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Description de l'Arabie - NIEBUHR Carsten - 1773. 
1773 - (ARABIA) NIEBUHR, Carsten. Description de l'Arabie d'apres les Observations et Recherches Faites dans le Pays Meme. Copenhagen: Nicolas Möller, 1773. Small quarto, modern brown library cloth, paper spine label. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $5200.First edition in French, with engraved vignette title page and 25 fine copper-engraved plates, several folding (two folding plates of Arabic calligraphy with hand-coloring), including two large folding maps, one with hand-coloring.Carsten Niebuhr was a member of King Frederick V of Denmark's scientific exploration of Egypt, Arabia and Syria, 1763-67. Niebuhr was the most junior member of the expedition, but an eager student, and he acquired skill in surveying, geography, mathematics and Arabic in preparation for the journey. In the first two years of the expedition, the group traveled to Alexandria, up the Nile to Suez and Mount Sinai, and from there to Jeddah and Mocha. By the end of their stay in Mocha, all of the members of the expedition save Niebuhr had perished of disease. He continued alone to India, returning via Persia, Syria, Cyprus and Constantinople. His comprehensive description, particularly of the Yemen region, was the best and most authentic to date. "Niebuhr was an accurate and careful observer, had the instincts of the scholar, was animated by a high moral purpose, and was rigorously conscientious and anxiously truthful in recording the results of his observation. His works have long been classics on the geography, the people, the antiquities and the archaeology of much of the district of Arabia " (Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th ed.). Niebuhr's map of the Arab Gulf is the earliest map to mention Kuwait, and he is also one of the first to call the country "Yemen" instead of "Arabia Felix." First published in German in 1772 as Beschreibung von Arabien, this first edition in French came out the following year. Text in French. Bound with half title. Brunet IV, 74. Atabey 873. Fine condition. [Attributes: First Edition; Hard Cover]
[Bookseller: Bauman Rare Books]