MICHAELIS, Johann David.

Recueil de questions, proposées


Recueil de questions, proposées
à une société de savants, qui par ordre de sa majesté danoise font le voyage de l’Arabie… traduit de l’allemand.
S.J. Baalde, Amsterdam 1774.

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The Recueil was published to accompany an edition of Description de l’Arabe by Carsten Neibuhr, issued by the same publishers in 1774. Neibuhr’s expedition was organised under the auspices of Frederick V of Denmark. Of the five savants who went on the expedition, some were pupils of Michaelis, the most celebrated orientalist of his day, and it was to him that Frederick turned for a list of subjects to be investigated and questions to be asked.

Bruce’s explorations in Africa, and in particular the interior of Abysinnia, are described in his celebrated account Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile in the Years (1790). At the finish of his extraordinary voyage “he took ship for Marseilles, where he arrived on 23 March 1773. French savants flocked to meet the man whom most Europeans had long presumed to have vanished in the interior of Africa” (ODNB). The pencil annotations are to sections discussing Abyssinia.


First edition in French, 4to., [iv], xliv, 256, [xxx], 38pp., JAMES BRUCE’S COPY with a few pencil annotations, contemporary tree calf gilt, red morocco lettering piece, an excellent copy.

Provenance: James Bruce (1730-1794), explorer, with “Bruce of Kinnaird” bookplate and several pencil annotations; Rosenkilde & Bagger, Cat.200, no.273 (1979); Dr. Bent Juel-Jensen (Amharic book label).


Gay 3366.


Stock ID: 79904