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Wiebeking, Carl Friedrich

Von dem Einfluss der Baukunst auf das allgemeine Wohl und die Civilisation. Eine Abhandlung in der zur Feyer des Allerhöchsten Namensfestes Sr.Majestät des Königs von Baiern gehaltenen öffentlichen Versammlung der Baierischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, am 12 Oktober 1816.

Nürnberg, Riegel und Wiesner (1816).

Reference: 13522
Price: £630 [convert currency]

Full Description

4to. Engraved frontispiece (printed in sepia), 84pp, large folding map of the River Nile, also (4)pp of printed advertisements, dated August 1814, for Wiebeking’s publication on Wasserbaukunst and related titles by him. Contemporary (or later nineteenth century ?) blue paper boards, the upper cover discoloured at foot, smaller spots and stains elsewhere. A very good, clean copy internally.

A rare publication which prints the text of a lecture given by Carl Friedrich von Wiebeking (1762-1842) to the Bavarian Academy of Sciences in October 1816. What its title entirely fails to reveal is that the lecture was devoted to the civil engineering and architectural achievements of the ancient Egyptians, with particular reference to the great canal built in the Pharaonic period parallel to the river Nile and extending from close to Alexandria in the north to just beyond Abydos in the south. This was a topic which Wiebeking, architect, civil engineer and specialist in the design of roads, bridges and canals, was particularly well qualified to discuss, and among various additional notes appended to his text proper he takes the opportunity to put on record for his readers the major Bavarian public works programme carried out under his direction in the opening years of the nineteenth century. The present publication, which has a ravishing sepia frontispiece illustrating the entrance pylons of the temple complex at Thebes, was followed by three subsequent part publications by Wiebeking under the same title, respectively dating from 1817, 1818 and 1819, but these deal with different aspects of the history of architecture and civil engineering, and it looks as if the lecture on Egypt may originally have been intended as a separate publication in its own right. It is certainly very uncommon today, and the absence of any mention of Egypt in its title has no doubt meant that it has remained unfamiliar to many specialist collectors of books on that country.