FRITH, Francis

Sinai and Palestine

Published: London: William Mackenzie

Date: c.1863

folio (45 x 32.5 cms.) [6 (title, half title & contents)], 36 leaves with mounted albumen photos (circa 23 x 16 cms.), each of these leaves with an accompanying plain paper guard leaf and a leaf of printed text, half-title with a smaller albumen photo (11.5 x 14 cms.), publishers reddish-brown morocco over thick bevelled boards, sides with multiple decorative borders in gilt (together c. 4.5 cms. broad), front cover gilt lettered "Sinai/ and/ Palestine./ -/ Francis Frith", board fold-ins gilt, very skilfully rebacked in matching morocco and the spine beautifully and very richly gilt tooled in panels to match the original, one panel gilt lettered, original marbled endpapers reused, all edges gilt, board corners refurbished, minor surface flaking of leather on front board, small child's scribble in ball point pen on top corner of half-title, some foxing or spotting and occasional finger marks on the the backing sheets for the photos, some waterstains to the gutter margin of a couple of terminal leaves, the photograph of Banias in error mounted on a backing sheet for Baalbec, else a very good and handsome copy with the photographs in good fresh and unfaded condition.

Inscribed on verso of the endpaper "R. E. Price/ from T [or J?], B. Merriman/ April 13th 1866".

Gernsheim Incunabula of British Photographic Literature 1839 - 1875, 195 Frith was the first major photographer of the Middle East, and of England. The 37 photographs of this volume, taken by Frith in the mid-19th century, constitute the first photographs taken of Sinai and Palestine area. The accompanying text describes the context of the photography. The work was first published in 2 vols. in 1859. This is the first volume of the second and enlarged edition of the work which in all comprised four volumes, each with 37 mounted photographs. Each of these four volumes was available separately and is compete in itself. "The prints in this edition are of a much stronger quality than those in the first edition having been gold-toned" [Gernsheim]. The book appears to have published in several publisher's bindings with this one in full morocco presumably being the most expensive.


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