Description de l'Egypte, Napoleon

The engravings made for Napoléon's about Egypt are some of the magnificent ever made.

In 1798 Napoleon launched an expedition to sieze Egypt. It included some of Frances finest. It had 35,000 soldiers, 160 scholars, 2000 artists and 400 engravers. Celebrated artists such as Jacques Barraband, Pierre-Joseph Redouté and Geoffrey Saint-Hilaire were involved.

Their task was to record all aspects of Egypt. This included places, ancient monuments and the flora and fauna. It was the first major study of a land almost unknown to Europeans. They discovered the Valley of the Kings. They found the Rosetta stone, which enabled scholars to decode hieroglyphics.

They created 16 volumes of massive engravings, titled "Description de l’Egypte". They were the largest engravings ever made. The first volumes were presented to Napoleon in 1808. The low number of sets made (~1000), its extremely high price and huge size made the work accessible only to society's elite. Even today, it's likely only major state museums and libraries own complete sets. In 2016, Sothebys of London sold a set for GBP 320,750 (US $442,000).

We were very fortunate to aquire an almost complete set. We seized our opportunity when the art market stalled due to the financial crisis of 2008.

Here is your opportunity to own one of these rare, beautiful and important antique engravings.

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