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Military, Egypt, Mamluk Weapons, Napoleonic Expeditions, Antique Print, Paris, Early 19th Century


Cecile, Dutertre, Febre, Jollois, Jomard et al. (after)
Baltard, Leclerc, Ransonette, Reville et al. (engravers)
Lepere et al. (architectural plans)
Vases, Meubles et Instruments: Armes de Mamlouk,  E.M., Volume II, Plate N N.
[Vessels, Furnishings, and Instruments: Mamluk Weapons]
from Description de l’Egypte ou Recueil des observations et des recherches qui ont été faites en Egypte pendant l’expedition de l’armée Française
[Description of Egypt or Collection of Observations and Research Which Has Been Done in Egypt During the Expedition of the French Army]

Paris: 1st quarter, 19th Century
Copperplate engraving, uncolored
23 x 16.5 inches, plate mark
28 x 20.75 inches, overall

An engraving from a set illustrating art, architecture and natural history documented during Napoleon’s French campaign in Egypt and Syria at the turn of the 18th century. It comes from a section on functional objects and shows weapons of the Mamluks, a feudal military class that arose in Egypt from slave soldiers that served 9th-century Islamic rulers, and lasted there until 1811. The weapons are numbered according to a key at the bottom and include firearms, sabers, cutlasses, daggers, maces, pikes, an ax, a helmet, a shield, and parts of an equestrian harness. The intricate low relief decorations are faithfully depicted.

Product description continues below.


Description de l’Égypte was published over a 20-year period with the ambitious goal of cataloguing all known aspects of ancient and modern Egypt, including its natural history. It was based on the work of the Institut d’Égypte, established by Napoleon Bonaparte in a palace outside of Cairo during his expedition in Egypt as part of the French Revolutionary Wars (1798-1801). 160 civilian scholars and scientists worked in the institute’s library, laboratories, and workshops. The idea of a comprehensive publication was conceived by the end of 1798. Production of the finished work took place on a monumental scale, involving 2000 artists and technicians, including 400 engravers. Among the prominent French artists who contributed to this work were botanical artist Pierre-Joseph Redoute and ornithological artist Jacques Barraband. There were two editions beginning in 1808, but in general, there are 10 volumes of plates comprising a total of 894 plates made from over 3000 drawings. Of these ten, the first five volumes of plates depicted Antiquitiés [Antiquities], two État Moderne [Modern State], two  Histoire Naturelle [Natural History] and one of maps. The second edition is known as the Panckoucke edition, published by Charles Louis Fleury Panckoucke in the 1820s.

Subtitle lower margin: Armes de Mamlouk. 1..5 Tromblon, Pistolets &c. 6..10 Sabres et Coutelas. 11..18 Masses d’Arme, Hache, Pique. 19..26 Poignards. 27..28 Casque et Bouclier. 29..33 Harnachement. [Mamlouk’s weapons. 1..5 Blunderbuss, Pistols & c. 6..10 Sabers and Cutlass. 11..18 Maces of Weapon, Ax, Pike. 19..26 Daggers. 27..28 Helmet and Shield. 29..33 Harness.]

Condition: Generally very good with the usual toning, wear, handling, soft creases. Occasional scattered light foxing. Margins with scattered short tears, chipping, etc., all easily matted out.


“Description de l’Égypte.” Wikipedia. 4 August 2020. (22 January 2021).

“Mamluk.” Wikipedia. 10 February 2021. (18 February 2021).

Additional information


19th Century