Francis B. Spilsbury's Views of His Travels in the Holy Land and Syria during the Campaigns against Napoleon in 1799 and 1800
F[rancis] B. Spilsbury. Picturesque Scenery in the
Holy Land and Syria, Delineated during the Campaigns of 1799 and
1800. By F. B. Spilsbury, of His Majesty's Ship Le
Tigre; Surgeon in that Expedition During both Campaigns. Second
Edition. London: Printed for Thomas M'Lean, Bookseller and
Publisher, by B. R. Howlett, 1819. Second edition (first published
in 1803). Large folio (19.125 x 13.375 inches; 486 x 338 mm.). [1,
title], [1, blank] [1, blank], [1, Dedication to Sir William Sidney
Smith], iv (Preface), 42 pages ("Journal of a Tour from Jaffa to
Jerusalem; by the Officers Belonging to His Majesty's Ship Le
Tigre" on pages 33-42). Nineteen hand-colored aquatint plates by
Jeakes, H. Merke, I. C. [Joseph Constantine] Stadler, and Vivares,
from sketches by F. B. Spilsbury, redrawn by Daniel Orme (most
plates are signed: "Sketched on the Spot by F. B. Spilsbury &
Drawn by Daniel Orme. Edward Orme Excudit"). Text and plates
watermarked: "J. WHATMAN / TURKEY MILLS / 1817." This second
edition does not contain the uncolored mezzotint portrait of Sir
William Sidney Smith found as the first plate in the 1803
Contemporary half leather over marbled paper-covered boards (worn and repaired). Original printed title label (from original front board?) mounted on rear pastedown: "Spilsbury's Picturesque Scenery, in the Holy Land and Syria. Published by Thomas McLean" (with the price torn or cut away). A few plates slightly smaller and possibly supplied from other copies. Most plates and text leaves with slight browning and wear at the edges, and occasional marginal soiling. Tiny wormhole in the gutter margin beginning on B1 (pages /2), not affecting any text or image until plate No. [XI] ("Mount Tabor"), where it enters the imprint, resulting in the loss of a few letters, and ending on plate No. XIV ("Jacob's Bridge"). Plate No. XII ("Joseph's Pit and Well") has been reinserted so that the wormtrack is in the outer margin. Plate No. 18 ("Tripoli") with a short tear into the plate, almost touching the image, and a few additional smaller chips and tears; plate No. 19 (Caesaria") with a short marginal tear; few additional plates and text leaves with short marginal tears or chips. A very good copy, overall, with the plates still striking.
"Spilsbury was the surgeon on board HMS Le Tigre, commanded by [Sir William Sidney] Smith, the hero of Acre, to whom the work is dedicated. HMS Le Tigre took part in the English campaigns against the French in Egypt and Syria. Spilsbury's plates include views in Syria and Palestine and genre scenes, several of which depict officers of the expedition" (Hisham Khatib, Palestine and Egypt under the Ottomans: Paintings, Books, Photographs, Maps and Manuscripts (London and New York: Tauris Parke Books, ), page 160, no. 15, and page 31). The siege of Acre in spring 1799, which marked the end of Napoleon's pretensions in Palestine, is depicted on plate No. I ("View of Acre & H. M. Ship Le Tigre").
Please visit HA.com/6117 for an extended description of this lot.
The plates are numbered as in the 1803 first edition described in Abbey: No. I. "View of Acre & H. M. Ship Le Tigre;" No. II. "Jezzar Pacha Condemning a Criminal;" Unnumbered [i.e., No. III]. "Sidon;" No. IV. "Tyre;" No. V. "Daniel Bryan. The Sailor who so nobly Volunteered at the risk of his life to bury the French General during the Siege of Acre;" No. VI. "A Market in Acre;" No. VII. "A Burial Place at Beirout;" No. VIII. "Zeta near Jaffa in Syria;" No. IX. "Arab Huts at Zeta;" No. X. "A Dance at Genin;" No. XII [i.e., XI]. "Mount Tabor;" No. XII. "Joseph's Pit and Well;" No. XIV [i.e., XIII]. "The Lake of Tiberia;" No. XIV. "Jacob's Bridge;" No. 18 [i.e., 15]. "Tripoli;" No. 19 [i.e., 16]. "Caesaria;" No. XVII. "The Pilgrim's Castle;" No. XVI [i.e., XVIII]. "The Grand Vizier's Tent;" No. 20 [i.e., 19]. "Dede, near Tripoli."
Imprint trimmed from plate No. VI ("A Market in Acre"); plate No. II ("Jezzar Pacha Condemning a Criminal") is dated "Jany. 1st. 1818;" the remaining plates have imprint: "London Pubd. by T. McLean Jany. 1 1819."
"In 1803 the field is still in the Far East, but changes [from India] to the Holy Land, with Picturesque Scenery in the Holy Land and Syria, the text being by F. B. Spilsbury, who was surgeon on H.M.S. Le Tigre during the campaigns of 1799 and 1800. The book, published originally in five parts at £1, 1s. each, has nineteen coloured plates; nine are coloured aquatints by J. C. Stadler, three by H. Merke and two by [J.] Jeakes, while two are soft-ground etchings by [G.] Vivares. The drawings from which they are executed were by Daniel Orme after sketches by Spilsbury. A second edition appeared in 1819" (Martin Hardie, page 131).
Tooley 464 (describing the 1819 second edition). Abbey, Travel, 381 (describing the 1803 first edition) and 383 (describing the 1823 edition). Blackmer 1585; Colas 2788; Lipperheide 1460; and Prideaux, page 353 (describing the 1803 first edition).
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