ATABEY, Sefik E. – The Ottoman World. The Library of Sefik E. Atabey with a Supplement. London: Sotheby’s, 2002.

3 volumes, quarto (269 x 208mm), pp. I: 248; II: 240; III: 236. Numerous colour-printed illustrations, some full-page. (A very few ll. slightly creased at corners or edges.) Original printed wrappers, Atabey booklabel reproduced on lower wrappers. (Very slightly rubbed and creased at edges.). A very good, clean set.

The auction catalogue of the Atabey Collection – the most important collection of works on the Ottoman Empire to be offered on the market in recent years, which was remarkable for the rarity, provenance and condition of its contents – and a sale comparable to the Blackmer auction of 1989 (indeed, a number of Blackmer’s books were subsequently purchased by Atabey). ‘Focusing on the rise and decline of Ottoman power, this library of fascinating and rare books delights both the eye and the mind. The history of the Ottoman Empire involves the entire Mediterranean basin together with its hinterlands and its extension into the Black Sea, and the books which comprise the collection reflect the same geographical expanse. From the shores of North Africa, across Greece and Turkey to the Caucasus, from the Crimea to the Persian Gulf, from the Black Sea to Vienna, Ottoman power and influence made itself felt for over five hundred years. Thus the collection contains books on a wide variety of subjects, people and places’ (introduction). The Atabey Collection is prefaced by a three-page foreword by Leonora Navari (the author of bibliographical catalogues of both the Blackmer and Atabey Collections) and occupies volumes I-III (lots 1-1336); volume III also contains the Supplement of books added to the Atabey Collection after its purchase en bloc in the latter 1990s (lots 1337-1629), and includes indices of authors, anonymous works, and locations. 


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