Travels, or Observations Relating to Several Parts of Barbary and the Levant.
London: For A. Millar and W. Sandby, 1757. Quarto. v, , xviii, , 513, pp. Second edition. Illustrated with 15 maps (of which 9 are folding), 23 plates (of which 3 are folding), and numerous ornaments and initials from copper engravings. Considered by many to be the best description of North Africa of its epoch, Shaw's narrative was composed during his appointment as Chaplain to the English factory at Algiers, where he served from 1720 to 1733. The work is especially praised for its botanical and zoological descriptions and plates. This copy has been bound in full vellum, featuring a central circular underpainting of a classical statue on a gray wash background surrounded by pale blue and terracotta wash borders on the upper cover, and a monochrome underpainting of a ruined abbey on the lower cover. Both covers have borders of dog-tooth roll, pentaglyph and metope roll on a blue wash background, and ribbon, flower, and medallion roll. The smooth spine is divided into six compartments by blue wash and gilt bands: the title in gilt against a blue wash in one compartment, the remaining five compartments tooled in gilt with Greek-key and pointillé rolls and a repeated palmette tool. Housed in a modern cloth slipcase. A.e.g. The binding bears all the hallmarks of Edwards of Halifax, who perfected the technique of underpainting on vellum. Contents show occasional light foxing, and several plates show older repairs. Minimal soiling to vellum, color wearing from a few spine bands, and a couple of minor scratches to upper cover painting. Overall, a crisp copy in a pleasing binding. With the leather book label of Estelle Doheny on the front paste-down, in addition to that of Sir R. S. Milnes, as well as the book label of British traveler and folklorist Rachel Busk on the verso of the front endpaper. Item #30772