Paris, Gide et J. Baudry, 1852-1853. In two text volumes and one atlas volume. 8vo (24.5 x 16.0 cm [text]). 1054 pp. [399; 655]). Folio/large 4to (31.0 x 23.7 cm [atlas]). 172 pp. [4, vii, 20, i-iv, 5-19; xxvi, 96]; 15 maps on 14 sheets (one double-sized); 61 (LVII; 4) lithographed plates (several tinted). Text in near contemporary uniform half calf over marbled boards. Spines with gilt bands and title; Atlas in contemporary half morocco over grained, cloth with gilt title on the front board and spine. Marbled endpapers. Original printed wrappers of the text volumes bound in.
Written by the French explorer and naturalist Louis Félicien "Felix" Joseph Caignart de Saulcy (1807-1880). "On his first trip to Palestine in 1850, searching for something of interest 'in a place fraught with danger', he toured the Dead Sea area, misidentified Sodom and Gomorrah, and sketched the first map of Masada. He discovered the Shihan Stele and identified Tell es-Sultan as the site of the ancient city of Jericho" (Wikipedia). In the front of the atlas volume are two scientific chapters, as follows: Catalogue des Plantes Observees en Syrie et en Palestine par MM. De Saulcy et Michon, redige par MM. E. Cosson et Kralik: vii, 20 pp.; and Catalogue des Especes d'insectes coléoptères recueillies par M. F. de Saulcy et redige par L. Reiche: iv, 5-19 pp. In the rear of the atlas volume is a third, much larger and illustrated chapter (half-title, title, xxvi, 96 pp.; four plates), on the molluscs collected during the expedition, written by the French malacologist Jules-René Bourguignat (1829-1892) before he gained notoriety for forming and leading the "Nouvelle école". All three bindings are similar, with their gilt bands and titles. Provenance: armorial bookplate of the Bibliothèque de Barante mounted on front pastedowns. Amable-Guillaume-Prosper Brugière, Baron de Barante (1782-1866), was a French historian, writer and politician who amassed a very large bibliophile library in his castle near Clermont-Ferrand. The French poet, Anatole France called him an " Homme de beaucoup de tact, de sens et de finesse". Slight wear to boards and spine ends; internally very good, clean, without foxing. A very good set indeed. Brunet, 20578; Cat. BM(NH), p. 1810 [1st English ed.]; Nissen ZBI, 449 [for Bourguignat].