[HEJAZ TOPOGRAPHY / ACCOUNT OF TRAVELS TO ARABIA] Mâder-i Duniâ: Ittihad ve Terakki Cemiyet-i Osmaniyesine takaddüme-i sükraniyye. [i.e. Mother of the Earth].
MUHAMMAD SADIQ SHERIF [BEY], (1832-1902).
Cihan Kütübhanesi Matbaasi., Ist., [R.: 1324] = 1906.
Original wrappers. Restored spine. A very good copy. Foolscap 8vo. (17 x 12 cm). In Ottoman script (Turkish with Arabic letters). 152 p. Roumi: 1324 = Gregorian: 1906. First and Only Edition of this early and extensively rare book on the topography and descriptions of Hejaz, Mecca, and other parts of Arabian Peninsula such as Taif and Yemen. Sadiq Sherif was the grandson of Serif Abdulmuttalib who was Emîr of Mecca. This book written by him was dedicated to 'Progress and Union Society' [i.e. Ittihad ve Terakki Cemiyeti]. It describes the way of administration and territorial division of Hejaz after giving some information of its geography, borders, tribes and natives, mountains, rivers, crops and products, and animals of this Ottoman 'vilâyat' [i.e. province]. Sherif gives detailed information on how and when the Ottoman Empire ruled Hejaz, the location of Mecca city, its borders, physical and social geography, crops in Mecca and around, its flora, fauna, demographic structure, 'nahiyes', Kâba's construction, and its history, sacred places its around, Masjid-i Haram and other masjids, cemeteries, mountains, gifts by Ottoman caliphs to Kaba, 'Taif' area, people who were 'Emîr' of Mecca from the period of Mohammad, Wahhabism and its birth etc. At the last, Sherif gives place to his personal letter (layihâ) which includes 49 articles, and sent to Ottoman 'sadâret' [i.e. prime ministry], which is on the reforms that Hejaz needs. (Source: History of geographical literature during the Ottoman Empire, Edited by Ihsanoglu). Muhammad Sadiq Sherif Bey was the first person to take photographs of Mecca, Medina, and the Hajj in 1880 and 1881. Sadiq Bey trained as a military engineer after completing his studies in Cairo and at the École Polytechnique in Paris. It is not known when, or from whom, Sadiq Bey learned to take photographs but it was most probably through one of the resident photographers in Egypt. In 1861, prompted by the need to carry out more extensive military land surveys of the area between Wajh and Medina, Sadiq Bey made his first journey to Arabia. He took a camera along with his surveying equipment and took his first photographs of views at Medina. In a series of articles published in the Egyptian Military Gazette in 1877, he refers to his early photography at Medina describing the use of a 'photographia'. Sadly, however, none of the photographs from this first journey are known to have survived. In 1880 he was appointed the treasurer of the Mahmal, the ornate cloth to cover the Ka'ba brought each year on a special litter to Mecca. In his capacity as treasurer, he accompanied the Mahmal to Medina and Mecca from September 1880 until January 1881. Again equipped with his camera, he succeeded in producing the series of photographs which are offered here and which are now considered to be some of the earliest known surviving photographs of the region, those of the Ka'ba taken under great secrecy. Sadiq Bey published various accounts of his travels in Arabia in military journals and through the Emiry Grand Press in Cairo but the 1880/81 series of photographs appear to have been issued separately for wider distribution through the Société Khédiviale de Géographie. The society's secretary, Dr. Frederic Bonola, advertised sets of photographs for sale. In January and April 1880 Sadiq Bey gave a talk and report to the society on his earlier 1861 expedition, and on 20 May 1881 he presented a report on his recent journey to Mecca; detailed accounts were published in the society's bulletins, numbers 9/10 and 12. (Source: Christie's). Extremely rare. First and Only Edition. OCLC: 248374684 / 4082352.; Özege 11888.; Karatay, TM II: 695.; MKAHTBK, II: 991.