America, Arabic, Austria, Celebizade, dictionary, European, France, grammar, historian, historiographer, Holland, Hungarian, Ibrahim Muteferrika, Islam, Istanbul, Latin, Muslim, Muteferrika Press, Ottoman, Ottoman Empire, Ottoman Turkish, poet, Rasit Efendi, Turkish, typeface, woodcut
The first Turkish printing house was established in Istanbul on December 14, 1727. The director of the press was Ibrahim Muteferrika (1674-1745), a Hungarian convert to Islam. In 1726 Muteferrika sent a report on the efficiency of the printing press to Vizier Damat Ibrahim Pasha, the Grand Mufti. After he submitted another report to Sultan Ahmed, he recieved permission to publish non-religious books, over the objections of calligraphers and religious leaders.
Muteferrika Press published sixteen books between 1729 and 1742. Each edition consisted of between five hundred and one thousand copies. The presses themselves came from France, the typefaces were designed and cut by Muteferrika. The printers were from Austria. The press’s first title, a dictionary, contained maps and drawings from the Islamic world. A grammar (1730) was the first printed Ottoman work in Latin. In 1732, the press published a history of the discovery of America. This was the first book by a Muslim author about the Americas and included thirteen woodcut illustrations.
The work presented here is Rasit Efendi’s Tarih-i Rashid Afandi, published in 1741 by the Muteferrika Press. This was the sixteenth book to be published by the press. The work covers the period 1071-1134AH (1660-1772) of the official Ottoman history. Rashid’s work is added to with Celebizade Isma’il Asim’s Tarih-i Celebizade Efendi, a history by Celebizade (d 1173 . Both Rashid and Celebizade held the post of official historiographer for the Ottoman Empire. This publication, printed in four volumes, here bound as one, is considered the prime source for the period.
The text, printed in Arabic script, is in Ottoman Turkish. Rare Books copy has evidence of at least one hand underlining and marking in faded brown ink. Bound in Ottoman style with blind-stamped European leather, lined with patterned paper.