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Plate 230 Bazaar Of The Coppersmiths, Cairo - After David Roberts
  • Plate 230 Bazaar Of The Coppersmiths, Cairo - After David Roberts

    Writing in his journal on December 31st 1838 Roberts said 'It's New Year's Eve, but how different from those spent in London. The days are so bright, and I can eat fresh vegetables in abundance. I am in excellent health, and living in a city which surpasses the fantasy of any artist. I received a letter from my dearest Christine today; thank God all are well at home...This is the last night of the old year, and my thoughts turn to all the happy New Years I have spent so far. I send my heartfelt good wishes to all my nearest and dearest in my beloved Scotland.' [1]


    The bazaars of Cairo were quite a new spectacle to European eyes with their array of colours and variety of goods available for purchase. 'Each neighbourhood specialised in a different type of goods; in one, perfumes and essences were sold, in another, spices and tea, and around the corner, carpets and haberdashery. Near the ancient religious complex of Sultan al-Salih Najm al-Din Ayyub, dating from 1243, coppersmiths and cauldron makers displayed embossed plates, bowls and cauldrons. In the midst of this bedlam pedestrians continually had to dodge carts laden with fruit and freshwater sellers who staggered under the weight of the great jars they carried on their shoulders. Now as then, in the districts between the Citadel and Bab al-Futuh, craftsmen and shopkeepers with their baskets full of all sorts of products keep alive a tradition that seems eternal.' [2]


    The drawings and watercolours from this tour by David Roberts of the Holy Land and Egypt were collated together into folios and released over a seven-year period by the publisher F.G. Moon from 20 Threadneedle Street London. This lithograph was published on December 1st 1848.


    Medium: Original First Edition Lithograph, with later hand-colouring on thick woven paper.


    Full Plate 230.


    Inscribed l.r. 'David Roberts R.A. L Haghe Lith' and l.l. 'Bazaar of the Coppersmiths, Cairo', 50.3 x 33.2 cm (lithograph size), framed.




    [1] David Roberts' Egyptian and Holy Land Journal, 31st December 1838.


    [2] Fabio Bourbon (ed). Yesterday and Today: Egypt. Swan Hill Press: London, 1996, p.212. Translated by A.B.A. Milano.

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