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Item Description: "unterhalb der Darstellung bezeichnet und betitelt; aus: "Views in Egypt, from the Original Drawings in the Possession of Sir Robert Ainslie, taken during his Embassy to Constantinople " Robert Bowyer London 1812 [The original drawing was done by Luigi Mayer for Sir Robert Ainslie, during his embassy to Constantinople, then the capital of the Ottoman Empire. Mayer traveled widely in the region, recording scenes in Palestine, Egypt, and present-day Turkey. He paid great attention to architecture, costume, and landscape. These details are lovingly captured by the engraver and colorist bringing out much of the feel of the earth tones and atmosphere of region. The richness of the culture, both ancient and contemporary, is vividly and accurately illustrated, providing us with a privileged glimpse of the Middle East before the tremendous changes is was soon to undergo.]". Bookseller Inventory # 7869

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Item Description: London: T. Bensley, 1804-1803., 1804. 3 volumes in one. Folio (18 2/8 x 12 6/8 inches). Engraved frontispiece portrait of Mayer (spotted). 96 FINE hand-colored aquatint plates (some very minor offsetting of text onto plates, one or two pale marginal stains). Contemporary citron morocco gilt, all edges gilt (extremities scuffed). Provenance: 20th-century bookplate of Mildred Davey on the front paste-down. Second edition of the first title, and first editions of the other two, early issue with all plates with discernable watermarks dated 1801. Internally a bright and attractive copy of Thomas Milton's engravings of Mayer's original drawings commissioned by Ainslie, of the spectacular and exotic views of Egypt, Palestine and Constantinople. Born in Germany, Luigi Mayer studied with Piranesi in Rome and was later in the service of the King of Naples, for whom he made views of Sicily. In 1792 Mayer was hired in Constantinople as resident artist to a young Englishman touring the Levant. "Nothing is known of Ainslie's education or early career, but he seems to have worked as a spy, for he is said to have intercepted correspondence from the duc d'Aiguillon to the Spanish court during the Falklands crisis of 1770-71.On 20 September 1775 Ainslie was appointed to succeed John Murray as British ambassador to the Ottoman Porte, and he was knighted on the same day. After receiving his official instructions he left England in May 1776 for Constantinople, where he arrived in the following October. Ainslie's two principal objectives were to further British trading interests, represented by the Levant Company, who paid his salary, and to maintain peace in the region. France dominated the Levant trade, and relations between Britain and the Ottoman empire had worsened in the Russo-Turkish War (1768-74), when Britain had lent support to the Russian fleet. However, the new sultan, 'Abd-ul-hamid, who succeeded in 1774, advocated closer political and commercial ties with Britain to offset the latter's long-established interests in Russia, and he struck up an excellent relationship with Ainslie. Unlike some of his predecessors, Ainslie adapted well to life in Constantinople: being strongly attached to the manner of the people . in his house, his garden, and his table he assumed the style and fashion of a Musselman of rank; in fine, he lived en Turk, and pleased the natives so much by this seeming policy . that he became more popular than any of the Christian ministers. (St James's Chronicle, 9 Dec 1790). He certainly took advantage of the opportunity to purchase Ottoman and Byzantine antiquities and amassed a collection of drawings, many of which he commissioned from Luigi Mayer (d. 1803)" (Arthur H. Grant, rev. S. J. Skedd for DNB). Blackmer 1097 (1801 edition), 1099, 1098; Abbey, Travel 369; Atabey 785 (1801 edition), 786. Bookseller Inventory # 001959

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MAYER, Luigi (1755-1803).

Published by London: Thomas Bensley for R. Bowyer, 1801 (1801)

Used Hardcover

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From: Arader Galleries - Aradernyc (New York, NY, U.S.A.)

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Item Description: London: Thomas Bensley for R. Bowyer, 1801, 1801. Folio (18 4/8 x 13 inches). 48 hand-colored aquatint plates by Milton after Mayer with tissue guards (some minor marginal soiling and spotting, a few pages lightly browned). Contemporary tan straight-grain morocco, gilt-ruled border and frame, outer border of inlaid red morocco gilt-tooled with Greek key design, the inside corners of inner panel inlaid in black morocco with gilt-tooled floral scrolls on a dotted gold background, the spine in seven panels, with red morocco lettering-pieces in two, the others richly gilt inlaid with black and red morocco, gilt inner dentelles, all edges gilt, pink endpapers with a gilt border decorated at each inner corner with a fleuron (extremities a bit rubbed, corners bumped, a few stains and scrapes on covers). Provenance: from the library of Jacques Levy, his sale, Sotheby's, 20th April 2012, lot 234 An early issue with the plates watermarked 1794 and 1801. An attractive copy of Thomas Milton's engravings of Mayer's original drawings commissioned by Ainslie, of the spectacular and exotic views of Egypt. Born in Germany, Luigi Mayer studied with Piranesi in Rome and was later in the service of the King of Naples, for whom he made views of Sicily. In 1792 Mayer was hired in Constantinople as resident artist to a young Englishman touring the Levant. "Nothing is known of Ainslie's education or early career, but he seems to have worked as a spy, for he is said to have intercepted correspondence from the duc d'Aiguillon to the Spanish court during the Falklands crisis of 1770-71.On 20 September 1775 Ainslie was appointed to succeed John Murray as British ambassador to the Ottoman Porte, and he was knighted on the same day. After receiving his official instructions he left England in May 1776 for Constantinople, where he arrived in the following October. Ainslie's two principal objectives were to further British trading interests, represented by the Levant Company, who paid his salary, and to maintain peace in the region. France dominated the Levant trade, and relations between Britain and the Ottoman empire had worsened in the Russo-Turkish War (1768-74), when Britain had lent support to the Russian fleet. However, the new sultan, 'Abd-ul-hamid, who succeeded in 1774, advocated closer political and commercial ties with Britain to offset the latter's long-established interests in Russia, and he struck up an excellent relationship with Ainslie. Unlike some of his predecessors, Ainslie adapted well to life in Constantinople: being strongly attached to the manner of the people . in his house, his garden, and his table he assumed the style and fashion of a Musselman of rank; in fine, he lived en Turk, and pleased the natives so much by this seeming policy . that he became more popular than any of the Christian ministers. (St James's Chronicle, 9 Dec 1790). He certainly took advantage of the opportunity to purchase Ottoman and Byzantine antiquities and amassed a collection of drawings, many of which he commissioned from Luigi Mayer (d. 1803)" (Arthur H. Grant, rev. S. J. Skedd for DNB). Blackmer 1097 (1801 edition); Abbey, Travel 369; Atabey 785 (1801 edition). Catalogued by Kate Hunter. Bookseller Inventory # 72lib759

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