large paper copy in a regency binding.
SALT, Henry. A Voyage to Abyssinia, and Travels into the Interior of that Country, 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 Mosambique to the Borders of Egypt; together with Vocabularies of their Respective Languages. London, W. Bulmer & Co. for F.C. & J. Rivington, 1814.
Large 4to (340 x 250mm). Contemporary full tan calf, spine gilt in compartments and lettered in one, highly decorated in gilt, all edges gilt; pp. xi, , 506, lxxv; 28 engraved plates by C. Heath after Salt, 2 engraved head- and tailpieces by Heath after Salt, 6 engraved maps by A. Macpherson after J. Outhett, 5 folding, one hand-coloured in outline, illustrations in the text, roman, greek and arabic types, retaining half-title; only minor rubbing to extremities, expertly rebacked some variable light spotting and browning; Provenance: armorial bookplate Frederick Ducane Godman inside front cover.
First edition, large paper copy in a good Regency binding. Salt visited Africa in 1809 on a British government mission to establish contact with the King of Abyssinia and to report on the state of the country. He stayed there for two years and on his return wrote this 'very interesting work' (Blackmer), which includes an account of the Portuguese settlements on the east coast of Africa and an appendix giving the vocabularies of the dialects spoken by different indigenous peoples inhabiting the coast from Mozambique to the borders of Egypt. As Czech notes, 'there is a description of shooting hippopotamus on the Tacazzi River, with perhaps the earliest printed illustration of hippo shooting'.
Provenance:Fredrick Ducane Godman (1834-1919) was a distinguished British lepidopterist, entomologist, ornithologist and traveller, who correponded with Darwin. Maybe two plates in this work, one of birds, the other one of insects, were enticing enough for him to purchase such a fine copy of this travel book on Abyssinia.
Blackmer 1479; Czech, African p. 141; Fumagalli 139; Gay 2683.