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    Hand-Colored Plates

    Théophile Lefebvre. Voyage en Abyssinie, Exécuté Pedant les Années 1839, 1840, 1841, 1842, 1843. Paris: Arthus Bertrand, 1845-1850.

    First edition. Three octavo volumes (of eight). Volume I, Part One; Volume II, Part Two; Volume III (two parts bound together). Folio plate volume (just one of the three issued), the complete volume of "Dans L'Album Historique, Ethnologique et Archéologique de Voyage en Abyssinie." With a folding map, and fifty-nine plates, many in color, loose in portfolio box. Included is a single sample plate from the plate volume devoted to geology. Also included is a prospectus advertising the plate volume on zoology, along with the first six zoology plates, all hand-colored. Text in French.

    Original printed blue paper over boards. Moderate dampstaining, not affecting the text. Plates in handsome modern solander box, purple cloth over boards with a leather title label to top board. Moderate foxing to plates. The six animal plates from the zoology series all have a fold crease down the middle. Bookplates of previous owner. Overall, books and plates are in very good condition.

    This work is the outcome of an expedition to the Horn of Africa dispatched by the French government with an eye to place a settlement in the region. Writing in the 1860s, John Camden Hotten, in his Abyssinia and Its People, writes that Lefebvre's work "should be consulted by any one collecting material about Abyssinia. The illustrations of natural history are among the finest ever executed in colours; and the bird's-eye views of the country give an excellent idea of its characteristics and general appearance. The ethnology (with colour portraits) and the language of Abyssinia are fully treated of. As, however, the price of the work is £20, and only a few copies were printed, it is not likely to be seen by many persons." From the Professor John Ralph Willis Collection of Rare Africana.

    Gay, 2653. Hotten, 59.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2010
    11th-12th Thursday-Friday
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