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"The history of the forty viziers" in Ottoman Turkish, printed beautifully in Arabic by the Imprimerie Impériale in Paris, with a contemporary literal manuscript translation by a French orientalist


[Kýrk vezir hikâyeleri ... = Contes Turcs en langue turque, extraits de roman intitulé, Les quarante vizirs].
[Paris, Imprimerie Impériale, 1812]. 4to. The Ottoman Turkish text is set in Arabic characters. The half title on the front wrapper and the first page of text are set in a decorative printed frame. With an integral manuscript French translation of the text in the margins. Original publishers printed paper wrapper.
With: (2) [AHMED-I MISRI - SEYHZADE]. BELLETESTE, Henri-Nicolas (compiler). Contes Turcs en langue turque, extraits du roman intitulé, les quarante vizirs. [= Kýrk vezir hikâyeleri ...].
Paris, l'Imprimerie Impériale, 1812. 4to. The text is entirely in Arabic, except for an additional title page in French. Both Arabic and French title pages include the vignette of the French l'Imprimerie Impériale. Blue wrappers with a white printed title label on the spine, stored in a custom-made case, half red leather with the title in gold on the spine and white and green decorated sides. Ad 1: 160 pp. Ad 2: [2], 258, [2] pp.

€ 12,500

Two excellent examples of Arabic printing by the French Imprimerie Impériale: the 1812 edition of "the history of the forty viziers" in Ottoman Turkish. This collection of Turkish folk tales is a variation of the Thousand and One Nights stories. These frame stories play an important role in the storytelling tradition of the Middle East and often form the basis (Middle) Eastern literature in general. Examples of these stories are found in early Indian, Iranian and Arabic sources, but the exact origin of the stories of the forty viziers is not clear.
Ad 1: A unique annotated early 19th century copy of Kýrk vezir hikâyeleri (The stories of forty queens), known as the history of the forty viziers containing an integral and literal translation of the first 160 pages of the Ottoman Turkish work. The translation and further annotations on Ottoman Turkish syntax and vocabulary are written in a (near) contemporary hand in brown ink. The marginal annotations were probably written around the 1820's by a French orientalist.
This particular manuscript translation is unique and one of the very first French translation of these stories.
Ad 2: The present copy is a complete example of the 1812 edition. It contains forty stories, including the introduction, the story of (and dedication to) Sultan Mahmud, the frame story, twenty stories of the viziers, and twenty stories of the women.
Both ad 1 and ad 2 are compiled by Henri-Nicolas Belleteste (or Belletête, ca. 1746-1822), a French orientalist, and published posthumously in 1812.
Ad 1: With the integral manuscript translation of the present text into French in a contemporary hand in brown ink in the margins. Front wrapper detached, spine damaged, edges frayed, lacking the back wrapper and the last 96 pages of the work. Ad 2: Without the frequently missing 48 pp. of Belleteste's unfinished French translation. Wrappers are slightly stained and slightly damaged, mainly around the spine and the edges, without affecting the integrity of the binding. The text has generous, uncut margins, thus the edges are slightly frayed. The custom-made case is slightly scuffed around the corners and edges. Otherwise in good condition. Not in Blackmer; cf. Atabey 908 (= incomplete).

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Related Subjects:

Islamic culture  >  Arabic Printing & Calligraphy | Islamic Art & Culture
Middle east & islamic world  >  Turkey & Ottoman Empire