LOCHER, A. With Star And Crescent: A Full And Authentic Account of A Recent Journey with a Caravan From Bombay to Constantinople, Comprising a Description of the Country, The People, and Interesting Adventures with the Natives. Philadelphia, Aetna Publishing Company, 1889.
8vo. Original pictorial green cloth with bevelled edges, patterned endpapers; pp. 634, three steel-engraved portraits with tissue guards, wood-engraved plates; apart from light marking to cloth, a very clean and fresh copy with 1880s ownership inscription inside front cover.
First edition. The author travelled with the caravan of a French attaché. Sailing from Bombay via Muscat and Kuwait, they arrived at Baghdad, where the author remained for a while. They then continued northwards through Mesopotamia, crossing the Euphrates at Birecik, to Aleppo and finally to Iskenderun, where they took a steamer to Constantinople. The narrative offers a wealth of detail on the peoples and places en route, as well as of the author's marvellous adventures, including meetings with pirates and Bedouin marauders and hunting forays. He also provides a stomach-turning account of the so-called "Baghdad boils" that afflicted both travellers to, and inhabitants of, the area, recounted from his own personal experience. There are four binding variants; green, blue, red and brown cloth, the latter being the rarest.
We can only speculate about the author's identity. In the 1860s a Swiss merchant resided in Baghdad as representative of the Swiss export association. Julius Weber-Locher developed a keen interest in the antiquities of Nimrud and organized digging campaigns. The artifacts are now mostly in Swiss institutions. Our A. Locher must be a relative, probably son of the merchant, who had good connections with Marseille as well.