"ONE OF THE GREAT BOOKS ON THE TOPOGRAPHY OF THE HOLY LAND": FULLER'S ILLUSTRATED PALESTINE, 1650 FIRST EDITION WITH DOUBLE-PAGE ENGRAVED MAPS AND PLATES
(HOLY LAND) FULLER, Thomas. A Pisgah-Sight of Palestine and the Confines thereof, with the History of the Old and New Testament acted thereon. London: John Williams, 1650. Folio (9 by 13-1/2 inches), contemporary full brown calf, sympathetically rebacked in calf-gilt, red morocco spine label, raised bands. $12,500.
First edition of this classic work, with engraved title page, engraved armorial plate, large detailed folding map of Palestine on two sheets, 20 double-page engraved maps—including one of Jerusalem—and seven double-page engraved plates.
Fuller's work is noted for its splendid maps of the Holy Land, elaborately detailed with vignettes, emblems and scenes. "This curious and singular work is not a mere geographical work, but contains many things relating to Jewish antiquities, and to the manners and customs of the people" (Lowndes, 848). "Pisgah-Sight is one of the great books on the topography of the Holy Land" (Maps of the Holy Land, 130). Pisgah refers to Mount Pisgah, from which Moses saw the Promised Land for the first time. Based on printed sources rather than actual travel, Fuller's great work reflects the European interest at the time in the topography of the Holy Land, as well as the Ark of the Covenant, the Tabernacle, and the Temple, all presumably of divine origin. Fuller "was Milton's exact contemporary and a student at Cambridge during Milton's years there…The Miltonist may be led to the Pisgah-Sight in particular by annotations to Paradise Lost, which point to Fuller's book as a contemporary authority for biblical topography, and especially for the appearances, habits and haunts of those Canaanite idols who seduced the Israelites from their allegiance to the true God" (Sandler, Thomas Fuller's Pisgah-Sight of Palestine as a Comment on the Politics of Its Time, 317). To finance its publication Fuller secured sponsors—including prominent poets, peers and politicians—for each section of his work, then acknowledged each patron by name in a decorative cartouche on the map or plate for the corresponding section. Containing both engraved allegorical title page and bordered title page with woodcut-engraved crown; ornamental initials head- and tailpieces; index and errata. Collation compete in conformation with ESTC R18096. Armorial plate lightly hand-colored. Wing F2455. ESTC R18096. Gibson SVIII:1. Cox I:208. Engraved armorial bookplate of Richard Boycott with engraved motto, "Pro Rege et Religione" (For King and Religion). Early bibliographic clipping to front pastedown.
Text and plates fresh with only tiny bit of repaired marginal wormholing to early leaves, occasional early archival and expert reinforcment to guttter edges and margins. An extremely good copy.