Lot 1006: James Ellsworth De Kay SKETCHES OF TURKEY IN 1831 & 1832 1833 First Edition Antique Travel Journal Near East
October 22, 2016
Freeville, NY, USALive Auction
Title: Sketches of Turkey in 1831 and 1832
Author: James Ellsworth De Kay - James Ellsworth De Kay (alternatively spelled DeKay or Dekay) was an American zoologist.
De Kay returned to Oyster Bay, New York, giving up medicine for the study of natural history. On the outbreak of cholera in New York City, De Kay hastened to give his services to the afflicted, although the practice of his profession was repugnant to him. He became involved with the Geological Survey of New York initiated in 1835. As a result, he published the multi-volume "Zoology of New York State, or; The New-York Fauna" printed by George Endicott over the years 1844–1849. This work was illustrated by the British born American painter John William Hill. De Kay died at Oyster Bay in 1851.
Publisher: J. & J. Harper
City: New York
Printing Information: First Edition
Binding Style: Hardcover
Pagination: 527 pages
Width: 6" Height: 9.75"
Book Details: This is a rare first edition of this work of travel literature. The author writes in the introduction "In the following pages I have attempted to preserve a record of my own impressions without reference to the descriptions of many preceding tourists, who seem to have taken a marvellous pleasure in exaggerating the vices and suppressing the good points of the Turkish character. It will be found that in my estimate of the Turks I coincide with a revered traveller, who asserts that "There is no people without the pale of Christianity who are better disposed towards its most essential precepts.""
De Kay offers observations on a broad range of subjects including a great number of aspects of daily life in Constantinople, Turkish customs and history, and those of neighboring peoples such as the Greeks and Armenians.From the consignor's notes: The author was an American zoologist who traveled to Turkey with his father-in-law in 1831 and 1832. In this work, he records his observations of daily life in Constantinople, of Turkish customs and history, as well as those of neighboring peoples, including the Armenians and Greeks.
Condition / Notes: This antique first edition has been re-backed. The work is bound in brown cloth with leatherette backstrip. The original spine cover, which was significantly chipped, has been affixed to the leather backstrip. The covers display rubbing at the corner and moderate soiling. The binding is firm, with cloth-reinforced hinges. A previous owner's signature is present to the rear paste-down, and the endpapers are significantly foxed. The front flyleaf shows loss at the bottom corner. The original owner wrote the author's name in Arabic on the title page, under the line "By an American." Foxing appears throughout, with a few spots of moisture markings. This work is adorned with textual occasional illustrations, and includes an index.
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