BADGER, George Percy. The Nestorians and their Rituals: With the Narrative of a Mission to Mesopotamia and Coordistan in 1842-1844, and of a late Visit to those Countries in 1850; also, Researches into the present Condition of the Syrian Jacobites, Papal Syrians, and Chaldeans, and an Inquiry into the Religious Tenets of the Yezeedees. London, Masters, 1852.
Two volumes, 8vo. Original publisher's brown cloth, spines lettered in gilt, ornamented in blind; pp. , xxii, 448; , xii, , 426, 52 (publisher's catalogue, dated October, 1851), two lithographic portrait-frontispieces, twp lithographic plans, a few illustrations in the text, 14 titnted lithographic plates with tissue guards, and two folded lithographic maps printed on silk; light wear to extremities, only a few minor spots here and there, a very good copy of a great rarity; provenance: bookplates and ownership inscription of Jane Silence Erskine with withdrawn stamps on front paste-downs; title-pages with 19th-century Church of Scotland stamps and release stamps.
Very rare first edition, an important book on the Christian communities of Northern Iraq. The Arabic scholar and missionary George Percy Badger (1815-1888) had worked in the early 1840s in Northern Iraq as 'emissary of the bishop of London and the archbishop of Canterbury to the ‘Nestorian’ Church of the East in Kurdistan. He caused controversy there by his campaign against the American protestant mission. He was also accused of advising the patriarch to assert his independence from the local Kurdish ruler, advice which A. H. Layard and others blamed for the Kurdish massacre of Christians in 1843. It was partly to allay such criticism that Badger wrote The Nestorians and their Rituals (1852), after a return visit to the area in 1850. This is both an informative travelogue and a sourcebook for ‘Nestorian’ history, doctrine, and ritual' (ODNB).
Provenance: 'Lady Jane’s maiden name was Silence Williams, and she inherited the Plas Isaf and Pwllycrochan estates in 1808 from her father the Rev. Hugh Williams of Conway. She met David Erskine of Cambo, Fifeshire, while touring the continent; they were married in 1821 and chose to reside at Pwllycrochan. Sir David was born in Sweden in 1792 and was the grandson of the ninth Earl of Kellie, and died in 1841. Sir David was buried at Cambo, but the Dowager Lady Erskine continued to reside at Pwllycrochan, with the new baronet, Sir Thomas Erskine, and five other children. In the year 1850 a gorsedd was held at Pwllycrochan at which the Dowager Lady Erskine was admitted to the degree of Ovate with the Bardic title of Ifores Gwynedd. Furthermore, she was president when the National Eisteddfod was held in Conwy Castle in 1861. Lady Jane Erskine died in 1886' (Tirlun Barr Associates, Pinewood Housing, Conwy, Archaeological Assessment, online).
Blackmer 61 ('important and very interesting'); not in Atabey. - The last complete copy to appear at auction, a copy not in the publisher's binding, fetched £2125.