Twelve rare early 19th Century engravings from Volume II of ‘Description de L’Egypt’ after Nicolas Jacques Conte and others, drawn during Napoleon’s Egyptian Campaign circa 1810.
Comprising the following:
Six plates after Conte from 'Egypt Moderne' ‘Arts et Metiers’ section:
‘Charrue’ and ‘Machine a battre les grains’, engraved by Delaunay & Schroeder. Plate VII
‘Le Brodeur au Tambour’ and ‘Fabricant de Feutres’ engraved by Ingouf. Plate VIII
‘Le Charpentier et le scieur de long’ and ‘Le Menuisier’, engraved by Schroeder. Plate XIX
Four plates from the ‘Costumes et Portraits’ section:
‘Says ou Palefrenier’ and Femme du Peuple’, After Conte and engraved by Voyez. Plate a
‘Almés ou Danseuses Publiques’, ‘Santons d'Abyssinie et de Constantinople’, After Duertre and engraved by Jean de Massard & Blot. Plate c
and two plates After Conte of Egyptian views, engraved by Baltard
Copper plate engravings, framed in black painted frames with hand painted watercolour wash and gilt lined mounts and with gilt slips.
These engravings were originally printed in pairs in common on large scale paper. In this instance the plates have been cut in half to enable the engravings to be individually framed.
When Napoleon invaded Egypt in 1798, he took with him more than 160 scholars and scientists. Known as the French Commission on the Sciences and Arts of Egypt, they undertook an extensive survey of the country’s archeology, topography, and natural history. A soldier who was part of the expedition found the famous Rosetta Stone.
Nicolas Jaques Conte was appointed Secretary of the Egypt Commission and assigned to investigate and collect information on the industrial arts of Egypt, visit workshops, question the artisans and draw the tools and techniques of the workers from which he produced a series of scenes of various trades in Egypt. On their return from Egypt in 1802 Conte was given the task of overseeing the publication of the Descrption de l’Egypte, a monumental, multi-volume work that included plates, maps and essays. Publication of the original Imperial edition began in 1809 and Conte invented a machine to automate and speed up the engraving process. It proved so popular that a second ‘Royal Edition’ Edition (1821-29) was published under the post-Napoleonic Bourbon Restoration.
The six Arts & Metiers engravings and the two landscape engravings each measure 46cm x 58cm including frames (26cm x 36cm image size excluding mounts and frames)
Two ‘Costumes & Portraits’ engravings measure 58cm x 46cm including frames (36cm x 26cm image size excluding mounts and frames)
Two smaller ‘Costumes & Portraits’ engravings without the mounts measure 43cm x 33cm (33cm x 23cm excluding frames)
Please contact me for further information or additional photographs.
Period: circa 1810