Auction 162, Lot 635

Roberts' Landmark Views of the Holy Land

"The Holy Land", Roberts, David

Subject: Holy Land

Period: 1879 (circa)


Color: Black & White

13 x 10 inches
33 x 25.4 cm

David Roberts, R.A. (1796-1864) was one of the first Europeans to depict the Middle East. Considered a dangerous and barbaric land, it was not until the Napoleonic invasion of Egypt after 1798 that any serious study had been done into the Pharoic culture. Sir Richard Burton's infamous penetration of Mecca did not occur until 1858, twenty years after Roberts painted the wonders of the Muslim world and the Holy Land. The sketchbooks from his journeys were one of the most popular publications of its time, allowing Victorian Europeans a peek into the exotic world from the comfort of their parlors.

This is a one-volume collection of Roberts' landmark views of the Holy Land, and includes 118 (of 120) sepia lithographs divided into three parts -- Jerusalem and Galilee, Bethlehem, and Idumea and Petra -- with each part separated by its own title page, frontispiece, and list of plates. The images were created from Roberts' original drawings and were lithographed by Vincent Brooks. Each image includes accompanying text with a historical description by George Croly.

The two missing images are Mount Tabor, from the Plain of Esdraelon and Nazareth - General View. Hardbound in quarter leather with tips over maroon cloth boards, with raised bands and gilt tooling and title on spine, marbled endpapers, and a.e.g.


Condition: B+

Condition grade is for the plates, which have light toning and scattered foxing throughout. The foxing is more prominent on the text pages, and many plates are clean and bright without any foxing. The first signature is almost entirely separated, and the text block is loose in some parts. The main title page is the most heavily foxed, and the first frontispiece has an edge tear that does not enter the image. The spine is completely separated. The covers and spine show light wear with bumped corners and some scuffing.

Estimate: $2,400 - $3,000

Sold for: $1,200

Closed on 4/26/2017