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Foundation of Modern Egyptology Book on Auction

An exceptional copy of the famous Description de l’Egypte, bound by Jean-Joseph Tessier in polished and richly decorated calfskin, is the highlight of a Christie’s Book and Manuscript auction of the Michel Wittock Collection, Part IV, in Paris on May 11, 2011.

The 23 volumes of the Description de l’Égypte, in the original mahogany display cases, is expected to realize €500.000 to €700.000. Christie’s describes the copy as the “first edition of this monumental publication, which is considered to be the foundation of modern Egyptology: a virtually complete set of the large paper issue, printed on woven paper with handcoloured ornithological plates. The Description de l’Egypte is the most extravagant official publishing enterprise ever accomplished.”

According to Christie’s, the Michel Wittock Collection, Part IV collection includes “a selection of French literature in master bindings from the late 19th to 21st centuries, by or after design by Marius-Michel, Rose Adler, Pierre Legrain, François-Louis Schmied and Paul Bonet. Jean de Gonet is represented in a unique selection of more than 30 examples ranging from 1977 to 2006.”

Description de l’Égypte Online

For more information on this fascinating publication, see digital versions of the
Description de l’Egypte online