Pococke’s travellogue, German edition with 183 exclusive engraved plates, 1791-92



Richard POCOCKE: BESCHREIBUNG DES MORGENLANDES UND EINIGER ANDERN LÄNDER. Neue Ausgabe, nach der englischen Grundschrift genau durchgesehen und verbessert von D. Johann Friedrich Breyer (...) und mit Anmerkungen erläutert von D. Johann Christian Daniel Schreber (...) 3 volumes. With 3 additional engraved titles and 180 plates, where of 34 folded and of which 9 maps. Erlangen: Walther 1791-92.

4to. 1330 pp., 183 plates. [9 ll. (engr. title, title, ded., pref. 3rd ed.)], XXXII, 428 pp., 77 pl.; [5 ll. (engr. title, title, pref.)], XXXII, 392 pp., 36 pl.; [5 ll. (engr. title, title, toc and index of pl.)], 408 pp., 64 pl. Copper engraving and letterpress, in contemporary marbled cardboard covers with titles and library press-marks hand-written on spine labels and spotted cuts.

Complete and well preserved set of the 3rd, revised and annotated German edition of Pococke's »A Description of the East and Some other Countries« (1743-45), profusely illustrated with 183 plates exclusively drawn and engraved for the German market.

Contents: The travelogue of journeys to Egypt, the Near East and Europe in the 1730s by English clergyman and scholar Richard Pococke (1704-65) covers Egypt and Ethiopia (Vol. I), Palestine, Syria, Mesopotamia, Cyprus and Crete (Vol. II), as well as the Aegean Islands, Asia Minor, Greece and some regions of Italy, the German lands, Bohemia, Hungary and Austria (Vol. III). "Gibbon described the book as of »superior learning and dignity« (...)" (Cox). In his preface the editor of present 3rd German edition, Johann Friedrich Breyer (1738-1826), a professor for philosophy at Erlangen, claims to have substantially revised the translation of Windheim and Mosheim, which was published with the 1st German edition of Pococke's travel account in 1754-55. In addition this edition is enriched by comments of biologist Johann Christian Daniel Schreber (1739-1810), who annotated Pockocke's botanical findings (vol. II, pl. LXXXII-LXXXIX) in particular.

Illustration: As the editor also points out, the plates for this edition, though deriving from the same printing blocks like the 1st and 2nd German edition (1771-73), are printed on thinner paper of higher quality, and not on printing paper like before, which makes the engravings appear richer in contrast.

Condition: Covers at corners and edges occasionally bumped, boards, spines and joints in parts worn, front paste-downs with decent (private) library remarks, otherwise well preserved set with almost no foxing and fresh plates.

Rarity: Copies with the complete set of 183 copper-engraved plates (incl. titles) are hard to find in trade.

Reference: VD18 11217405; Blackmer p. 1323; Cox I, 224; Embacher 233; Graesse V, 373; Henze IV, 144ff., Ibrahim/Hilmy II, 124; Kainbacher4 357; Paulitschke I, 75; Rohricht p. 309; Tiele p. 689; Tobler p. 127; see also Gay 108.