[Thompson, Alfred Tulloch].
Oblong 8vo (200 x 160 mm). With 96 silver gelatin photographs mounted in album frames under canvas-covered boards, captioned in ink; later paper label on front pastedown identifying the owner and/or photographer of the album. Contemporary blue cloth with gilt decoration on upper cover. Compiled by the British army surgeon Alfred Tulloch Thompson of Darlington, County Durham, during the Mesopotamian campaign of 1914-18, this prettily presented collection of snapshots of towns such as Basra and Amara reveals the integration of British troops and military life into the local landscapes. Alongside native villages, women fetching water, mosques, and street scenes are subtle signs of the war. One snapshot shows a "sunken Turkish gunboat", likely sunk deliberately by Ottoman forces to block the Shatt-al-Arab channel. Another two are labelled as the 3rd and 32nd British General Hospitals - important to a surgeon - while another shows a hospital boat. Many scenes show the Tigris and local boats (including a dhow plying the "Persian Gulf"), though one additionally shows a "P Boat," a British river steamer. Other images show locals going about daily life in wartime, as well as portraits of British soldiers - likely fellow members of the RAMC, including several of Thompson himself (one showing him in traditional Arab costume). - Light wear and occasional light fading, but altogether very well preserved.
[Kuwait - photo album].
180 x 305 mm. 48 chromogenic and 49 silver gelatin photographs, ranging from 80 x 80 mm to 19 x 126 mm, and housed in photo sleeves. Contemporary spiral-bound illustrated boards. An album of 97 vintage photographs and photographic postcards showing the construction works for the Kuwait oil industry, likely at the famous Burgan and Al Bahrah oil fields and refineries. During the early decades of oil production, the Kuwait Oil Company worked to develop the flowering industry, sometimes partnered with British oil company BP. Several photographs were likely taken by European engineers who moved to Kuwait to work in the oil industry; some of the early silver gelatin photographs were printed in Germany, while several other silver gelatin prints have the stamp of the Armenian-Syrian photographer Vartan Derounian (1888-1954) and/or the stamp K.E.W., that is of the Kuwait Engineering Works Ltd. Since oil was discovered in Kuwait at Burgan oil field in 1938, the petroleum industry has become the largest in the country, responsible for roughly half of Kuwait's GDP. This series of photographs, beginning in roughly the 1950s and with the latest photograph dated 1978, illustrates three decades of infrastructure development and expansion in the industry, including numerous detailed scenes of tanks, wells, and pipelines. - A few light signs of wear, altogether very well preserved.
Visconti (Vicecomes), Zaccaria.
8vo. (24), 359, (1) pp. Printer's woodcut device to title-page. Contemporary full brown calf with gilt title label to prettily gilt spine. Marbled pastedowns. All edges sprinkled red. Excessively rare, early edition of one of the most important and influential manuals of exorcism and remedies against evil spirits, first published in Venice in 1600 and once included in the Index of forbidden books. Visconti, a professional exorcist from Milan, belonged to the order of SS. Barnaba e Ambrogio, a company of secular priests founded by Carlo Borromeo. He taught the art of exorcism (he is referred to on the title-page as a professor of the art of exorcism and perhaps taught at the university of Pavia) and flourished between the late 16th and early 17th century. - This highly interesting treatise addresses all aspects of exorcism and provides the theological and theoretic framework for the practise of exorcism as well as a manual of instruction on techniques, prayers, formulae, rituals and all sorts of remedies to expel the Evil within. As pointed out in the initial dedication, Visconti hoped that his book would help reduce the number of cases of demonic possession recently recorded in the Milanese area. - Top spine end chipped. Upper corner of leaves T1-3 singed with paper loss, barely touching text; upper corner of leaves Y7-8, Z1 remargined without loss to text. Old handwritten ownership "Br. Engelhardt" to title-page. Engraved armorial bookplate "Heinzely" to front pastedown. OCLC 1331533530. Cf. Coumont, Witchcraft, V39 (other editions only). Dorbon-Ainé 5117 (first ed. only). Graesse, Bibl. mag. et pneum., p. 29 (first ed. only). Not in Caillet or Rosenthal.
Large 4to (240 x 273 mm). 48 albumen photographs (ca. 240 x 180 mm) mounted on card recto and verso. Bound in contemporary black half calf and cloth, ruled in gilt. An elegant example of the early photography souvenirs which were becoming increasingly popular in the 1890s, especially in tourism of the Holy Land. Many of the photographs are by the studio of Félix Bonfils (1831-85), a French-born photographer who came to the Levant with General d'Hautpoul in 1860 and remained to begin a prolific photography career. Based in Beirut, Bonfils produced thousands of photographs depicting Palestine, Egypt, Syria, Greece and other parts of the Ottoman Empire. In the early days of Western tourism to the Middle East, his works soon became popular as souvenirs, and other photographers soon followed. Other examples are by Francis Frith or unsigned. They show memorable scenes of Jerusalem and surroundings, especially tombs, monuments, churches, mosques, landscapes, and cityscapes. - Gentle wear and fading, some foxing to cards, but generally appealing and well preserved.
8vo (162 x 239 mm). 588 pp. Contemporary blindstamped blue cloth. Third Beirut edition of Ibn Khaldun's famous "Muqaddimat fi'l tarikh" (Prolegomena to History). "Ibn Khaldun's title to enduring fame [.] is bound up with that remarkable product of his pen, the Prolegomena to History. Here his genius reveals itself in its full splendor. Here he scatters with lavish hands the ripe fruits of his reflection on the course of human history. Hammer-Purgstall hailed him as an Oriental Montesquieu [.] He was indeed the first to describe comprehensively the state of the various sciences in the Muslim world: the arts, the trades, the commerce, the means of obtaining a living; the forms of government and the administration of justice and public affairs; every important aspect of the social life known to him" (Schmidt, p. 14). The Beirut edition, first issued in 1879, was the first produced by Arabic scholars; previously, the text had been published only by Etienne Quatremère (Paris 1858). - Binding a little rubbed; extremeties bumped. Front flyleaf loose; final leaves a little stained with light edge flaws, but a complete, sound copy. Schmidt, Ibn Khaldun, p. 56. OCLC 993710073.
Folio (340 x 520 mm). (14), 125, (1 blank), 218, (2) pp. With hand-coloured engraved title-page and 30 double-page hand-coloured engraved plates, each celestial charts or model Universes. Also with 4 engraved and 2 woodcut in-text diagrams, illustrated woodcut initials, headpieces, and tailpieces. Contemporary full vellum ruled in floriated gilt, decorated with gilt arabesques, stamped in gilt on spine, all edges gilt. First edition, second issue of the only celestial atlas published in the Golden Age of Dutch cartography, and perhaps the most important 17th century celestial atlas to be produced. - Unlike later celestial atlases, the Cellarius charts demonstrated various ancient and contemporary cosmological ideas, rather than merely the names and positions of the stars. The purpose of the book was to assess contemporary attempts to discover the underlying harmony of the universe. As such, the charts represent the highest levels of 17th century astronomical thought, with lavishly engraved and hand-coloured plates showing the three great theories on the nature of the universe: the Ptolemaic, the Copernican, and the Brahean. This was an era when the debate between these models was at the forefront of cosmological science, on par with the debate between Einsteinian Relativism and Quantum Theory today. - Featured in four plates, the Ptolemaic model was the oldest, formulated by the Alexandrian astronomer and mathematician Ptolemy about 150 CE. Ptolemy's approach placed the Earth at the centre of the cosmos, but unlike other ancient models (for instance, Aristotle's) could explain the odd movement of the planets as observed from Earth: unlike the moon and Sun, most planets occasionally appear to travel in spirals in the night sky rather than tracking sedately East to West. This movement in rooted in the word planet itself, from the Greek "planetes" meaning "wandering one". Ptolemy was able finally to mathematically explain the wandering of the planets, though by way of a complex geometry of epicycles. - By the 16th century, this model was beginning to wear thin. In 1543 Nicholas Copernicus (1473-1543) made detailed observations which led him to publish "De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium" ("On the Revolutions of the Celestial Orbs"), which solved the worst geometrical complications of Ptolemy by placing the Sun at the centre of the universe and making orbits by and large circular. However, until Galileo, the Copernician theory lacked an underlying system of physics to explain this new movement. Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) attempted to forge a middle path between the classic Ptolemaic model and the neater mathematics of the Copernican, allowing that most planets would orbit the sun, but that the Sun orbited the Earth, which remained at the centre of the cosmos. As early as the 12th century it was not uncommon to posit that one or two planets might orbit the Sun, which in turn orbited the Earth. However, in the mediaeval period, debate was held off due largely to the lack of technological ability to observe the sky with precision. It was simply impossible to prove whether the Sun or the Earth stood at the centre, and thus similar (though always geocentric) models existed side by side without too much controversy. When Cellarius placed these three models together it was in a world where this had changed: one of these models would emerge to portray what was, to contemporaries, an inimitable truth both scientific and deeply religious. The only question was who would win the day. - In this volume, Cellarius has delved into this debate in striking baroque style, bringing to bear all the power of the Dutch Golden Age of cartography on the heavens rather than the Earth. The four engravings of the Ptolemaic system depict the central Earth encased, as was traditional, in the four elements, including a large ring of fire. Above this are the orbits of the seven planets: the Moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, bordered by the ecliptic, in which the fixed stars spin around the unmoving Earth once a day. Another Ptolemaic plate includes two smaller models as part of the marginal decoration, one of the Ptolemaic hypothesis, "in qua Terra totius Universi centrum", and one of the Brahean hypothesis, "in qua centrum Lunae et Firmamenti est Terra. reliquorum quinq. Planetarum Sol". In this way, Cellarius placed each model in direct dialogue with each other, not only in text but in image. Following the section on Ptolemy, Copernicus bursts onto the scene with a model dominated by a central sun, its rays stretching out to every corner of the universe. Around it are Mercury, Venus, and then Earth itself, around which orbits the Moon; next comes Mars and then Jupiter, now with four moons to itself, and finally Saturn. The four moons of Jupiter had only been discovered fifty years previously, near-simultaneously by Galileo and by Simon Marius; their presence remained innovative in Cellarius's time. The second illustrates in more detail the orbit of the Earth around the Sun and the rotation of Earth which must create night and day in the Copernican system. Finally, Brahe's compromise is introduced, mapped so beautifully that its inelegant fusion of theories appears somehow elegant in its own right. The Earth at the centre is orbited by the Moon, then by the Sun. Around the Sun, however, are Mercury and Venus in tight orbit, and then, more distantly, are Mars, Jupiter - again with its modern four moons - and Saturn. - Thus, in one volume, Cellarius has encapsulated the increasingly accurate celestial cartography, the increasingly uncertain laws of physics, and the endlessly fascinating 17th century multiverse in a moment on the cusp of the most momentous decision in the history of science. Strangely, Cellarius himself remains a somewhat mysterious figure, with little known other than that he was the rector of the Latin school of Hoorn and a gifted mathematician. In fact, it appears that "[t]he most e
Sultan 'Ali Khorasani.
4to (185 x 262 mm). Persian manuscript on polished, unsophisticated wove paper. (12), 282, (6) leaves. 18 lines of black and occasional red Nast'aliq within double red rules. Numerous marginal glosses in black ink. Contemporary full leather binding with blind-stamped oriental decorations to both covers. A comprehensive Persian-language manual of therapeutics, discussing the diseases of the various organs. The physician Sultan Ali practiced medicine for 40 years in his native Khorasan as well as in Transoxiana (Central Asia). He began writing his medical treatise "Dastur al-ilaj" in the year 933 AH (1526 CE) at the request of Abu al-Muzaffar Mahmud-Shah Sultan, whom he had successfully treated in Samarqand. - "The treatise consists of two sections (maqalahs), the first divided into 25 chapters (babs) concerning diseases specific to particular parts of the body. The second section, in 8 babs, is on diseases affecting the entire body and not specific to a particular part. After completing the treatise, Khurasani subsequently added an introductory essay (muqaddimah) composed of 16 chapters (babs) concerned with the preservation of health and hygiene. The introductory essay has a dedication to Abu al-Ghazi Sultan Abu Sa'id Bahadur Khan who ruled Samarqand from 1530 to 1533" (National Library of Medicine, online). - Leaves 253-254 bound in reverse order and upside-down after fol. 247; fol. 248 bound upside down after fol. 252, but complete. Some waterstaining to lower corner, entirely confined to margins. A few old stamps, some obliterated with correction fluid or felt-tip pen. The colophon is dated the 2nd of Shawwal 1217 AH, stating the copyist as Mirza Abdullah Tablah (reading of the last name uncertain).
[Kuwait Oil Company Ltd.].
4to (185 x 248 mm). 80 pp. Illustrated throughout with photographs, diagrams, and maps. Original light blue printed wrappers. Pamphlet covering the history of Kuwait, the operations of the Kuwait Oil Company, and the "New Kuwait" of the 1950s. The Kuwait Oil Company was founded in 1934 and was heavily involved in the modernization of Kuwait, whose large petroleum and natural gas reserves were first tapped at Burgan Field in 1938, with production beginning in 1946. The pamphlet focuses on the changes brought to Kuwait by the oil industry in the first ten years since its inception: graphs and photographic illustrations show the rise in oil production, numerous scenes of the refineries, pipelines, workers' houses, mosques, and recreational scenes at Ahmadi, and an early gas station and new housing in Kuwait City. Also explained is the family history of the al Sabah rulers of Kuwait, with a family tree and portraits of previous and contemporary rulers, including Sheikh Mubarak Al-Sabah (1837-1915), Sheikh Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah (1885-1950), and Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salim Al-Sabah (1895-1965), first Emir of Kuwait; one image depicts him ceremonially opening an oil well. - Wrappers slightly browned at extremities, quite well preserved. OCLC 21880314.
[Holt, A. L., et al.].
350 x 240 mm standard notebook and typewriter sheets. 7 vols., plus loose typewritten and notepad paper. Those bound are in original wrappers. Extensive archive relating to surveying work conducted by A. L. Holt for the Cairo-Baghdad air route in 1921, likely from Holt's own collection. This trove of original documents sheds light on British efforts to establish control over the post-Ottoman Middle East in the aftermath of WWI and the 1920 Iraqi Revolt. Plans for an air route between Cairo and Baghdad were originally drawn up in 1919 by Winston Churchill as Secretary of State for Air in collaboration with Hugh Trenchard, marshal of the Royal Air Force. Major A. L. Holt (1896-1971) was a decorated former Royal Engineers officer who during the 1920s was employed by Iraq Railways and the Turkish Petroleum Company, and pioneered mechanized exploration in the region. Holt additionally authored "Some Journeys in the Syrian Desert" (1923) and "The Future of the North Arabian Desert" (1923). - Another notable presence in this collection is that of Nuri ibn Sha'lan, leader of the Ruwallah tribe and the last major Arab leader to join the Arab Revolt. He was courted assiduously by T. E. Lawrence and the British military establishment, but only an intervention and payment by King Faisal prevailed (Tauber). - The archive comprises: - 1. [Report on two Cairo-Baghdad air route reconnaissance missions], 1921. Typescript with manuscript annotations, 34 pp. (rectos and versos), describing "The expedition to Ma' Dak Han" (oasis near Ramadi) and the "First Ford expedition" ("The ostensible purpose was a political mission to Nuri ibn Shalan of the Rowallah tribe", p. 11), incidents include an encounter with Arab chieftain "Faad ul Duchaim" ("He seemed to think that he . should receive the same consideration and subsidy as his cousin Fahad Beg ibn Hadhal whose son had taken an active part against the Turks during the war", p. 30), 2 leaves of related manuscript notes attached. - 2. "2nd Ford Reconnaissance on the Baghdad-Cairo Air Route, June 6th-16th", ca. 1921. Manuscript, 79 ff., begins "Purposes of the Expedition. 1. To establish by ground and air No 4 landing ground at 200 miles from Ramadi, 2. To meet the Cairo reconnaissance party at L.G. 4 and pilot them to Baghdad", describes numerous encounters with locals, e.g., "Met a crowd of Arabs on the move. These proved to be the people of Jiza ibn Bahr. Consulted Jiza ibn Bahr himself about a guide and he produced one Zumaitan ibn Matar who proved himself excellently acquainted with the country" (f. 23), "Met a raiding party of Arabs about 100 strong under Mutlaq ibn Thamir going to raid the Beni Sabbar people" (f. 32), "Arrived Al Mat. Found camped there one Sheikh Mishrif al Awagi (Suwailmat) with about fifty tents but no camels. The camels had been sent away to better grazing while he remained there to retain the right to the water" (f. 35), and the airlifting of wounded sheikh Murthi al Rifadi ("an excellent piece of propaganda", f. 61). - 3. "Short Diary of Instructions & Action Taken in Connection with the Aerial Route to be Constructed between Amman and Ramadi. From 13.3.21 to [30.6.21]", 7 September 1921. Typescript, 16 ff., marked "confidential" on title-page. - 4. "Report on Desert Journey to Establish L[anding] G[round] 4", from the Assistant Divisional Adviser, Ramadi, to Major Holt, 22 June 1921. Carbon typescript, 4 ff., typescript covering note attached. - 5. "Names of Places". Carbon typescript, 3 ff., containing names and description of topographical landmarks apparently in Iraq. - 6. Holt, A.L. Baghdad-Amman Air Route. Report on Proposed Trans-Desert Highway for Mechanical Transport. Baghdad: printed by the Superintendent, Railway Press, 1922. 3 copies, folio, each in original wrappers, 9 pp., "Confidential. Report No. 1" printed on front covers. - Together with similar items relating to Holt's work on other projects, including several large maps. These include: "Iraq Railways. Proposed Baghdad Haifa Railway. Notes on Estimates Drawn up from Reconnaisance [sic] Surveys with Map of Proposed Route. District Engineer, Construction and Surveys, Baghdad" [cover title], 24th April 1930. Carbon typescript, 8  ff., folding cyanotype map printed on linen (330 x 1200 mm); hand-coloured lithographic map of proposed oil pipelines from Naft Khaneh, Iraq, to Tripoli and Haifa (345 x 635 mm), and the "Port d'Alexandrette. Projet", folding lithographic map of Iskenderun, modern Turkey (650 x 750 mm). - Altogether a quite complete and engrossing collection with relevance to interwar politics, the early development of aircraft-based infrastructure, and 1920s Iraq. Some light wear and a few rust stains from paperclips and pins; altogether well preserved. Omissi, Air Power and Colonial Control: The Royal Air Force, 1919-1939, pp. 135f. Tauber, The Arab Movements in World War I, pp. 148f.
8vo. 255, (1) pp. With 13 photo illustrations and a map. Original red publisher's cloth with giltstamped spine title. Original dust jacket. First printing of the first edition. A documentary of a year spent by the author in the Arabian Gulf, discussing Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Buraimi Oasis, Qatar, Kuwait; hunting and falconry. Dedicated "to the honour and glory of His Excellency Sheikh Shakhbut bin Sultan Albufalah, Ruler of Abu Dhabi". - Dust jacket slightly frayed and chipped in places, otherwise a good copy of this now-rare title. OCLC 1239299. Not in Macro, Bibliography of the Arabian Peninsula.
[Lawrence of Arabia (film)].
8vo mimeographed typescript. Approx. 122 pp. Original black wrappers. Together with: 3 colour stills on board (364 x 281 mm), 12 colour stills (241 x 185 mm) issued for the press, 10 silver gelatin print stills (278 x 210 mm), colour poster, and 14 behind the scenes and costume test silver gelatin prints (ranging from 158 x 105 mm to 290 x 290 mm), with further costume test photographs tucked into the script. Fascinating and significant collection of material relating to one of the most famous British films of all time, Sir David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia" (1962). The collection includes a unique production-used script, the title-page annotated "2nd Unit, Abbey", with various test photographs inserted into the script at different points and annotations and added tabs towards the end of the script. Includes four large black and white behind-the-scenes photos of the film's then-unknown star, Peter O'Toole (1932-2013), on camelback taken by famous stills photographer Ken Danvers (1911-80). Various additional costume reference photographs are present, including three for 'Lawrence', one featuring Peter O'Toole, in costume, smoking next to a set trailer. Also present are a set of twelve front of house stills for the film, an American one-sheet poster from the 1971 re-release, and other photographic stills relating to the production including three large colour film stills on board, which round out an impressive collection. Also included are 11 photographic references of T. E. Lawrence used by the costume design team to style Peter O'Toole. - "Lawrence of Arabia" (1962) was O'Toole's film debut, for which he received international acclaim. The film itself was selected in 1999 as the third best British film of the 20th century, and won seven of an impressive ten Oscar nominations. It is generally considered one of the most important films to come out of the 1960s, and has been selected for preservation in America's National Film Registry in acknowledgment of its cultural significance. - Occasional light wear to photographs, generally in the form of subtle pinpricks to corners. In general, exceptionally well preserved. - Provenance: Acquired by an employee of the film's producer, Sam Spiegel (1901-85). Spiegel was financially responsible for some of the most critically acclaimed motion pictures of the 20th century, and was the first independent Hollywood producer to work on films that won the Academy Award for "Best Picture" three times. One of those films was, of course, "Lawrence of Arabia".
Shah Arzani, Muhammad Akbar ibn Muhammad.
4to (164 x 244 mm). Persian manuscript on polished but unsophisticated laid paper. 352 leaves (misnumbered 347, numerous errors in pagination, but complete). 21 lines of black and occasional red Nast'aliq within blue and double red rules; a pretty gilt, red and lapislazuli 'unwan headpiece on the first page. Some marginal glosses throughout, likewise in black and red ink. 19th century Western-style codex binding with leather spine and cloth edges, using the original red morocco covers. An amplified Persian adaptation of the Arabic medical treatise "Sharh al-asbab" (completed in 1424) by the Persian physician Burhan addin Nafis ibn 'Iwaz al-Kirmani (d. ca. 1449), itself a commentary on Najib addin al-Samarqandi's (d. 619/1222) "Kitab al-asbab wa'l-'alamat". This medical compendium, later translated into Urdu and Sindhi, covers the symptoms and treatment of diseases specific to particular parts as well as general diseases. - The Indian medical writer Mohammad Akbar Arzani composed several works in Persian which circulated also through various Urdu translations and thus gained considerable diffusion among later physicians. "According to his own statement in the 'Tibb-i akbari', he had been a recluse in a convent (zawia), later on he studied the religious doctrines and finally dedicated himself to the study of medicine. He probably took part in the Mughal military campaign in the Deccan under Awrangzeb" (Encyclopedia Iranica, online). - Inherently brittle and fragile throughout with numerous edge tears, chips, marginal worming and other minor flaws, several paper breaks due to ink corrosion along the rules. One quire loosened, two leaves have old repairs with adhesive tape. Foliation erratic; leaf 196 (recte: 206) transposed before 194, but complete. Cf. GAL I, 491 & S I, 895 (for Nafis ibn 'Iwaz al-Kirmani's commentary).
8vo. 160 pp. Illustrated. Original pale blue wrappers titled in navy. First edition of "The Campaign for the Liberation of Israel": a rare publication on the First Arab-Israeli war by Israeli geographer Zev Vilnay (1900-88). Better known for his lectures on outdoor hiking and touring in Israel, Vilnay also served as a military topographer in Haganah and later the Israel Defense forces. His work, written in Hebrew, is profusely illustrated with maps showing transportation corridors, troop movements, and military and civilian installations. Vilnay's maps depict battles in and around Jerusalem, Haifa, Tel Aviv, the Upper and Eastern Galilee, and many more, discussing strategy and the use of infrastructure and landscape in waging war. An interesting geographer's view of Israeli military action during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. - Light wear to spine. OCLC 19195703.
[Van Ess, John, et al.].
4to (170 x 202 mm). (6), 58 pp. With 8 photographic plates and one map. Original pictorial grey wrappers. Ten excellent short essays on Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq), printed at the Times offices in Basra. According to the preface, the pamphlet was published in response to growing curiosity about the country, sparked by British involvement post-WWI. Most of the essays, as per the title, focus on the distant past, taking the reader to the founding of Baghdad in the eighth century, Basra in the Middle Ages and the construction of the Ctesiphon Arch (Taq Kasra). The latter is one of the finer pieces, providing a brief but detailed account of the creation of the structure and its completed finery, drawing on Gertrude Bell's musical translation of al-Tabari's description of the famous carpet "woven in the pattern of a garden" (Amurath to Amurath). - Other essays turn to the early twentieth century and contemporary life. The piece on Mandaeism, in addition to outlining its history, features a short interview with a group of Mandaeans from the Mesopotamian Marshes, in which they discuss their beliefs and religious practices. The final essay, by the missionary John Van Ess (the only contributor to give his full name), reflects on his time in Mesopotamia among certain rural tribes, highlighting episodes of kindness and hospitality. Van Ess (1878-1949) is notable for the time he spent in Mesopotamia (nearly fifty years), his role as an advisor to British officials and, in that capacity, for his opposition to making Faisal King. - With contemporary ink ownership of A. H. Lee on the front cover. Remnants of postage stamps on rear wrapper, slight repair to spine. Exceedingly rare: only two intact copies known, in the British Library Reference Collections and in the National Library of Scotland; the Munich University Library appears to own an incomplete copy. OCLC 562435427.
Small folio (230 x 295 mm). Arabic manuscript on cream-coloured paper. 58 ff. (plus 2 flyleaves), 5 lines per extensum, written in crisp Sini script in black ink. Text within red double rules, verses separated by gilt roundels, surah heading in gold outlined in red. Opening bifolio with brightly coloured and gilt quasi-geometric illumination, final bifolio with gold and polychrome Central Asian floral and tendril motifs in the borders. Contemporary blind-tooled brown leather binding with fore-edge flap. Indigo blue cotton endpapers. Prettily illuminated Qur'an Juz' (one of thirty parts of varying lengths into which the Qur'an is divided) written in late 18th or early 19th century China. Arab presence in China dates back as far as the first Caliphate: the Prophet's companion Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqas is traditionally credited with introducing Islam to China as ambassador in 650. Indeed, many major cities in China, such as Xi'an (or Chang'an, as it was known during the height of the Silk Road) and Beijing boast a long and rich Muslim history. Qur'an sections written by Chinese Muslims show Chinese influence clearly in both the decoration and the script, which is derived from naskh. The section of the Qu'ran copied here is the twelfth Juz', which comprises surah 11 (Hud), aya 6, to surah 12 (Yusuf), aya 52, named after the prophets Hud and Joseph. - Fingerstaining to lower corner and margin; a few leaves loose. An attractively illuminated example of the Chinese Muslim manuscript tradition.
Colour-printed map, 889 x 632 mm. Scale 1:250,000. First edition. A rare, large full-colour geological map of Palestine, sheet 3, partly revised from aerial photographs by the Geological Section. The key lists era and type of rock, from Precambrian grey and red granites to Neogene sandstones and recent dune deposits, and illustrates both known and predicted fault lines across the earthquake-prone region. However, geology was evidently not the sole concern: international and district boundaries are noted along with railways, various roads, wadis, Arab and Jewish villages individually marked, monasteries and convents, khirba ruins and tell mounds, and sheikhs' tombs. This provides a holistic and detailed map showing Palestinian human settlements, water cycles, geological deposits, and transport corridors during the Mandate period. - Fully and professionally backed in cloth.
Chromolithograph map, 852 x 520 mm. Scale 1:500,000. A map depicting the Jewish settlements related to Keren Hayesod agricultural work from 1921-1946. Keren Hayesod was, during the pre-state period, a single-issue Zionist funding body and played a large role in the settlement of Palestine by Jewish colonists prior to 1948; many of these settlements were agricultural in nature. The map lists over one hundred settlements and distinguishes those established by from those aided by Keren Hayesod. Also identified are settlement types: communal, smallholders, village, urban, town, training farms, and ex-servicemen villages. A colourful and thorough overview of Keren Hayesod's work in the region. - A hint of wear along creases, otherwise well preserved. OCLC 827860593.
[Mosques]. Bonfils, Félix.
Large folio (620 x 508 mm). A total of 31 albumen prints (of an average size of 390 x 280 mm), individually mounted on card. Contemporary red half morocco and pebbled red cloth, titled in gilt on spine. A fine album of large-format photographs mainly of Egypt and Palestine, including numerous fine and early views of mosques, all by the most famous 19th century photographer of the Arab world, Félix Bonfils (1831-85). Among the famous locations captured in his high-quality albumen prints are the Mosque of Sultan Hassan, the newly-built Great Mosque of Muhammad Ali (one image showing the fountain of ablution), the Sultan Qaytbay Mosque and funerary complex, as well as the Tombs of the Caliphs, the Fountain of the Valide Sultan, and the so-called Chair of Omar (Membar) in the Temple Square. Ancient Egypt is well represented, as well. In Jerusalem, the collection includes views of the Mosque of Omar (that is the Dome of the Rock, or Qubbat al-Sakhrah), the Church of Saint Anne with the Dome of the Rock, as well as Zion Gate and several street scenes in the older districts of the city, but also the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Kanisatu al-Qiyamah), with Christian priests posing on a balcony, some standing on a ladder which is famously permanent - by rumour due to the Status Quo agreement between the numerous Christian sects which use the church. In Istanbul (Constantinople), the Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque is pictured. A few additional images show the tidewater at Jaffa and two sites in Athens. All photographs are signed and titled in plate by Bonfils. - Some exterior wear; the large-sized photographs are well preserved.
[Iraq - photo album].
Small oblong folio (260 x 180 mm). 103 silver gelatin photographs mounted in photo corners or laid down. Contemporary black leather, blindstamped with imitations of Egyptian hieroglyphs. An interesting album of snapshots taken in Sudan and Iraq in the 1930s. Although the photographer's name is not present, he was probably an RAF serviceman stationed in North Africa and the Middle East, as there are several images of billets and two official R.A.F. aerial photographs at the rear of the album. - The images of Iraq, including Khartoum, Baghdad and Samarra, are in the majority, and largely focus on leisure activities such as horse racing in the desert and trips to important archaeological sites. One attractive series documents an excursion to the ruins of Babylon with the Lion of Babylon and the Ctesiphon Arch. Among the images of Babylon are two brick reliefs from the Ishtar Gate (constructed ca. 575 CE), a muscular aurochs, and the mythic mushussu dragon. - Light fading, otherwise well preserved.
Galard Terraube, Elie de.
Largely loose or informally bound, 375 x 280 mm. Contents include 1 bound report with 22 silver gelatin print photographs, numerous typed letters and manuscripts prepared for publication, over 100 original drawings of horses or of military scenes, often with extensive notes. Contemporary ribbon-tied black cloth, sans spine, with handwritten label. Extensive archive spanning three decades of French horsemanship, from cavalry battalions in WWI to the development of the sport of dressage, and including unpublished typed and corrected manuscripts, military reports, photographs, original watercolour paintings, and numerous original drawings, at once technical and artistic, of horses in movement. The main individual behind this archive was Captain Elie de Galard Terraube of the French Armée du Levant, member of the prominent de Galard family and nephew of Marie-Henri de Mauléon, himself the author of "Méthod de Dressage", a 19th century manual on horse training. - Though most of the record is loose in folders, several pieces are informally bound. The most notable is "Rapport [.] sur les chevaux Arabes de Syrie, leur achat, leur transport en France" dated 1923 in Hama, Syria, and directed to the French Minister of War. At the time the Minister would have been André Maginot, most famous for his design of the Maginot Line. However, the report states its purpose as "Au sujet d'achat de chevaux des tribus Bédoines pour l'Agriculture" rather than for warfare. Stationed among the Bedouin tribes of Syria during the French Mandate period, de Galard Terraube provides 22 photographs of individual horses and horse dealers, notes on horse breeds and those who sell them, and a hand-inked map titled "Tribus Arabes de Syrie" illustrating the summer and winter residences of seven tribes, listed as: Rouallah [Ruwallah], Fedaan, Sbaa [likely Sba'a-'Abada], Maqualis, Haddidyne, Faquaras, and Beni Khaled [Bani Khalid]. - Another informally bound piece is an unpublished typescript on the work of de Galard Terraube's uncle, Mauléon, with a hand-drawn cover titling it "Méthod de Dressage du Mis. de Mauléon" and dated 1936; evidently, de Galard Terraube wished to have it published and used in French cavalry units, and much of the material relates to this endeavour. Additionally, there is a folder of hundreds of drawings, from polished watercolours to sketches, many labeled, most on the subject of horses: the use of the bit, the pose of the head and legs, etc. Several are on the subject of a soldiers' training instead, illustrating in watercolour how to stabilize a sniper rifle in various situations, often with the help of a second soldier. Numerous further typed pages and letters authored by de Galard Terraube on the subject of horse training. - The earliest of the material are four telegrams dating from 1919 and discussing ranks and responsibilities. Alongside these is an 870 x 370 mm original hand-drawn map titled "312e Brigade" and inked in black, red, and blue. The map shows a detailed series of fortifications presumably under the command of the 312th Brigade. Another informal map shows similar fortifications. - Altogether a thorough archive of French military, cavalry, and general equestrian history at an intersection with Syrian and Bedouin history and the history of the horse trade. Some wear from handling, in general quite good.
Girgis ibn 'Abdullah al-Dimashqi al-Bayruti al-Katuliki.
4to (180 x 256 mm). Arabic manuscript on paper. Paginated 1-297 (but ff. 101-116 and 273-297 left blank). 21 lines of black riqa' within double pencil rules, illustrated throughout with numerous diagrams. Contemporary blindstamped black cloth. Finely handwritten Lebanese manual of astronomy, written in Arabic by a Catholic Christian mathematician of Syrian descent. In his preface, the author Girgis indicates that his work deals with the sciences of the stars and constellations, including phenomena such as eclipses. He therefore drew from "ancient manuscripts, some of them thousands of years old", and used the astronomical concordances "of the scholars of India, Persia, Greece and Egypt" to write his treatise, which boasts numerous meticulously executed diagrams and tables. Dated 8 Adar 1884 in the Jewish-Christian style. Apparently, this interesting manuscript was not completed by the scribe. - Binding rubbed and bumped, spine chipped and frayed. Paper evenly browned throughout.
Gallagher, Michael (ed.).
320 x 260 mm. 24 issues bound as one. With one map. Housed in contemporary Brinco binder. A rare and complete run of the Gulf Bird Watchers' Newsletter, a record of bird-watching in Bahrain and other Arabian Gulf states. The newsletter was put together by Michael Gallagher, who also authored "The Birds of Oman" (1980), as a way for largely English-speaking inhabitants of the Gulf States to compare sightings, exchange tips and aid with transport, and to provide a resource for bird watchers across the region. - The newsletter started out as meeting minutes from a group of eighteen bird watchers, but encouraged reader submissions. Birders submit recent reports of sightings, along with questions: "Caspian Terns [.] Do they breed nearby?" and lists of birding books purchased en masse from England and available for a small fee. Much focus is on the birds of Bahrain in particular, with reports of Reef Herons, curlews, black headed gulls, and cormorants near Sharjah and of various doves in the desert. Rare sightings receive particular attention: a Great Gray Shrike is seen "near Sar" on 4 July 1969, and a Water Rail, "the first since Spring 1967, was identified in the Janabya reed beds". With numerous lists of sightings, queries, and advice on how to preserve dead specimens. In later years a Sea Bird Report is added due to popular demand, and reports on sightings in the Gulf itself ("Phalaropes: These attractive birds are back again in the Gulf of Oman"). Complimenting the sea reports is a map titled "Sketch Map to Accompany Summary of the Bird Sightings of Captain Chilman During 1967, 1968 & 1969", illustrating the tanker routes through the Gulf from which these observations take place, and carefully noting a curious "NO BIRDS AREA" in the midst of the Gulf. - Altogether, a complete and engaging record of birding in Bahrain and surroundings. Well preserved. OCLC 18723858.