New York & London: Published by the Author / Trubner & Co, 1882. x,187pp. plus plates. Quarto (36 x 28.5 cm). Full 20th century brown morocco, raised bands, with original heavily gilt pictorial vignettes from the cloth binding inset into upper and lower boards. Portrait, photographs and engravings. Modest shelf rubbing at tips, faint crowned signet blindstamp in first three leaves, slight tanning at edges of textblock, a couple of preliminary and terminal blanks strengthened at gutter when rebound, but a very good, sound copy. First edition. Illustrated with thirty-two 'Artotypes," a four-figure plate of chromolithographs, and eighteen engravings. The extraordinary account of Commander Gorringe's expedition to transport the Egyptian Obelisk that now stands in New York's Central Park. A career officer in the US Navy, Gorringe was sent in 1876 in command of the "USS Gettysburg" on special service to the Mediterranean, where he remained until 1878, all the while contributing letters to the New York NATION. He came to fame in 1880 by his work in dismounting, packing, transporting and erecting the Egyptian obelisk ("Cleopatra's Needle") that had been offered to the US by the Egyptian Khedive Ismail in 1879 at the opening of the Suez Canal. On October 16, 1879, with the assistance of 100 Arabs, he rigged the obelisk into the hold of the steamer Dessoug. It arrived in New York on July 20, 1880 and it took 5 months to rig the Obelisk from the water to Central Park, where it arrived on January 22, 1881. The work also incorporates archaeological observations on and a census of Egyptian obelisks, along with accounts of the transfer of the London, Paris and Vatican Obelisks. Many of the photographs are credited to Edward Bierstadt, or to Hannoun & Bierstadt. (Inventory #: WRCLIT76588)
Atlases & Maps, Americana of all periods and areas, English,American & Continental literature, Natural History, Travel, Voyages
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