May 26, 2016 - Sale 2417

Sale 2417 - Lot 199

Price Realized: $ 118,750
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 40,000 - $ 60,000
THE FIRST FOLIO WORLD ATLAS PUBLISHED IN THE MUSLIM WORLD. MAHMUD RAIF EFENDI. Cedid atlas tercümesi. 25 hand-colored maps, most double-page, some folding, including one double-page celestial chart. Engraved pictorial title. 79, [1] pages in Ottoman Turkish. Folio, 21x14 1/2 inches, recased, preserving original calf covers, with blindsamped arabesque in center; text bound upside-down, two initial (actually final) leaves heavily defective, edges varyingly dampstained throughout (this is often the case in the institutional examples we have examined, perhaps relating to the warehouse fire that was supposed to have destroyed many copies). Scattered pencil grafitti in Greek and French. Ink dealer's stamp on title and verso of Lesser Antilles map. Paper watermarks: Half moon; sabre over "W". [Istanbul]: Bu evan-i yumn-i ikbalde mahruse-yi Üsküdar'da müceddeden bina ve insa buyurlan Tab'hane-yi Hümayun'da tab' ve tekmili müyesser olmusdur ve bi-Allah'l-tevfik, sene 1218 [1803 or 1804]

Additional Details

This is the twelfth recorded complete example of perhaps the first folio world atlas published in the Muslim world. According to our records, this atlas has never before been offered at auction. The atlas is widely understood to have been published in an edition of 50, of which several copies were reserved for high ranking officials and important institutions. The remainder was partially destroyed in a warehouse fire during the Janissary Revolt of 1808. There are two complete examples in American institutional collections: the Library of Congress and Princeton University Library.

The maps are closely derived from those in William Faden's General Atlas, first published in 1796. Raif Efendi probably acquired that atlas while serving as Chief Secretary to the first permanent Ottoman Ambassador to London.

The Cedid atlas is predated by that of Katib Celebi and several map-illustrated isolarios and itineraries; however this stands as probably the earliest large folio world atlas printed in the Muslim world. The paucity of printed Ottoman atlases stems from longstanding bans on publishing throughout the empire. The Cedid atlas was produced during the Nizam-i Cedid reforms of Sultan Selim III (who received a deluxe example of this atlas). Those reforms took the Ottoman Empire closer to Western-style modernity.

Provenance: "Librarie Ancienne et Moderne / Georges Ladas / 81 Rue D'Academie 31 / Athenes."