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Rare and Early Images of the Arab World Up for Sale

The upcoming Sotheby's auction includes the sale of a series of images that are among the earliest representations of some of the Arab world's most iconic places, such as an engraving of the Kaaba in Mecca, or black and white photographs of the Pyramids and the Sphinx of Egypt.

Lovers of Arab historical heritage will get their money’s worth with this auction, organized by Sotheby’s. In addition to this magnificent engraving representing the Kaaba, the sacred black stone located in the center of the great mosque of the holy city of Mecca, to which all Muslims turn when they pray.

This engraving, the largest of its kind produced at the time, depicts pilgrims arriving for the Hajj. It is estimated at £12,000 to £18,000.

The work of a Frenchman in the spotlight

Among the other lots offered for sale is a picture book made by the Frenchman Maxime Du Camp, during a trip to the Middle East in 1849. Entitled “Egypt, Nubia, Palestine and Syria”, it is composed of 112 images of Egypt, six of Jerusalem, and seven of Baalbek.

Among others, we find period photographs of some of the greatest monuments of the Arab world, such as the Great Pyramids of Giza or the Sphinx. For collectors of rarities, Sotheby’s estimates that no more than 200 copies of the volume were printed and that only a few remain today.