Lettres à m. le duc de Blacas d'Aulps, premier gentilhomme de la Chambre, pair de France, etc., relatives au Musée Royal Egyptien de Turin; par m. Champollion le Jeune. Première lettre. Monuments historiques [- Seconde lettre. Monuments historiques].

Autore: CHAMPOLLION, Jean Francois

Tipografo: Firmin Didot père et fils

Dati tipografici: Paris, 1824-1826


Two volumes, 8vo (243x158 mm). [4], 109, [1] pp. and [3] plates; [4], 167, [1] pp. and 13 plates numbered IV-XVI. Each volume opens with the half title has a small woodcut vignette on the title page. Light foxing, very good uncut copies (volume one is still also unopened). Volume in the original printed wrappers, volume two in later wrappers. Minor faults to the spine and joint of the front cover of the first volume, small vertical tear to the same plate without loss.

First edition of this interesting work in which the author presents his research on the Drovetti collection of Egyptian antiquities in Turin. In 1823, Champollion the Younger had made the acquaintance of Pierre-Louis duc de Blacas d'Aulps (1771-1839), minister of Louis XVIII in exile, then minister of the King's House from 1814 to 1815 and ambassador to Rome from 1816 to 1817, who would become his protector and patron. Thanks to the protection of the Duke of Blacas, Champollion was able to devote himself to the study of the Drovetti collection, acquired by King Charles Felix in 1824. Champollion used the enormous Turin collection of papyri to verify his discoveries in the decipherment of hieroglyphic writing. The time Champollion spent in Turin studying the texts is also at the origin of a legend about the mysterious disappearance of the “Royal Papyrus”, which was only found later and of which some portions are still unobtainable (see François-Xavier Héry-Thierry Énel, L'univers de l'égypte ressuscité par Champollion, Aix-en-Provence, 1992).

Jean François Champollion said Champollion the Younger (Figeac, 1790 - Paris, 1832) was a French archaeologist and Egyptologist.  He is considered the father of Egyptology having first deciphered the hieroglyphics in 1822, arguing that the Egyptian writing was a combination of phonetic, ideograms and pictograms. 

Bernardino Michele Maria Drovetti (1776-1852) was a former colonel in the French army who later became French consul in Egypt. He was an explorer, diplomat, and art collector, and during his stay in Egypt he collected a large quantity of Egyptian antiquities, which he later resold to the King of Piedmont for the museum in Turin, to King Charles X for the Louvre, and to the King of Prussia for the museum in Berlin.

Italian Union Catalogue, IT\ICCU\0E\058204 and IT\ICCU\CFIE\024039.


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