1929. Oblong Quarto album (ca. 19,5x28 cm). [T.p.], 1-56, , 57-157,  stock leaves. With 158 mounted gelatin silver photographs (mostly glued on, one photo mounted with small metal nails), ca. 8x13,5 cm (3 x 5 ¼ in). All photos with period ink captions on the mounts (some also with the indication of the exact time when the photo was taken, and of the camera’s exposure). With extensive manuscript notes on verso and sometimes recto of the leaves. Period beige card softcover album fastened with a string; manuscript ink title “Sinai. MCMXXIX” on the front cover. Covers with minor wear, a crinkle and a couple of tears on extremities, a couple of images mildly faded or blurry, but overall a very good album of interesting unusual images.
An extensive manuscript journal of travels to the Christian and biblical sites of the Levant and the Sinai Peninsula compiled by French priest Mauris Lejeune and illustrated by 158 original photos. The journal consists of two parts; each is supplemented with a hand-drawn map outlining Lejeune’s route. During the first part (September 1 to 21) Lejeune travelled to the eastern shore of the Mediterranean, visiting cities and sites in modern-day Israel (Haifa, Jerusalem), Lebanon (Beirut, Tripoli, Bsharri, Les Cédres, Baalbec), Syria (Damascus, Qatana, Mount Hermon, Tartus, Latakia, Aleppo, “Kalat Seman” or Qualaat Semaan), and Turkey (“Antioch on the Orontes” – modern-day Antakya, and its Daphne neighbourhood). This part is illustrated with 56 Lejeune’s photos, including his portrait on board a steamer on the way to the Levant, a view of “Kalat Djebal” (a Druze village at the foot of Mt. Hermon), eight views of Mt. Hermon (the mountain range in general, the south summit, views from the summit), a portrait of a Druze couple, eleven views of the Qualaat Semaan or Church of St. Simeon Stylites near Aleppo (various shots of the ruins and environs), photos of the “Iron Bridge” in the Jisr al-Hadid village near Antioch (Demirkopru village in modern-day Turkey), the Iron Gate near Antioch, Terib village in Syria with Crusaders’ tower ruins, Orontes River and bridge in “Djisr es Choghour” (Jisr ash-Shugur, Syria), several views of the Antioch or Antakya (Muslim cemetery, bridges over the Orontes River, Daphne park), and over twenty photos of hiking and ascending the peaks of the Lebanon Mountains.
During the second part of the trip (19 September – 12 October 1929) Lejeune went along the eastern shore of the Sinai Peninsula from El Tor to Suez, ascending several major peaks (Jebel Umm Shomer, Jebel Musa or Mt. Sinai, Jebel Serbal and others) and visiting the Monastery of St. Catherine. 91 photos illustrating the “Sinai” travel include a group portrait of four monks from El Tor in front of their church, views of El Tor harbour, El Gaa desert, Wadi Isley/Islih valley, Wadi Sebayeh valley at the foot of Mt. Sinai, several views of the Monastery of St. Catherine (gates, the church, the minaret of the mosque, the ossuary with the skulls of the monks, inner passages), the summit of Mt. Sinai with the ruins of the Greek chapel (the building was restored only in 1934), views of the mountains from the Mt. Sinai summit, views taken during the ascent of Mt. Catherine, a portrait of a monk on the top of Mt. Catherine, the plain of Rahah, Wadi Solaf plain, Mt. Serbal and surrounding peaks, Mt. “Medaoua,” Wadi Feiran and Wadi Makatteb valleys, a view towards Suez from the top of the Nagb Buderah peak, el-Markha plain near Seih Baba, Wadi Gharandel, Ayn Hawwarah, Ayun Musa (Moses’ Wells), and others. Eleven photos at rear taken on the return trip show the Suez Canal, Ismailia, and scenes on board the steamer “Mariette Pasha” which took Lejeune home.
Overall a unique content-rich illustrated account of a journey to the lesser-known sites of Levant, and an excellent account of the tour around Mt. Sinai. In 1935 Lejeune went to Sinai once again, together with canon Prévost, professor of Rouen’s Grand Séminaire. The account of this trip was published two years later (Prévost, L., Dennefeld, L., David, M., Gorge, D., Lejeune, M. Le Sinai hier… aujoud’hui. Paris: Lethielleux, 1937).
Price: $3,500.00 USD