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Travels In Egypt And Nubia. By Frederick Lewis Norden, F.R.S. Captain of the Danish Navy. Translated from the Original Published by command of his Majesty the King of Denmark. And Enlarged with observations from ancient and modern authors, that have written on the antiquities of Egypt, By Dr. Peter Templeman. In Two Volumes. Vol. I. (II.)

Frederik Ludvig Norden

RA Collection: Book

Record number



Uniform Title

[Voyage d'Egypte et de Nubie., English., 1757.]


London:: Printed for Lockyer Davis and Charles Reymers, in Holborn; Printers to the Royal Society., MDCCLVII.

Physical Description

2 vols.; 454 mm. (Folio).

General Note

Vol. I: [12], xxxiv, 124 p., frontis., 59 [i.e. 62] pl.: illus. There are three unnumbered plates, occurring before pl. 17, 23, 27; each of these forms one image with the plate which follows it. - Vol. II: [4], viii, 155, [1] p., frontis. (port.), pl. 60-159: illus. There are two plates which have each been assigned two numbers, i.e. plates 140/141 and 142/143. There are two unnumbered plates, occurring before plates 66, 108 - each forming one image with the plate which follows it. In some sets (e.g. that of the Royal Academy) all 159 [i.e. 162] plates and the the two frontispieces have been bound into one volume; and the two volumes of text have been bound as one.


Vol. I: [Half-t., t.p., dedic.] - Preface By The Editor - Addenda - Preface To the French Edition - An Extract From The Nouvelles Literaires, Published at Florence, in the year 1740. Translated from the Italian. Numb. XXX.(XXXI). - [Norden's address to the Royal Society, 7 January 1741] - Passages From Authors - Table Of The Plates. Volume The First. [Listing Frontis., Pl. I-LIX] - [Text:]Ancient Alexandria; New Alexandria; New Cairo; Old Cairo; Of The Pyramids Of Egypt - Letter from Mr F.L. Norden To Martin Folkes, Esq. - Remarks Upon The Pyramidographia of Mr. John Greaves - Remarks Upon The Obelisks - Appendix By the Translator. I. Of the Obelisks. II. Of the Mummies. - . - Vol. II: [Half title, t.p.] - Table Of The Plates. Volume The Second [Listing Frontis. (portrait), Pl. LX-CLIX] - [Text:] Journal of the author's voyage, from Cairo to Girge; ... from Girge to Essuaen; ... Essuaen to Deir; ... return from Deir to Cairo - Table Of The Contents [index of both volumes] - Errata. - In some copies (e.g. that of the Royal Academy) the two volumes of text are bound together in one volume and all the plates including those listed in the work as Frontispiece and Frontispiece portrait are bound separately in a second volume. [Therefore the above description does not record where the plates normally appear in the two volumes.]

Responsibility Note

On most plates there is no signature of draughtsman or engraver, but among the first 51 plates some are signed as drawn by F.L. Norden and/or engraved by M. Tuscher. The first frontispiece is signed as designed and engraved by M. Tuscher; the second (a portrait of the author) is unsigned.

Of the decorative headpieces, tailpieces and initials four in Volume I are signed as made by Tuscher; one, as drawn by P. Cramer; one, as drawn by P.M. Preisler; and four, as engraved by I. Haas. Most in Volume II are signed as drawn by P. Cramer and engraved by I. Haas.

The book is dedicated by the translator, Peter Templeman, to the King (George II).


Royal Institute Of British Architects, Early printed books, 3 (1999), 2313.

On the background and on the Egyptian taste in European art see: A. Siliotti, Egypt lost and found (1998); Egyptomania [exhibition catalogue] (Ottawa and Paris, 1994); F. Beaucour et al., The discovery of Egypt: artists, travellers and scientists (1990); The inspiration of Egypt [exhibition catalogue] (1983); J.S. Curl, The Egyptian Revival (1982); P. Clayton, The rediscovery of Egypt (1982).

On Norden see M.-L. Buhl, The Danish naval officer, Frederik Ludvig Norden (1986).
ESTC, T6299, T12230

Summary Note

A few plates carry earlier dates - either of drawing (1737 - plates 2, 12, 31, 45, 51) or of engraving (1743 - plate 45; 1744 - plates 12, 31, 46). Some headpieces and tailpieces are dated 1753 or 1754.

F.L. Norden led his expedition to Egypt in 1737-8, at the behest of King Kristian VI of Denmark. He was accompanied by the artist Marcus Tuscher. In 1741 he published his Drawings of some ruins and colossal statues at Thebes in Egypt, with an account of the same in a letter to the Royal Society (ESTC t034954). After his death the Koniglike Danske Videnskabers Selskab prepared the Voyage d'Egypte et de Nubie (2 v., Copenhague: Maison Royale des Orphelines, 1755), the text translated from Norden's notes by J.B. Des Roches du Parthenay. The present 1757 English translation was sponsored by the Royal Society; and an abridgment without plates was published the same year at Dublin as A compendium of the travels of F.L. Norden through Egypt and Nubia (ESTC t012219).

Norden penetrated Nubia as far as el-Derr, and at the time of publication his account was the most comprehensive description of Egypt available in Europe, and the most accurate representation of its monuments. European interest in ancient Egyptian art was further stimulated by the publication of Caylus's Recueil d'antiquités égyptiennes, etrusques, grecques, romaines et gauloises (1752-67), with its corpus of detailed illustrations and aesthetic analysis. Egyptian motifs may be found in the designs of Piranesi, James Playfair and Thomas Hope. But all these were eclipsed by Denon's Voyage dans la basse et la haute Egypte (1802) and the Napoleonic Description de l'Egypte (1809-28).


A microfilm version was published in 1986 (Woodbridge CT: Research Publications).


Purchased by the Royal Academy in 1786 (see 'RA Cashbook 1769-1795', entry dated [after March] 1786: 'Nordens Travels £5:15:6').

Binding Note

18th-century tree calf; rebacked in 20th century, spines decorated in gilt in 18th-century manner, red and green morocco spine-labels lettered 'Norden's Travels I (II)'.

Name as Subject


Egypt - Sudan - Nile (River) - Antiquities, Egyptian - Architecture, Egyptian - Ruins - Obelisks - Mummies - Art, Egyptian - History
Danes - Expeditions - Explorers - Egypt - Sudan - Nile (River) - Description and travel - History - 18th century
Views - Maps - Travel literature - Travel sketches - 18th century
Pictorial works - 18th century


Peter Templeman, translator
Lockyer John Davis, publisher
Charles Reymers, publisher
Marcus Tuscher, draughtsman, engraver
George II King of Great Britain, dedicatee
Peter Cramer, draughtsman
Georg Martin Preissler, draughtsman
Ionas Haas, engraver
Frederik Ludvig Norden, draughtsman