inscription might give in the solution of Egyptian problems. Resolving at once to attempt the solution himself, he set to work to learn Coptic, which was rightly believed to represent the nearest existing approach to the ancient Egyptian language. His amazing facility in the acquisition of languages stood him in such good stead that within a year of his first efforts he had mastered Coptic and assured himself that the ancient Egyptian language was really similar to it, and had even made a tentative attempt at the translation of the Egyptian scroll. His results were only tentative, to be sure. Yet they constituted the very beginnings of our knowledge regarding the meaning of hieroglyphics. Just how far they carried has been a subject of ardent controversy ever since.  Not that there is any doubt about the specific facts; what is questioned is the exact importance of these facts. For it is undeniable that Young did not complete and perfect the discovery, and, as always in such matters, there is opportunity for difference of opinion as to the share of credit due to each of the workers who entered into the discovery.

Dr. Thomas Young's specific discoveries were these: (1). that many of the pictures of the hieroglyphics stand for the names of  the  objects actually delineated; (2). that other pictures are sometimes only symbolic; (3). that plural numbers are represented by repetition; (4). that numerals are  represented by dashes; (5). that hieroglyphics may read either from the right or from the left, but always from the direction in which the animals and human figures face; (6). that proper names are surrounded by a graven oval ring, making what, he called a cartouche; (7). that the cartouches of the preserved portion of the Rosetta stone stand for the name of Ptolemy alone ; (8). that the presence of a female figure  after such cartouches,  in other inscriptions, always denotes the female sex; (9). that within the cartouches the hieroglyphic symbols have a positively phonetic value, either alphabetic or syllabic ; and (10).  that several different characters may have the same phonetic value.

Just what these phonetic values are, Dr. Young pointed out in the case of fourteen characters, representing nine sounds, six of which are accepted to-day as correctly representing the letters to which he ascribed them, and the three others as being correct regarding their essential or consonantal element.  It is  clear,  therefore,  that  he  was  on  the right  track thus far, and on the very verge of complete discovery. But, unfortunately, he failed to take the next step, which would have been to realize that the same phonetic values given the alphabetic characters within the cartouches, were often ascribed to them also when used in the general text of an inscription; in other  words, that the use of an alphabet was not confined to proper names.  This was the great secret which Young missed, but which his French successor, Jean Francois Champollion, working on the foundation that Young had laid, was enabled to ferret out. Young's initial studies of the Rosetta stone were made in 1814 his later publications bore date of 1819.  Champollion's first announcement of results came in 1822; his second and more important one in  1824.  By this time, through study of the cartouches of other inscriptions, he had made out almost the complete alphabet, and the “Riddle of the Sphinx " was practically solved.  He proved that the Egyptians had developed a relatively complete alphabet (mostly neglecting the vowels, as early Semitic alphabets did also) centuries before the Phoenicians were heard of in history.

-- Hardbound Volume IV of  American Quarterly Review (September and December, 1828). This 546 page book contains reviews of historical, scientific, and travel literature published by Carey, Lea & Carey, Chesnut Street, Philadelphia; 546 pages. Twenty-six of those pages are dedicated to reviewing Jean Champollion's May/June 1827 article published in the Bulletin Universal entitled, "Apercu des Resultats Historiques de la decouverte de l'alphabete Hieroglyphique Egyptienne" par M. Champollion le Jeune.

-- Magnificent extremely rare plate/print (one of 511 plates), expertly backed with linen, of Thutmose III from the monumental 1843 work of Jean Champollion, the first to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphs (20" x 27").
-- Rare First Edition copy of "L'Univers Pittoresque. Egypte Ancienne" by M. Champollion-Figeac (Jean Champollion), Paris, Firmin Didot, 1839. It contains 92 illustrations and an antique folding map of Egypt. First few pages have some foxing, with the rest in excellent condition. 500 pp., & 92 plates,1/2 maroon morocco with 5 raised bands & leather label, marbled bds. & endpapers.-- Very scarce First Edition, Egyptian Antiquities in the British Museum, 1862. Details 250 exhibits. Published by Smith, 196 pages. Excellent condition. In fact, it appears to be unread. Over 6 pages, with three diagrams, dedicated to the Rosetta Stone.
-- Intriguing early 1900s glass slide of the Rosetta Stone by Moore, Bond &Co. (Chicago).

-- Two Copper engravings (22"x9" -- Battle Plan for Alexandria and Map of Nile) titled, "Plan of the Action of the 21st. of March Fought near ALEXANDRIA, by the French under General Menou, and the English under Sir Ralph Abercrombie" and also "A Map of the Western Branch of the Nile from the Latest Authorities". Issued in 1803 as part of Robert Thomas Wilson's "History of the British Expedition to Egypt To which is Subjoined a Sketch of the Present State of That Country and its Means of Defence".

-- A fine 1719 original, copperplate engraved views of the Pyramids and of the Sphinx, Giza, Egypt, with engraved cursive commentary as borders: Description des Piramides d'Egypte . . . Avec une Description tres Curieuse du Sphinx, from Chatelain, Henri Abraham, Atlas Historique..., Volume 6, Amsterdam: . First edition. Excellent condition, heavy paper, crisp dark impression; uncolored as always (any color seen in these images/maps is applied by modern hands.) Dimensions: 17 1/2" x 21 1/4" (overall);

-- This collection has 82 extremely rare original plates/prints ( from "Description de l'Égypte" from the Napoleonic Egyptian Campaign, circa 1820. These official plates/prints came from a huge lot sold in an auction in 2001, Paris -- the seller was the French Government -- from the cellars of the French Government Publications Office. Average plate/print size is 29 inches x 22 inches. Some of the plates in this collection are 56 inches long! --  (Description de l'Égypte was the result of the collaboration of prominent scholars, several famous European scientists, cartographers, topographers, and more than 160 artists and technicians. They accompanied Napoleon's army during Napoleon's expedition to Egypt in 1798. Their goal was to methodically collect information in areas as widely varied as architecture, geography, botany and the humanities. Description de l'Égypte was published in 23 volumes from 1809 to 1828 and includes over 900 plates.)   Regions depicted/represented by the official plates in this collection are: Thebes, Karnak, El Kab, Medynet-Abou, Hypogees, Elethyia, Heptanomide, Beny-Hasan, Tentyris, Memnonium, Byban El Molouk, Latopolis, Ile de Philae, Edfou, Louqsor and much, much more...

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