A Series of Portraits of the Emperors of Turkey, from the Foundation of the Monarchy to the Year 1815. Engraved from Pictures Painted at Constantinople. Commenced under the Auspices of Sultan Selim the Third, and Completed by Command of Sultan Mahmoud the

Lot Number 374
Author YOUNG, JOHN
Title A Series of Portraits of the Emperors of Turkey, from the Foundation of the Monarchy to the Year 1815. Engraved from Pictures Painted at Constantinople. Commenced under the Auspices of Sultan Selim the Third, and Completed by Command of Sultan Mahmoud the
Year Published 1815
Place Printed (London: Printed by William Bulmer and Company,
Printed By
Description A Series of Portraits of the Emperors of Turkey, from the Foundation of the Monarchy to the Year 1815. Engraved from Pictures Painted at Constantinople. Commenced under the Auspices of Sultan Selim the Third, and Completed by Command of Sultan Mahmoud the Second. (London: Printed by William Bulmer and Company, 1815) Folio (22 3/8 x 16 3/8 in.; 568 x 415 mm). Letterpress title-pages in English and French, additional handcolored engraved mezzotint title-page in French, text in English and French, 31 very fine color-printed engraved mezzotint portraits, finished by hand, by John Young, all but the final 2 being oval portraits within lettered oval frames, each with a view within a panel at the foot and the whole enclosed by a rectangular frame; occasional light marginal soiling or spotting. Contemporary red morocco by Charles Hering, with his ticket, covers panelled with wide gilt-roll border, gilt-rule frame with large arabesque cornerpieces, and empty central panel, spine gilt in seven compartments, wide turn-ins gilt-ruled, purple moiré silk linings, gilt edges; extremities rather worn, spine faded.
Comments Abbey, Travel 372; Atabey 1350; Blackmer 1863; Lipperheide 1429 First edition; a large- and thick-paper copy, with brilliant impressions of the plates, of arguably the greatest color-plate book on the Ottoman Empire. The Levy copy has the second issue of the title-page sequence, with the English and French titles both without imprint and with the terminal date 1815 for the scope of the work. This copy also includes the final two portraits (of Sultan Mustapha Khan IV and Sultan Mahmoud Khan II), which were engraved slighly later than the others and in a variant style. In the preface, Young explains that he was first offered this commission by Sultan Selim III in 1806, but that the work was suspended in 1807 after the Sultan was assassinated by the Janissaries following his attempt to reform the infantry-bodyguard corps along Western European lines. Sultan Mahmoud II succeeded to the throne in 1808 and in 1810 he gave Young leave to continue with the book. Young based his mezzotints, he writes, on copies of the original royal portraits "executed by a Greek peasant at Constantinople, who displayed such proofs of natural talent, as to induce the Emperor Selim to patronise him. Disregarding the prejudices of his country, the Sultan drew forth the memorials of his ancestors from their long concealment; and they were, by his order, removed to a situation where he had a constant opportunity of overlooking and directing the performances of the artist. ... The inventive talent of our ingenious Greek has supplied to each Picture a Vignette, or emblematical representation, which generally exhibits a remarkable occurence in the life of the Emperor to whose Portrait it is subjoined."
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Provenance
Estimated Price USD 60,000.00 - 90,000.00
Actual Price USD 158,500.00

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AUCTION DETAILS

Auction House Sothebys
Website http://www.sothebys.com/
Auction Name Library of Jacques Levy
Sale Number #NO8852
Auction Date April 20, 2012 - April 20, 2012
Book Images