Carl Patsch’s inaugural travel accounts and photos on Southern Albania, 1904

Carl PATSCH: DAS SANDSCHAK BERAT IN ALBANIEN [THE SANJAK BERAT IN ALBANIA]. With 1 folded chromolithographic map and 180 text illustrations. Vienna: 1904.

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Carl PATSCH: DAS SANDSCHAK BERAT IN ALBANIEN [THE SANJAK BERAT IN ALBANIA]. With 1 folded chromolithographic map and 180 text illustrations depicting wood engravings, drawings and numerous photographies. (= Kaiserliche Akademie der Wissenschaften, Schriften der Balkankommission, Antiquarische Abteilung, III). Wien: Alfred Hölder (Rohrer, Brünn) 1904.

4mo. [3 not numb. leafs (title, preface, table of contents)], columns 1-200 (i.e. 100 pages), 1 map (folded in flap mounted on pastedown endpaper). Chromolithography, halftone and letterpress on thin hiqh quality paper, thread-stitched in original half-cloth with black title printing incorporating owner's stamp on front cover.

Particularly rare, comprehensive and richly illustrated account on a journey through today's Southern Albania, focussing on the regions around the cities of Berat and Vlora.

The author, Austrian Albanologist, Slavist, archaeologist and historian Carl Ludwig Patsch (1865-1945), at this time head of the Museum of Bosnia and Hercegovina in Sarajevo and later founder of the Albanian National Museum in Tirana (in 1922), started his journey in spring 1900 from Vlora, then travelled south-east to the Griva Mountains and back along the coast to the laguna of Vivar, afterwards again in direction south to the Akrokeraun mountains, and finally towards east and north to Mallakastër area (with an entire chapter about the Myzeqe plain), finishing his route in the city of Berat.

Patsch documented many of his findings on site during April and May 1900, e.g. by numerous drawings of pottery as well as other decorative objects of art and everyday life, coins, peasant's tools, buildings (farm houses, inns (turkish »han«), monasteries and residences of nobles), antique archeological sites (mainly ancient greek) and stone inscriptions (the one in Byllis depicted with a double-paged illustration), and most remarkably by a number of photographies of landscapes and people (clergymen, Muslim and Christian men, women and children in their custom habit, peasants, shepherds and traders, and also from people belonging to non-albanien ethnic groups (e.g. Gypsies, Aromanians). Many of them are reproduced in this volume published by the Austrian Academy of Science. According to the renown Albanologist Robert Elsie most of the objects and sites documented by Patsch do no longer exist today.

Apart from geological and geographic information the enclosed map, drawn and printed with bright colours in chromolithography by the renown K.k. Militärgeographisches Institut, also shows monasteries, chiftliks, hans, archeological sites, mines, mills and river crossings.

Edges, corners and boards with some wear and in parts slightly bumped, paper time-stained, otherwise well preserved copy indeed of this very hard to find item.

Provenance: 1. Dr. János Antal (around 1920-30, Hungary), with his Ex Libris mounted on the pastedown frontpaper. 2. prominent Austrian collector and Guiness Record holding philographist Josef Treitl (1921-2001, Vienna), with his owner's stamp on front cover and title page.

Manek/Pekmezi, p. 114, 1904/47 (with some notes); Robert Elsie, Historical Dictionary of Albania, (2nd ed.) 2010, p. 349.

Additional information

Weight 2 kg