From the Library of Princess Safinase, granddaughter of Sultan Abdul Hamid (1842-1918). The grandest book of engraved views of Constantinople with fine impressions of the plates in proof state before letters.
Having studied architecture and painting, Melling (1763-1831) went to the Levant at the age of nineteen and remained in Constantinople for eighteen years. In 1795 he was charged by the Sultan’s daughter with renovating her palace at Ortaköy, and was consequently granted access to the Sultan’s palaces, including the Harem. Melling’s sketches provided the earliest interior views, and having completed various projects for Selim III, Melling returned to Paris in 1803.
First edition, 2 vols, large folio (655 x 507mm.), text with half-title, title with gold printed tughra and engraved frontispiece of Sultan Selim III, and list of plates at end, atlas with 48 double-page engraved views by Duparc, Schroeder, Née, Dupréel, Dessaulx, Marillier and others after Melling, proof plates before letters, and 3 engraved maps and plans, contemporary morocco-backed marbled boards, flat spines gilt, rebacked preserving most of the original spines, boards restored, a few text leaves browned, some marginal water-staining, atlas with some marginal water-stains, otherwise a superb set with bright, crisp plates.
Atabey 799; Blackmer 1105; Brunet III, 1591; Lipperheide 1431; Weber I, 77
Stock ID: 98979