2 p.l., viii, 236 pp. 8vo, attractive antique calf, double gilt fillet round sides, flat spine gilt, uncut. Paris: veuve Tilliard et Fils, 1805.
The rare sale catalogue of the library, rich in oriental books and manuscripts, of Anquetil-Duperron (1731-1805), French orientalist and brother of the historian Pierre Anquetil. Abraham Hyacinthe had a fascinating early life: while unsuccessfully studying for the priesthood in Paris and Utrecht, he developed a passion for Hebrew, Arabic, Persian and other languages of the East. He travelled to India as a private soldier in 1754 in order to search for the works of Zoroaster. Granted free passage, he learned modern Persian in Pondicherry and Sanskrit at Chandernagore. When war broke out between France and England, Anquetil-Duperron travelled widely throughout India on foot, learning further languages and studying the antiquities and sacred laws of the Hindus.
He returned to Europe in an English vessel, ultimately arriving in Paris in 1762 with 180 oriental manuscripts. He devoted many of the following years to scholarship, editing and publishing many important oriental texts. The French Revolution seems to have greatly affected him: during that period he abandoned society and lived in voluntary poverty on a few pence a day.
A fine copy. 1600 lots and priced throughout in a contemporary hand. From the library of Jean Viardot.
❧ Gustave Brunet, Dictionnaire de Bibliologie Catholique, col. 408–“Ce catalogue est curieux, surtout pour les livres en langues étrangeres.” Grolier Club, Printed Catalogues of French Books Auctions…1643-1830, 458. Peignot, p. 77.
Item ID: 3089