Born in Edinburgh in 1796, David Roberts was a Scottish painter best known for his prolific series of detailed lithograph prints of Egypt and the Near East produced from drawings and watercolour sketches he made during an extensive tour of the region in the mid-19th century.
Originally trained as a home and decoration painter, Roberts later established himself as a renowned topographical and architectural artist. Roberts undertook journeys abroad in search of exotic or impressive subjects, touring the Near East from 1838, arriving in Jerusalem in 1839 after traveling from Egypt via Sinai and Petra.
On his return to Britain, Roberts worked with a top lithographer of the day Louis Haghe to produce the plates of the sketches in the Holy Land and Syria, 1842-1849 and Egypt & Nubia series. Roberts funded this project through advance subscriptions which he solicited directly. With Egypt and the Holy Land being extremely fashionable subjects at the time, Queen Victoria became subscriber number one. Her complete set is still in the Royal Collection.
Although published separately, the volumes present for sale in our forthcoming auction are the Egyptian and Nubian section of Roberts's great work. The other three volumes are usually referred to as Roberts's 'Holy Land'. Together, they comprise 'one of the most important and elaborate ventures of nineteenth-century publishing...the apotheosis of the tinted lithograph' [Abbey, Travel, 385].
The edition of 'Egypt and Nubia' offered in our forthcoming auction of The Contents of Lowood House is an exceptionally clean copy of the de-luxe edition with the hand-coloured plates mounted on card and the smaller plates printed separately, like the larger plates. This impressive work is lot 388 in our October auction.
Private Art Collections are what we are most passionate about. From the research and scholarly essays to tell the stories behind the objects and the collectors themselves, to the tailored marketing and presentation to let the world see them at their best, we throw ourselves into each project wholeheartedly.
People matter to us as much as their possessions. We offer a very personal service and work closely with our clients to ensure that all elements of the sale reflect their taste and values. Our bespoke approach to every collection has placed us amongst the market leaders in this field and our dedicated international team has considerable experience of orchestrating these sales.