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Wilkinson, John Gardner; Samuel Birch, ed. The manners and customs of the ancient Egyptians. London: John Murray (pr. by William Clowes & Sons), 1878. 8vo (23 cm, 9"). 3 vols. I: xxx, 510 pp.; 12 plts. (of which 5 col. & 6 fold.), illus. II: xii, 515,  pp.; 5 plts. (of which 2 col. & 2 fold.), illus. III: xi, , 528 pp.; 12 plts. (of which 2 col. fold. & 10 fold.; full-page illus. incl. in pagination), illus. $400.00
First edition of this revised and corrected version of => the work that helped launch Egyptomania among the 19th-century English masses. A dedicated traveller and independent scholar, Wilkinson (1797–1875) was at the forefront of British Egyptology — as was editor Birch (1813–1885), keeper of Egyptian antiquities at the British Museum — and this massive, detail-packed study of ancient Egyptian history and culture, first printed in 1837, brought him both general fame and a knighthood.
This three-volume set is => extensively illustrated with hundreds of in-text wood engravings as well as the 72 remarkable plates, many based on Wilkinson's own drawings. (Please note that this total follows the publisher's practice, which includes in the count of plates a number of the third volume's full-page illustrations with printed text on the reverse.) => Nine of the plates are printed in color, and 19 are oversized folding images.
Contemporary speckled calf rebacked some time ago with original spines laid on, covers framed in gilt roll; spines gilt extra with acanthus motifs and with gilt-stamped leather title and volume labels; marbled endpapers and all page edges marbled. Joints rubbed (edges less so) with joints also dry; spine leather of all volumes dry and variously rubbed/chipped; vol. I with volume label chipped and back joint starting from head — priced according to faults yet with all volumes "holding" and more attractive than some of this detail would suggest. Interior very bright and remarkably unfoxed, with a very few scattered spots only; clean and crisp. => Desirable, as an example of this important work. (41532) Please RESHELVE This.
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