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AL-ZAHIR, Abdullah (editor).

Kitab Vigil Ijim'al ila Ta'ammulat Ruhiya li'Ayam al-Usbu,

a book of Christian Psalms, denoting prayers for weekly use.

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Dair al-Shuweir, Lebanon, the Monastery of St. John the Baptist, Kisrawan, 1736

The Dair al-Shuweir press at the Monastery of St John the Baptist is one of the first Arabic printing presses in the Middle-East. The press was established by Abdallah al-Zahir in 1734 and this publication is the third earliest work printed at the Monastery, preceded only by the Kitab Mizan az Zaman in 1734-35 and Kitab al-Mazamir in 1735. The press is renowned for it's stylish and refined Arabic type, custom wood-engraved decorations and competent Arabic type-set punches that were apparently cut by Abdullah al-Zahir himself. The aim of the press was to spread the Christian faith in the Arab speaking regions of the Levant, and it published 32 titles in numerous editions from it's establishment in 1734 and throughout the nineteenth century to 1899.

Publications from the early years of the press are exceptionally rare and scarcely come to the market. The largest collection of Dair al-Shuweir publications in

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First edition, printed in Arabic type-set in red and black, complete, small 8vo (165 by 110 mm); Arabic text within ruled borders, key words and phrases printed in red, printed catch-words and wood-block printed devices, ownership and bibliographical inscriptions to front free endpapers (in Arabic and Italian, probably nineteenth-century), clean condition internally; contemporary blind embossed morocco, stamped in gilt with coptic-style central and corner medallions of a floral motif, upper cover a little darkened and soiled, otherwise a good copy.


Bibliographic references: Nasrallah pp. 38.

Stock ID:103604

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