One of the first travel photobooks
Égypte, Nubie, Palestine et Syrie. Dessins photographiques recueillis pendant les années 1849, 1850, et 1851 accompagnès d'un texte explicatif et précédés d'une introduction par Maxime Du Camp, chargè d'une mission archéologique en Orient par le Ministère de l'Instruction Publique.
Paris, Gide & J. Baudry, Editeurs, 1852
61 text pages + 125 pages with photographs (using the albumen paper printing technique of Blanquart-Evrard) + 3 engraved plates (one double page)
This book has been seen and physically examined by a Catawiki expert, and we can fully agree with this condition report.
We have prepared a short video of the book which should give you a good impresson of the books
A very good to fine copy. Original full leather binding. This is a little rubbed to the edges, but holding well. Internally the book is in very good + condition. Only very light foxing to the title page. No foxing to the plates. There is a little marking to the white margins of a few plates, but not major. This is shown in the photographs.
3 of the tissue guards are missing, 3 more of these are damaged (see photos). 2 plates have light damage at the top right (see photos) and 1 plate (not in the image) slightly dirty.
You can see the condition of each plate - all photographic plates and engraved plates are photographed, so you can enjoy seeing the whole work here.
Maxime Du Camp's mission to Egypt and the Near East in 1849-51 to make a photographic survey of monuments and sites is well documented in his writings and in those of his fellow traveler, Gustave Flaubert, who wrote of Du Camp’s photography, “I don’t know why Maxime has not killed himself with this raging mania for photography.”
After an initial stay in Cairo, the two friends hired a boat to take them up the Nile as far as the second cataract, after which they descended the river at leisure, exploring the archaeological sites along its banks. In July 1850 they left Egypt for Palestine, Turkey, and Greece before they parted in Italy the following April. Du Camp's album "Egypte, Nubie, Palestine et Syrie," published in 1852 and containing 125 photographs printed by Blanquart-Evrard, brought its author instant fame.
Louis Désiré Blanquart-Evrard (1802 – 1872) was a French inventor, photographer and photo publisher. Being a cloth merchant by trade, in the 1840s he developed an interest in photography and focused on technical and economical issues of mass production of photo prints.
The albumen print, also called albumen silver print, was published in January 1847 by Louis Désiré Blanquart-Evrard, and was the first commercially exploitable method of producing a photographic print on a paper base from a negative. It used the albumen found in egg whites to bind the photographic chemicals (Chlorides or Salts) to the paper and became the dominant form of photographic positives from 1855 to the start of the 20th century, with a peak in the 1860-90 period. This was an improvement on the Calotype process. It soon became the staple process of the soon to be popular ‘carte de visite’ type of photo prints.
At the time, Du Camp was using a wooden Calotype camera and tripod. To ensure that images came out properly he had to bring along a number of chemicals required to print on writing paper for his negatives.
Calotype print isn’t as detailed as a Daguerrotype, which existed at the time, but unlike the Daguerrotype, a nearly unlimited number of copies can be made from Calotype prints. It appears that Du Camp was already planning on selling or making multiple copies of his images before he even went on the trip.
Maxime Du Camp was the son of a successful surgeon. After finishing college, he indulged in his strong desire for travel, thanks to his father's assets. Du Camp traveled in Europe and the East between 1844 and 1845, and again between 1849 and 1851 in company with Gustave Flaubert. After his return, Du Camp wrote about his traveling experiences. Flaubert also wrote about his experiences with Maxime.
Du Camp was an early amateur photographer who learned the craft from Gustave Le Gray shortly prior to departing on his 1849–1859 trip to Egypt. His travel books were among the first to be illustrated with photographs.
We have used information from Encyclopaedia Brittanica, the Met (Metropolitan Museum of New York) and Digital Photo magazine in preparing the historical information. The condition statement is from the Catawiki expert who viewed the book.