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Shaw: Travels or observations. 1738
Shaw: Travels or observations. 1738
Shaw: Travels or observations. 1738
Shaw: Travels or observations. 1738
Shaw: Travels or observations. 1738
Shaw: Travels or observations. 1738

Shaw, Thomas

Travels or observations relating to several parts of Barbary and the Levant.

At the Theatre, Oxford, 1738

CHF 1240.–

During the period of his chaplaincy at Algiers from 1720 to 1733, Shaw travelled in Egypt, Palestine, Cyprus and through much of North Africa. His work is valuable for its accurate descriptions of antiquities, geography and the natural history specimens he observed. First Edition.

Description: Bound in contemporary calf, spine with 6 raised bands ruled with gilt fillets and morocco label lettered in gilt, sides with 4 gilt cornerpieces. Marbled endpapers. Folio: 36 × 24 cm; pp. [4]ll., xv, [1 (errata)], 442, [1]ll., 60, [8 (index)]. Title page printed in red and black. With 33 engravings on 26 plates (13 maps, thereof 7 fold-outs), 8 engraved vignettes (incl. The Theatre on title-page), numerous smaller engravings in the text and 6 large initials. All edges red.

Ref.: Boucher 17; Cox i, 377; Röhricht 1352; Tobler 123

Condition: Binding rubbed and worn, joints with small tears, corners bumped and with abrasions. Pages occasionally lightly foxed and browned in the margins.

Provenance: Armorial bookplate to front pastedown. Early signature of Stephen Leeson on half-title.

Notes: During his thirteen years’ residence in Algiers, Shaw made a series of expeditions to Egypt, the Sinaitic peninsula and Cyprus (1721), Jerusalem, the Jordan, and Mount Carmel (1722), Tunis, and the ruins of Carthage (1727), in addition to various excursions in Algeria, Tripoli, and Morocco. Shaw returned to England in 1733. Four years later appeared his Travels or Observations relating to several parts of Barbary and the Levant, a noble example of typography, illustrated by maps and plates, catalogues of animals, plants, fossils, coins and inscriptions, and a copious index. No less than 640 species of plants are described. He also gives interesting descriptions of many mammals, of insects and even of fishes. Shaw also drew very accurate maps on his voyages with the use of a mariner’s compass and by comparing his observations with ancient texts and previous cartography. For his time his geological views are enlightened, while his conjectures on the subject of the pyramids have been fully confirmed by Belzoni and other investigators.

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