London: Daldy, Isbister & Co., 1877. Third Edition. Hardcover. Octavo size, 648 pp. Good +. Item #18031909
Charles Piazzi Smyth (1819-1900) has a fasinating life-story, one which would take more time to tell than we presently have in introducing this work. Suffice it to say that, in addition to a highly-regarded career in the field of astronomy (serving as the Astronomer-Royal for Scotland for a period of years), he was also an Egyptologist of sorts.
Having corresponded with pyramid theorist John Taylor (1781-1864), Smyth decided to go on an expedition to Egypt to accurately measure "every surface, dimension, and aspect of the Great Pyramid". His findings were published in 1864 (the first publication date of this work), which over the years he expanded. While his conclusions regarding a divinely-inspired "pyramid inch" were subsequently proven untrue, he still "made the most accurate measurements of the Great Pyramid that any explorer had made up to that time, and he photographed the interior passages, using a magnesium light, for the first time" (n.b., info and quotes from Wiki).
___DESCRIPTION: Bound in full green cloth, gilt device on front board of a "triple key" the parts attached to a circle with Egyptian symbols, triple narrow-ruled border in black on front board, same border in blind on the back board, gilt lettering on the spine with black narrow rules at the head and tail, grey coated endpapers, two illustrations of details of a pyramid drawn by Smyth serving as a frontis, tissue-guarded, volume dedicated to John Taylor (mentioned above), a total of twenty-four illustrations (including the frontis), which are bound together towards the beginning of the volume, a few in blue and black, index at the rear; octavo size (8" by 5.75"), pagination: [i-vii] viii-xviii [plates bound in other than frontis] [1-3] 4-626 [four pages of publisher's ads].
___CONDITION: Almost very good, with clean boards, gilt on both the front board and spine bright and unrubbed, straight corners, a strong, square text block, collated complete, the interior is clean and bright, and entirely free of prior owner markings; overall wear to the binding, most noticeable at the top front joint and tail of the spine, all corners somewhat rubbed (the top front corner more than the others), hinges just starting but both boards solidly attached.
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