[CHOISEUL-GOUFFIER, Marie-Gabriel-Florent-Auguse de]
3 vol., folio: [8, engr. title incl.]-xii-204, [8, engr. title incl.]-346, portrait-[6, engr. title incl.]-xii-347/518 pp. (marg. damp stains in vol. I and II, sl. larger to some upper corners of vol. II, occ. foxing, some sm. stains to pp. 382-387 of vol. II).
Contemp. half sheep, marbled paper covers, flat spines orn. with gilt roll-stamps (very rubbed, joints of vol. I split, lack to lower cover and wormtrack to lower joint of vol. III).
Rare first edition complete with the 3 engr. titles with vignettes, the 2 unnumbered fold. maps of Greece, and the 168 plates showing 285 copper-engr. subjects (usually with 2, 3 or 4 ill. on the same pl.), some fold. or on double-page, depicting maps, landscapes, costumes, monuments, etc. by Deloignon, Choffard, Dambrun, etc., after drawings i.a. by Moreau the young, Choiseul-Gouffier, Hilaire and Monnet. Complete with the table on double-page "Tableau de la race de Dardannus" and the pl. 8bis and 76 bis (view of Constantinople on double-page). Text decorated with nice headpieces and large tailpieces. Volume I enriched with an engr. leaf "Explication des renvois marqués dans l'enceinte du Sérail". Copy with the vol. I in second issue with the "Discours préliminaire" finishing on p. xxii at the 22nd line with the words "Exoriare aliquis".
In 1776, Choiseul (1752-1817) left to the Levant with the Marquis of Chabert and the painter Hilaire, where he travelled for three years. In 1784, he was named ambassador in Constantinople, a position he occupied until the fall of the French monarchy. He installed there a printing press on which he modified some parts of his work. The "Voyage" showing the great admiration of Choiseul for Greece and its people, combined with the engravings of Hilaire, was received enthusiastically by the French public. The publication was interrupted by the French Revolution, and was finished by Barbié du Bocage and Letronne based on the notes of Choiseul who died in 1817.
Ref. Cohen 238-239. - Brunet I:1847. - Dict. biogr. France VIII:1199. - Blackmer 342. - Cp. Greek Civilizations through the eyes of travellers and scholars. From the Collection of Dimitris Contominas, n° 147 (ed. Brussels, ca. 1830).
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