Sharjah: At the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) Rare, Expensive books said that to carry some of the first mentions of the Emirates in the Western World, are up for sale till November 10 at Expo Centre. In Halls of the venue, they are available at the joint stands of the Netherlands-based Antiquariaat FORUM and Austria’s Antiquariat INLIBRIS.
The book fair collection includes a € 350,000 (around Dh 1.45 million) French ship captain’s handwritten journal of the “ very first French diplomatic mission” to the Arabian Gulf in 1841.
In 1972 before the UAE was formed by the union of seven separate emirates, the territory was known by various names, such as the “ crucial states” or “ Sheikdoms”
The journal indulges with the captains’ drawings of various aspects of life and architecture from the region. Hence, the 192 page of original manuscript account of Theogene Francois Page, captain of the French ship La Favorit describe the trucial sheikhdoms, although it is mainly focused on “ Bahrain islands” and Muscat. The journal also contains the captains’ drawings of various aspects of life and architecture from the region.
Owner of Antiquariaat FORUM Laurens Hesselink said to Gulf News that “ The work is unpublished, so it is only one there is. We bought it from a private collector in Europe. The Captain has a legible hand and it is very well preserved. It is all in French”
While showing a travelogue of a 16th-century Venetian state jeweller Hesselink “ the first printed record of Abu Dhabi and Dubai” in the Western world. The first edition of ‘ Viaggio dell Indie Orientali by gem merchant Gasparto priced at € 150,000 ( nearly Dh624,000). Hence, Balbi contains ‘ eyewitness’ accounts of the Arabian Peninsula during his nine-year voyage to the Far East in the 1580s.
It mentions by Balbi that the emirates of Cherizan (Sharjah), Dibei (Dubai), Agiman (Ajman), Rafael Chime (Ras Al Khaimah), Sir Bani Yas in Abu Dhabi and other places in and around what is today the UAE.
The collection on a show is a series of original photo and documents related to the founding of the UAE’s first army and it collects in the possession of British military officer Graham A. Hill, who served as the first major in the Trucial states paramilitary unit of British and Arab officers in the 1950s.