Voyage en Orient: Voyage de la Syrie, Voyage de l'Asie Mineure

Author: Laborde, Léon comte de
Year: 1837
Edition: First edition
Publisher: Paris; Firmin Didot
Category: The Levant
Price: € 20,000.-

 
 
'Voyage en Orient' consists of two works, viz. 'Voyage de la Syrie' and 'Voyage de l'Asie Mineure", here bound together. Both works are rare and only very seldom offered combined.

Red morocco over paper cover boards, imperial folio; 595 x 445 mm. The spine lettered and decorated in gilt.
Two lithographed title pages with a vignet,  two historiated woodcut initials with a border by Fragonard, decorating the first leaves of the introduction to both titles and 63 (of 88) + 47 (of 79) leaves of plates respectively of which 4 and 2 plates are finished by some degree of handcolouring. The 110 leaves of both titles together with 242 lithographed plates in total.
Of the last four plates of the second title one is a folding plate and three are double page panoramas.

Apart from 2 pages of text on the versos of the historiated woodcut initials no further text pages, as often.

Some spotting in various degrees throughout, heavier on a few leaves (see pics. # 11 & 12), while other leaves are (almost) clean. A few leaves with an unobtrusive dampstain in the lower margin.

First, in 1827 in the company of his father, he travelled via Florence, Rome, Naples and Otranto to the Levant; Corfu, Constantinople, Jerusalem and Alexandria. Later, after his father had returned home, he explored the valley of the Nile and Jordania.

From 1837 onwards these two books were published in installments, under the title 'Voyage en Orient', 36 installments in total at a price of Ffr. 12,- each. It was up to the subscribers to divide these installments into two folio volumes; one for Asia Minor, the other for Syria including the Lebanon and Palestine. According to the Journal Général de la Littérature de France the first installment was for 'Voyage de la Syrie', while installments 2 ~ 4 all were for 'Voyage de l'Asie Mineure'.

Because of the way of publication complete copies of both works are extremely rare today.

Brunet mentions 40 installments with a total of 180 sheets, however, the work was completed with 167 sheets in 36 installments.


Collation Voyage de La Syrie:

Half Title
Explanation Frontispiece
Lithographed title page with fontispiece
Tipped in explication with the bookplate of Friedrich August II of Saxony underneath
Lithographed introduction with historiated woodcut initial, followed by 1 page of text only, followed by the plates (in brackets the nr. of plates per sheet unless there is only one. Verso's blank):

Aatil (2)
St. Antoine (2)
Beirou + Bechiza
Beirout (4)
Baalbeck (2)
Baalbeck (2)
Baalbeck (2)
Baalbeck (2)
Baalbeck (2)
Baalbeck (2)
Bostra (2)
Bostra (2)
Bostra (2)
Canouat (2)
Cana (2)
Chypre (2)
Chypre (2)
Choba (2)
Damas (2)
Djerasch (2)
Djerasch (2)
Djerasch (2)
Djouni (2)
El Hosn (2)
Gaza + Hebron
Jerusalem
Jerusalem (2)
Jerusalem (2)
Jerusalem (2)
Jerusalem (2)
Jerusalem
Les cèdres de Salomon
Liban (2)
Liban (2)
Liban (2)
Liban (3)
Liban (2) + St. Georgios (2)
Liban (4)
Hissemi (2)
Sebaste (2)
Sueda (2)
Nebbi-Djounis + Seide
Seide + Beyrout + Latakie + Sour (3)
Tartous (2)
Tartous (2)
Tiberias (2)
Tiberias (2)
Jourdain (2) + Tiberias
Tripolis (2)
Tripolis (2)
Florita + Tortose (3)
Karac + Tripolis
Kepse + el Okrah
St. Saba + Jericho
Jericho (coloured) + Damas (coloured)
Damas (coloured) + Halep (coloured)
Bosra (coloured) + Damas (coloured)
Damas + Ghor Meridionale
Scènes de Mœurs (6)
Alep (coloured) (2)
Bedouin (3)
Costumes Syriens (6)
Syrie

Collation Voyage en Asie Mineure:

Title Page
Dedication page from comte Leon de Laborde to his father Alexandre, the marquess de Laborde.
Explication
Lithographed introduction with historiated woodcut initial followed by 1 page of text, then by the plates:
Docanlou (2)
Docanlou (2)
Docanlou (4)
Selefke + Plan de Selefke
Ayach (2)
Ayasch (2)
Bouldroun (2)
Sabandja (3)
Sabandja (2)
Méandre + Constantinople
Tchavdère (2)
Tchavdère (2)
Tchavdère + Plan de Tchavdère
Tchavdère (2)
Pamboukkalesi (2)
Pambouk-kalesi + Plan de Pamboukkalesi (Hierapolis)
Pamboukkalesi (2)
Pamboukkalesi (2)
Konieh - Le Caire (2)
Tarsous (2)
Tarsous (2)
Pompeiopolis (2)
Pompeiopolis (2)
Bechiza (2)
Konieh (2)
Konieh (2)
Constantinople (coloured) + Caramanie (coloured)
Constantinople (coloured) + Sardes (coloured)
Eerdir (2)
Afioum-Carahissar (2)
Zumbat - Kalessi (2)
Gallus + Chougout (3)
Gueira (2)
Koumbet + Kosref Pacha Khan
Isbarteh (2)
Smyrne (3)
Smyrne (2)
Ephèse (2)
Taurus (2)
Afioum Karahissar + Arras + Caramanie + Yalovatch
Madenscher (2)
Madenscher (2)
Taurus (2)
Panorama (double page)
d'Ephèse (double page)
Panorama de Teos (foldout)
Ruines de Temple d'Appolion (2) (double page)

Of these combined two titles bound together there is no auction record in ABPC and just one in RBH: Christies, their London sales of June 3rd 2009 of 'Valuable Printed Books and Manuscripts'.

Christies: A collection of plates, in the original sheets, for approximately half of both parts of Laborde's 'BEAUTIFULLY PRODUCED WORK (Blackmer). ABPC records no occasion of both parts being offered together at auction in over 30 years. Although they are typically found individually, L'Asie Mineure and Syrie were in fact issued together within the same parts, and subscribers would then divide the works for binding. ...  In the leaf of provisional text for Part III Laborde explains that the text for each work would only be published after all the plates had been issued; meanwhile subscribers were to refer to the leaf of provisional descriptions issued with each part. In the same place Laborde writes that he anticipates finishing one work before the other -- which may explain why some bibliographies give 1845 and others 1861 as the completion date for this work. In the event, the subscriber of the present set appears to have lost patience about half-way through. Neither part in Atabey. Blackmer 931 (for Asia Minor), Brunet III, 714.

Apparently the king of Saxony lost his patience as well and had the incomplete parts bound together in a tome with an elaborately gilt tooled spine.

Blackmer sale 756 (Asie Mineure), Brunet III - 714, Weber 278 (Asie Mineure). Not in Atabey.


Click on a picture to enlarge.