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Middle East & Islamic World / Arabic Printing & Calligraphy

First edition of Islamic Golden Age scholar Al-Zamakhshari's proverbs in Arabic and German

AL-ZAMAKHSHARI, Abu al Qasim Mahmoud ibn Omar (Joseph von HAMMER-PURGSTALL, ed.). Samachschari's Goldene Halsbänder. Als Neujahrsgeschenk arabisch und deutsch.
Vienna, widow of A. Strauss, 1835. 8vo. With two identical plates showing the golden necklace around a calligraphic Arabic inscription, the necklace hand-coloured in gold and the inscription in blue, as a frontispiece for both the Arabic and the German text (on the first and the last page). The Arabic title is incorporated into a printed circular medallion with decorative points at the head and foot on the first page, and the main Arabic text opens on the back of the same leaf with an elaborate headpiece. Text set in German and Arabic. Contemporary green calf (spine faded to brown), with a gold- and blind-stamped frame on each board. [1], [1 blank], 54 pp. (German text); 27, [1] ll. (Arabic text). Full description
€ 2,500
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The martyr of Lebanon: autobiography of an Arab prisoner of conscience

AL-SHIDYAQ, As’ad. Khabariyat As`ad al-Shidyaq alladhi udtuhida li-ajl iqrarihi fil-haqq. [Account of As ad al-Shidyaq who was persecuted for his steadfastness in the truth].
Malta, [Anglican] Church Missionary Society [for the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions], 1833. 12mo. With all text in Arabic and the wrapper with a decorated frame built up from typographic ornaments. Original publisher's letterpress printed wrapper. 52 pp. Full description
€ 4,500
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A rare survival of a printing device: a woodblock for the cross-cultural printing
of a Hebrew publication of the Song of Solomon

[ARABIC-SCRIPT PRINTER’S WOODBLOCK]. Hand-cut woodblock bearing the text "Safr Nishd al-nishad li-Süleyman ..." (Book of the Song of songs of Solomon) in naskh Arabic script.
[Probably Ottoman provinces, mid-18th century (ca. 1750)]. A single hand-cut woodblock (17 x 9 x 2.2 cm, with protrusions to the left and right making it wider - 11 cm - near the head to accommodate the wider 2nd line) intended for use as printing block, with 6 lines of text, together with an inked impression on 18th century paper (16.5 x 10.5 cm). Full description
€ 18,000
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The famous Arabic version of Robert Bellarmino's catechism, now with parallel Ethiopic

BELLARMINO, Roberto. Dottrina Cristiana composta dall...
Rome, Propaganda Fide, 1786. Large 4to. With 4 woodcuts on 3 plates, 1 full-page woodcut on the back of the title-page, and a few woodcut initials, factotums and decorations, as well as frames, factotums and decorations built up from arabesque and rococo typographic ornaments. Set in three columns in Ethiopic, roman and Arabic type. Contemporary vellum, gold-tooled spine title, red sprinkled edges. 97, [1] pp. Full description
€ 3,500
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The second book printed in Arabic from movable type
and a primary source for Columbus's second voyage to America

[BIBLE - POLYGLOT]. Psalterium, Hebr[a]eum, Gr[a]ecu[m], Arabicu[m], & Chald[a]eu[m], cu[m] tribus Latinis i[n]terp[re]tat[i]o[n]ibus & glossis.
(Colophon: Genoa, Pietro Paulo Porro, November 1516). Folio (33.5 x 25 cm). Title-page and first double-page opening of the main text printed in red and black, the former with a woodcut arabesque border, Porro's white on black woodcut leek device on the final leaf. With parallel text in Hebrew, Latin (3 versions), Greek, Arabic and Chaldean Aramaic (set in roman, Greek, Hebrew and Arabic type), giving 8 columns to each double-page spread (the 8th for notes) with 41 lines per columns, and 13 woodcut floriated initials (5 Latin, 4 Hebrew, 2 Greek and 2 Arabic). 16th-century blind-tooled brown calf. Rebacked and with later endpapers. 200 ll. Full description
€ 48,000
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1619 issue of the 1591 first edition of the Gospels in Arabic and Latin

[BIBLE - NEW TESTAMENT - GOSPELS - ARABIC & LATIN]. Arba`at Anajil Yasu` al-Masih Sayyidina al-Muqaddasah. Sacrosancta quatuor Iesu Christi D. N. Evangelia. Arabice scripta, Latine reddita, figurisq[ue] ornata.
Rome, Typographia Medicea, (1591)-1619. Folio (26 x 36.5 cm). Title-page printed in red and black, with the woodcut Medici coat of arms 81 woodcut illustrations in the text (plus 68 repeats), some initialled LP for the block cutter (Leonardo Parassole or less likely Lucas Pennis) and some also AT for the artist (Antonio Tempesta). Set in naskh Arabic type with the interlinear Latin text in roman. Contemporary Italian flexible boards with manuscript title on spine. [4], 9-462, [2] pp. Full description
€ 18,000
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782 Arabic proverbs collected before 1817, with explanatory notes

BURCKHARDT, Johann Ludwig. Arabic proverbs, or the manners and customs of the modern Egyptians, illustrated from their proverbial sayings current at Cairo, translated and explained ...
London, John Murray (colophon: printed by C. Roworth), 1830. Large 4to (28 x 22 cm). With a large folding engraved map of the Sinai, the Holy Land and parts of Egypt and Syria, showing Burckhardt's travels, and a few small woodcut illustrations in the text. Set in roman and italic type with the proverbs also in the original Arabic. Mid-19th-century half tan calf, spine with gold-tooled bands. VII, [1], 232 pp. Full description
€ 8,000
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Rare introduction to Arabic

[BURGESS, Thomas]. The Arabick alphabet...
Newcastle, printed by S[arah]. Hodgson, 1809. Large 12mo. Twentieth-century half calf, marbled sides, with a blind-tooled roll where the calf covering (including the corners) meets the marbled paper, gold fillets on the smooth spine, black morocco spine label with the title in large gold capitals running up the spine, lettered in gold. With 22 sturdy blank leaves at the end and the bookbinders ticket of "Period Binders, Bath". V, [3], 20 pp. Full description
€ 6,500
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Arabic grammar for Spanish missionaries in the Middle East

CAÑES, Francisco. Gramatica Arabigo-Española, vulgar, y literal. Con un diccionario Arabigo-Español, en que se ponen las voces mas usuales para una conversacion familiar, con el texto de la doctrina Cristiana en el idioma Arabigo.
Madrid, Don Antonio Perez de Soto, 1775. 4to. With Perez de Soto's device on the title-page. Set in roman, italic and Arabic type. Contemporary mottled sheepskin. [1], [1 blank], [14], 272, [5], [2 blank], XVII pp. Full description
€ 6,500
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