A HISTORY OF EGYPTIAN MUMMIES – Pettigrew, Thomas Joseph. 1834. Published by Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, Green & Longman, London
An Account of the Worship and Embalming of the Sacred Animals by the Egyptians; with remarks on the funeral ceremonies of different nations, and observations on the mummies of the Canary Islands, of the ancient Peruvians, Barman priests, &c. Pp. xxii+266 (last blank), plus hand-coloured frontispiece (by George Cruikshank, with tissue-guard; the frontispiece & several plates feature gilt highlights) and 12 hand-coloured and black & white plates (with tissue-guards; most by George Cruikshank), errata & corrigenda; roy. 4to; handsomely bound in qr brown calf and marbled boards, gilt-lettered brown morocco title-label, spine dated & decorated in gilt, new endpapers. Very good; slight soiling, some chipping & small closed edge-splits (with several professional repairs), four small inked annotations/marks (to title-page, pp. xviii-(xix light biro mark) & p. 123).
Two small blind stamps (Free Public Library, Newark) to preliminary leaves, plates lightly foxed, corners of boards a trifle rubbed.
AUTHOR’S PRESENTATION COPY, WITH HIS SIGNED INSCRIPTION TO PRINCE AUGUSTUS, DUKE OF SUSSEX (this laid down at a later date).
With a TLs from The Hon. Lady Roberts, Librarian & Curator of the Print Room, Royal Library, Windsor Castle, discussing the book’s provenance, loosely inserted. London: Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, Green and Longman, 1834. First edition; Large paper copy. (with thanks to Fiona Kells, Books of Kells P/L for use of this description used in A Cabinet Collection of Rare & Important EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY BOOKS where it was listed on my behalf ).
This book is not a regular subscription copy but a special presentation copy to the Duke of Sussex, because of this I have priced this book accordingly as it is the only known copy in this format, I surmise it was especially prepared by the author for the Duke. All the plates in this book are located together in the back of the book.
A HISTORY OF EGYPTIAN MUMMIES, 1834
– Pettigrew, Thomas Joseph. Published by Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, Green & Longman, London
An Account of the Worship and Embalming of the Sacred Animals by the Egyptians etc…the format of this volume is slightly different to the one described above. Two of the main plates are displayed in the front of the book before the title page, a mummies head and also a Graeco-Egyptian Mummy with gilding on both dated “unrolled April 6th 1833. It is possible that these were moved at some stage from the back of the book as there is a stain in the rear pages of this mummies head. I surmise that at some stage in its life it was rebound as the spine looks different to another subscription copy I have seen in the past.
This book is smaller as noted above; cover is buff buckram with leather edges and a quarter leather incursion to covers. Spine is raised and detailed in gilt black morocco with authors name, title and date. Charmingly worked gilt volutes make the spine very attractive on the shelf. Endpapers have been replaced and tape marks can been seen occasional pencil notes on front and rear endpapers in light pencil by previous owner. First several pages edges are damaged and worn in the area where you would turn the pages. Internally pages are very clean with a subscription copy note glued in on end paper at rear of book.
All plates intact and spaced throughout volume.
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Thomas Joseph Pettigrew (1791–1865)
Pettigrew was a surgeon and antiquarian who, inspired by Belzoni, became an expert on mummies. His London lectures in which he unwrapped and autopsied mummies were a sensation. A History of Egyptian Mummies includes much of the information from the lectures, and has been described as ‘the historic cornerstone’ of the study of mummies in English (Peck, 1998).
The book is one of the first instances in which scientific methods were applied in Egyptology. Pettigrew was both Surgeon and Librarian to Prince Augustus, Duke of Sussex (1773-1843), the sixth son of King George III. Formed with Pettigrew’s assistance, the Duke’s magnificent library was dispersed in a number of sales between July 1844 and April 1846. Pettigrew had compiled three volumes of a descriptive catalogue of the Duke’s library, the Bibliotheca Sussexiana (1827-39), by the time the books were sold. The catalogue remained unfinished but was well received and, in 1826, Pettigrew’s effort was honoured with a diploma of Doctor of Philosophy by the University of Göttingen.