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DESCRIPTION DE L'ÉGYPTE ...
Description de l'Égypte, ou recueil des observations et des recherches qui ont été faites en Égypte pendant l'expedition de l'armée française, publié par les ordres de sa majesté l'empereur Napoléon le Grand. ...
Paris: de l'Imprimerie impériale, 1809--[28]
[20] vols bound in 24 ; 43 cm, 71 cm, 109 cm, 131.5 cm. (2° and 1°)

The divisions of the work are as follows:

'Antiquités, Descriptions.' (1809--18)
2 vols ; 43 cm. (2°)
I : [4], 60, 28, 20, 26, 38, 8, 26, 18, [2], 448, 22, 16, [6] p.
II : [4], 69, [1], 36, 24, 16, 20, 43, [1], 79, [1], 50, [2], 98, 4, 22, 18, 24, 18, 12, 10, 95, [1], 63, [1], 12, 2 p., aquat. port.

'Antiquités, Mémoires.' (1809--18)
2 vols ; 43.0 cm. (2°)
I: [4], 785, [12], 788--826 p., [3] pl. (2 fold.) : engr. illus., wdcut diagrams
II: [4], 86, 87--88, 87--238 p., aquat. port., [21] pl. (2 fold.) : wdcut diagrams

'Antiquités, Planches.' (1809--22)
5 vols ; 71 cm. (1°)
I: [36] p., 97 [i.e 100] pl. (includes bis plates 79a, 79c and 79d; 4 hand-col.)
II: 48 p., 92 pl. (18 hand-coloured)
III: [28] p., 69 pl.
IV: [42] p., 72 [i.e. 74] pl. (includes bis plates 20e and 21f)
V: [48] p., 89 pl.

'État Moderne.' (1809--22)
3 vols ; 43 cm. (2°)
I: [6], 1018, [16], 2, [4], 3, [7], 2, 2, 2, [2], 2, 2, 2, 2, 3, [1], 2, [2], 3, [1], 2, 4 p.
II,i: [6], 736, 2, [2], 3, [1], 2, [2] p., [1] pl. : wdcut illus.
II,ii: [4], 848, [4] p., engr. port., [4] pl. (3 fold.)

'État Moderne, Planches.' (1809--17)
2 vols ; 71 cm. (1°)
I: [6] p., [1] fold. map, 83 pl.
II: [6] p., 84--105 [i.e. 22] pl.

'Histoire Naturelle.' (1809--[26?])
2 vols; 43 cm. (2°)
I: [4], 350, [2], 58, [2], 128, 339, [1] p.
II: [4], 752 p., [2] pl. (1 fold.)

'Histoire Naturelle, Planches.' (1809--[26?])
2 vols ; 71 cm. (1°)
I: [8] p., 7, 1, 14, 8, 5, 27 pl.
II,i: [2] p., 1, 3, 14, 5, 13, 9, 1, 7, 3, 20, 9, 3, 1, 14, 2 pl.
II,ii: [2] p., 62, 15 pl. (16 hand-col.)

'Préface Historique.' ([1828?])
[2], xcii, 8 p. ; 71 cm. (1°)

'Carte Topographique.' (1818 [i.e. 1828])
[2] p., engr. t.-pl., [52] engr. pl. ; 109 cm. (1°)

Edited by E.F. Jomard for the Commission des sciences et arts d'Égypte; historical preface by J.B.J. Fourier. For a full and detailed description of this work see T. Baring, A bibliographical account and collation of La Description de L'Égypte, presented to the library of the London Institution, London: privately printed, 1838; BAL, Early printed books, no. 846. See also Andrew Bednarski, Holding Egypt: tracing the reception of the Description de l'Égypte in nineteenth-century Great Britain (London: Golden House Publications, 2005). The binding arrangement tends to vary from set to set. In the Soane copy the 'grand-format' plates from all sections are bound up separately, unfolded, in three elephant folios (131.5 cm and 109 cm), but are collated here according to their appropriate subject division. The cancellandum single-leaf provisional 'Table', intended to be replaced by the 'Tables des Mémoires' at the end of volume I of 'État Moderne' (p. 1017), is present in this copy.

Copy Notes Soane bought his first edition papier vélin copy with colour plates two days after his 82nd birthday, on 12 September 1835 ('Bought the great French Egyptian work'), from the bookseller Bohn, for £84. (SNB; Ledger E, p. 215). To house them he commissioned two bookcases at the east end of the Colonnade in his Museum, which were displaced from their original positions in 1890--91 during the curatorship of James Wild; it is hoped in future to restore Soane's arrangement. See Helen Dorey, 'A catalogue of the furniture in Sir John Soane's Museum', in Furniture History: the Journal of the Furniture History Society, vol. 44 (2008), pp. 80--82, cat. no. 77--78. In his 1835 Description of the house and museum (q.v.) Soane stated that 'This splendid first-class copy of that great imperial work ... on vellum paper, with proof impressions of the plates, part of which are coloured: ... was presented by the French Government to Baron Dénon' (p. 11). However, it seems unlikely that Soane's entire set belonged to Denon who died in 1825, before publication was completed. See Bednarski, op. cit., pp. 35--37.

The set is bound in 24 volumes with the 'grand-format' plates from the first four volumes of 'Antiquités, Planches' bound in two elephant folios measuring 134.2 cm (the two largest bindings in the library), and those from the fifth volume of 'Antiquités, Planches' and the two volumes of 'État Moderne, Planches' in a third volume measuring 110.2 cm, uniform with the 'Carte Topographique'.

Imperfections: Text volumes of 'Antiquités, Descriptions', 'Antiquités, Mémoires' and 'État Moderne' wanting half-titles; text vol. II,i of 'État Moderne' wanting an unnumbered engraved plate of Egytian coins to face p. 468.

Misbindings: The second part of chapter XVIII (pp. 27--98) in text vol. I of 'Antiquités, Descriptions' is misbound to follow chapter XXV. Sixty-eight unnumbered pages of text at the end of vol. II,i of 'État Moderne' (describing 'Arts et Métiers' plates I--VI, VIII, X--XII, XIV--XVIII, XX--XXVI and XXX) are misbound at the end of text vol. I; and the description of pl. XXXI and 'Table De L'Explication Des Planches' ([4] pp.), which should also come at the end of text vol. II,i of 'État Moderne', is misbound at the end of text vol. II,ii. Some of the plates in the 'Planches' volumes are bound out of order; the two-page list of 'Noms des Peintres employés' which should be in vol. I of 'Histoire Naturelle' is misbound in vol. II.

With front free-endpapers of 'Antiquités, Planches', vol. V, 'Etat Moderne, Planches', vol. II and 'Histoire Naturelle, Planches', vols I, II,i and II,ii inscribed in pencil Msieur. Jame files(?). 'Antiquités, Planches', vol. I has the printed label of 'Tessier, Relieur & Doreur, rue de la Harpe N. 45, Paris' on the front paste-down.




Binding Red straight-grained morocco, gilt double-rule and tooled borders, gilt-ruled spines. Bound by Tessier (see copy note above).

Reference Number 4664


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