A Voyage to Abyssinia, and Travels into the Interior of that Country
Seller ID: 2293S
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 aboriginal African tribes, extending from Mozambique to the borders of Egypt; together with the vocabularies of their respective languages. Illustrated with a map of Abyssinia, numerous engravings, and charts. London: F. C. and J. Rivington, 1814. First edition (pp. xi, 506, lxxv). Large quarto (35 cm) in contemporary full polished calf, gilt titles and decoration; with thirty-seven fine folding maps and engravings. Hinges neatly repaired. Henry Salt (1780- 1827) first set out for the East at age twenty-two in the company of George Annesley (Viscount Valencia) whom he served as secretary, draughtsman, and companion. Annesley’s tour aboard an East Indian vessel included stops at the Cape of Good Hope, the Red Sea ports, and India. Later he published his Voyages and Travels to India (1809) in which Salt’s illustrations were featured (despite, it must be said, Salt’s clumsy way with anatomical features such as arms— his heads are quite good, though). On his first visit to the country, Salt was dispatched by Annesley on a mission to establish trade relations with various Ethiopian potentates. Later, after a sojourn in England, Salt set out “under orders” once again for Abyssinia with the intention of establishing diplomatic and trade relations with Ras Wolde Selassie who, as it turned out, was pre-occupied with the prosecution of a local conflict and unable to meet with Salt. Salt turned then to reviewing and correcting (or updating) James Bruce’s reports of his earlier travels in the region. Salt returned to England with a collection of various animals and plants and in 1814 published his Voyage to Abyssinia which we offer here. Returning once again to Africa, this time to Egypt, where he had been appointed Consul General, Salt served for the next dozen years as collector, agent, and conduit for the British Museum which had begun collecting artefacts of early Egyptian culture (the head of Rameses II, Sarcophagus of Set I). The Frankels’ sales catalogue of December 1952 (the last time this copy changed hands) describes it as “a pleasing account of the Cape of Good Hope”.
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