Lot 69

Africa - DENHAM (D.), CLAPPERTON (H.) & OUDNEY (W.). Travels and discoveries in the North and central parts of Africa, through the great desert, up to the 10th degree of latitude north, and from Kouka, in the Bornou, to Sackatou, capital of the Felatah Empire; executed during the years 1822, 1823 and 1824. Followed by an appendix containing an essay on the language of the Bornou, the vocabularies of the languages of Timbuktu, Mandara and Begharmi; translations of Arabic manuscripts on the geography of the interior of Africa; documents on mineralogy, botany, and the various branches of natural history of this region. Translated from the English by Messrs Eyriès and de Larenaudière. Paris, Arthus Bertrand, 1826.
3 vol. in-8 of text and 1 vol. in-folio of uniformly bound atlases in purple glazed half calf, spine ribbed, fine cold-stamped roulette wheel framing the plates. 2] 366 pp., 1 ff.n.ch., [2] 378 pp., 1 ff.n.ch., [2] 428 pp., [1] 1 ff.n.ch., 19 pl. including 1 large map.
Original edition of the French translation of this famous relationship by MM. Eyries and de Larenaudière. The plates represent natives, views, weapons, utensils, etc. (Gay 337; Chadenat 558 "one of the most important works on this part of Africa").
Leaving Tripoli in 1821 for Timbuktu, Major Dixon Denham (1786-1828) reached Mourzouk (now Libya) and crossed the Bilma desert (following a trail of skeletons of men and animals!) before reaching Bilma, the capital of Tibesti and then Bornou. The expedition then went around Chad, crossed the Komadougou river and arrived in Kouka where it was very well received and where it participated in several slave raids! After many explorations in the region, Denham returned to Tripoli in August 1824, becoming the first European to circumnavigate Lake Chad. He had noticed that the lake had no visible flow and that, contrary to belief, the Niger and the Nile formed two entirely separate basins. Upon his return, Denham was appointed governor of the free Negro colony of Sierra Leone until his death.
Dr. Oudney (1790-1824) was sent on mission to Bornou to assume the office of consul. He joined, with his fellow Scotsman, Captain Clapperton (1788-1827) on the Denham expedition in 1822. While Denham explored the west bank of Chad alone, the two men decided to explore the Niger River through the Fellatah Empire and were the first to visit the town of Kano, from where they brought back many notes. After Oudney's death on the spot, exhausted by the journey, Clapperton returned to England with Denham and left almost immediately for a new expedition to the same countries.
The atlas, although much larger in size, is uniformly bound with the text, which is rare. Rare freckles, a little more pronounced on 2 plates.