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A Catalogue of the Bibliotheca Orientalis Sprengeriana.
Giessen: Wilhelm Kelle, 1857. Octavo in half-sheets (209 × 125 mm). Contemporary sprinkled paper boards, green paper spine label, sprinkled edges. Contemporary bookseller's ticket of Luzac and Co. to front pastedown. Spine rubbed, extremities lightly bumped and worn. A very good copy. First and only edition, presentation copy, inscribed by the author to fellow German orientalist Johann Gildemeister on the front free endpaper, dated March 1857. Laid in is a copy of Sprenger's 18-page pamphlet, Dr. Halm und die Bibliotheca Sprengeriana (Heidelberg: Adlon, 1857), a response to the outrage expressed by the Bavarian state librarian at the sale of his collection to the Prussian archives in Berlin – the pamphlet extremely uncommon, with only the Yale copy traced in libraries. Sprenger (1813–1893), an Austrian orientalist, travelled to India in 1843, becoming principal of Delhi College and secretary to the Asiatic Society of Calcutta. He was a prolific editor of Arabic and Persian texts previously extant only in manuscript, as well as the author of numerous original works, most notably a life of Muhammad. On his travels he collected hundreds of manuscripts which he brought back to Europe, making several texts, notably the hadith, available to European scholars for the first time. Gildemeister (1812–1890) was professor of oriental languages at Bonn and Marburg. He focused mainly on Sanskrit but in 1836 published an edition of the section on India from al-Mas'udi's Muruj al-dhahab, an important tenth-century chronicle in Arabic; Sprenger began an edition soon after for the Oriental Translation Fund, though only managed one volume, published in 1841. Both items come from the library of British colonial agent and Arabist Colonel Samuel Barrett Miles (1838–1914), with his ownership inscription to front pastedown, a printed bookplate indicating his widow's bequest of his collection to Bath Public Library in 1920, with association manuscript shelf-marks and blind-stamps as usual: an excellent additional association.
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington]
Last Found On: 2017-05-17           Check availability:      Biblio    

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