WILLYAMS, Cooper. A Voyage Up the Mediterranean in His Majesty's Ship the Swiftsure, One of the Squadron Under the Command of Rear-Admiral Sir Horatio Nelson, K.B. Now Viscount and Baron Nelson of the Nile and Duke of Bronte in Sicily. With a Description of the Battle of the Nile on the First of August 1798, and a Detail of Events That Occurred Subsequent to the Battle in Various Parts of the Mediterranean. London, T. Bensley for J. White. 1802.
Large folio. Contemporary crushed morocco by Staggemeier and Welcher of London (binder's label on front fly-leaf), decorated in gilt and with new spine; pp. xxiv, 309, engraved dedication page, tinted aquatint battle plan, double-page tinted aquatint maps, 41 superb hand-coloured aquatints after Willyams, engraved by Joseph Constantine Stadler, wood-engraved illustrations in text; some scuffing and rubbing to edges externally but internally very good, making this an extremely desirable copy of a sought-after work on the region and the historical events; bookplate Robert Frederick Green; the coat-of-arms re those of the eminent book collector Sir Mark Masterman-Sykes (1771-1823).
First edition, large paper copy. Abbey describes this as: "A finely produced book." The plates were considered good enough to be used 20 years later in "A Selection of Views": "their colouring on this occasion being very inferior" (Abbey). Willyams, a chaplain and artist, was present at the Battle of the Nile in which the French forces of Napoleon were beaten by Horatio Nelson. According to DNB his is 'the first, the most particular, and the most authentic account of the battle'.
The book appeared in two different formats, both either coloured or uncoloured. The coloured large paper version was sold for ten pounds and ten shillings in 1802, a staggering price at the time.
Staggemeier & Welcher were German émigré bookbinders at work in London in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, renowned for their stylish design and fine execution.
Abbey Travel 196; Ibrahim-Hilmy vol. II p. 335; Prideaux pp. 223 and 357; Blackmer 1813; Atabey 1339 (second edition).