NORDEN, FREDERIK LUDWIG. 1708-1742.
Travels in Egypt and Nubia ... Translated from the original ... and enlarged with observations ... by Dr. Peter Templeman. London: Lockyer Davis and Charles Reymers, 1757.
2 volumes. Folio (457 x 280 mm). , xxxiv, 124; , viii, 156 pp. Half-titles. 2 engraved frontispieces (one a portrait), complete with 157 plates, maps and plans (numbered from 1-159: plates 140 & 141 on a single sheet, plates 142 & 143 on a single sheet, folding plates 17, 23, 27, 62 and 108 each made up from two joined sheets, as issued), numerous engraved initials, head- and tail-pieces. Period speckled calf gilt, spines elaborately tooled in gilt with a red and green morocco label. Vol 1 2D2 with 3-inch tear to inner blank margin, vol 2 K1 and 2N2 with small tears to blank margins, small tears to plates numbered 60, 61 and 133, old crease to plate numbered 132, binding with some discoloration to extremities rubbed, spines chipped at head and foot, splitting to joints.
Provenance: Abraham Roumieu [1734-1780], architect (signature and block-printed and ink-ruled bookplate in each volume, "A*R" ink stamp on 2I2 verso in vol 1 and 2R2 recto in vol 2); Richard Hill of Thornton House, Thornton Dale, Yorkshire, England (armorial bookplates).
FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH WITH AN INTERESTING PROVENANCE: Abraham Roumieu, a Huguenot whose father settled in London, was apparently a pupil of the architect Isaac Ware, and would presumably have viewed the present work as a useful source. Norden, a Captain in the Danish Navy, made a journey in 1737-1738 through Egypt as far south as Sudan at the request of King Christian VI of Denmark. He "was the first European to penetrate as far as Derr in Nubia and to publish descriptions of any Nubian temples. This important work was the earliest attempt at an elaborate description of Egypt, and its plates are the most significant previous to those by Denon" (Blackmer). Auction records show that this work comes in two forms: one with no folding plates (the two sheets that make up each folding plate are unjoined), and a second form (as here, with the folding plates, each made up from two sheets). This accounts for the apparent variation in the plate counts recorded in the auction records. Blackmer 1211; Hilmy 2:74; Weber 2:520.