First edition of this wonderfully illustrated and important 19th-century account of Ethiopia (then-Abyssinia). Large 4to. , xvi, 506, lxxv. Complete with 6 folding maps, one hand-coloured, 28 engraved plates and 2 vignettes by Charles Heath after Salt. Untrimmed in recent dark brown half leather, decorative gilt spine with five raised bands and black labels. Marbled boards and new endpapers. Four pages of tipped-in publisher’s advertisements precede the text. There is a neat ownership inscription at the head of the title-page. A small amount of loss to the corner of page 83, however this in no way obscures the text. Near-fine. Only the faintest semblance of foxing and occasional spotting throughout. In excellent shape for a book of its age and weight. The plates remain in remarkable condition, both illustrative and beautiful. With the experience of two prior missions in and around the Horn, 1802 and 1805 respectively, in 1809 Henry Salt was selected to act as a “quasi-official envoy marching from the Red Sea coast with an escort of 160 bearers to explore trade and diplomatic links with the Ethiopian emperor Wolde Selassie. Britain fearing a French alliance with Egypt, wished to secure a port on the Red Sea” (Howgego). The mission was to benefit him greatly as whilst in the country he began to make detailed observations on the geography, the customs of the indigenous peoples, and the flora and fauna, returning with numerous specimens, including a previously unknown dik-dik. Whilst the mission itself yielded little by way of concrete results, Salt’s personal efforts were rewarded when on his return he was made a fellow of the “Royal Society, the Linnean Society, and a correspondent of the Institut de France. In 1812 he was elected one of the very few honorary members of the African Association in acknowledgement of information he had procured in its interest”. An accomplished draftsman himself, the majority of plates herein are by his own hand. Charles Heath, “”a pioneer in new printmaking techniques” (ODNB)” was employed as an engraver. A thorough, insightful and magnificently illustrated depiction of 19th century Ethiopia in excellent condition.
SALT, Henry, A Voyage to Abyssinia, and Travels into the Interior of that Country, executed under the orders of the British Government, in the Years 1809 and 1810; in which are included, an Account of the Portuguese Settlements on the East Coast of Africa, visited in the course of the voyage; a Concise Narrative of Late Events in Arabia Felix; and some particulars respecting the aborginal African tribes, extending from Mosambique to the borders of Egypt; together with Vocabularies of their Respective Languages., Printed for F. C. and J. Rivington, St Paul’s Church-Yard, 1814
SKU: 034991 Categories: History, Travel Tags: abyssinia, Africa, anthropology, cape, colonial, colony, Empire, empires, ethiopia, ethnography, expedition, experditions, henry, horn, of, salassie, salt, selassie, travels, Victorian