[TOPOGRAPHY / CARTOGRAPHY / ENGINEERING] Mecmuâ-yi fenn-i mesâha. [i.e., Collection of land surveying and topography]

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OSMAN NAZIM PASHA (1853-1913), Mihran Matbaasi, Istanbul, AH 1299 = [1882].

In fine original prize binding of “Üsküdar Füyûzât-i Hamidî Mektebi”. 4to. (28 x 20 cm). In Ottoman script (Old Turkish with Arabic letters). 35, [29] p., 150 numbered woodcut illustrations in 29 plates. Calligraphic title of the school’s name and “Üsküdar” in decorative borders on the front board and Ottoman state symbol on the rear board, occasional stains on the rear board, and some marginal tears pp. 18-35, not affecting the illustrations and text. Overall, a very good copy.

Extremely rare first and only edition of this one of the earliest texts providing an attractive account of “the planning and execution of every successful infrastructure” of land surveying and mapping, which is also one of the 318 books gifted to the Library of Congress (LoC) in America by Sultan Abdulhamid II.

In the book, the tools, and methods to be used in land surveying are described in depth with figures. The work consists of six chapters with 150 illustrations. Contents: 1. Description of the instruments of surveying and mapping (graphometer, planchette, etc.). 2. Tayîn-i Cihân usûlleri [i.e., Land surveying methods]. 3. Tesviye alanlarinin istimâl ve ameliyâti [i.e., Using and implementation of angles]. 4. Mesahâ-yi satûh-i müsteviye [i.e., Units of distance on the triangle]. 5. Taksîm-i arazi [i.e., The division of land]. 6. Mesâha-yi ecsâm [i.e., Distance between objects].

This profusely illustrated book is contemporarily housed in rare, attractive, and remarkable prize binding of "Üsküdar Füyûzât-i Hâmidî Mektebi", a school founded shortly after the compulsory primary education involved the constitution with the Kanûn-i Esâsî [i.e., The Basic Law] in 1879. It was written by the commander of the 12th division of the 6th Imperial Army, Osman Nazim Pasha (1853-1913).

Osman Nazim Pasha was one of the leading figures in historical events such as the Deli Fuat Pasha Incident, the 31 March Incident, the Halaskâr Zabitân Incident, the dissolution of the Ottoman Chamber of Deputies in 1912, the First Balkan War, and the Raid on the Sublime Porte. As a military diplomat, he also participated in negotiations for the Treaty of San Stefano and Treaty of Berlin and led the Turkish delegation which signed a ceasefire with Bulgaria during the First Balkan War. His military career which had begun as a military attaché stationed in Brussels ended with a fatal bullet on his head as the Minister of War in Istanbul on 23 January 1913. (Korkmaz).

Özege 12538., TBTK 8818., As of November 2023, only one microform copy (no paper copy) is in LoC (28373655).