BOOK OF THE MONTH: (SELECTED FROM MY LIBRARY)
By Sir K. A. C. CRESWELL
New York : Hacker Art Books, 1979,
Description: 2 v. : ill., maps (2 fold. in pocket)
Contents: V. 1. Ikshīds and Fāṭimids,
The book is of two (2) volumes.
v. 2. Ayyūbids and early Baḥrite
Hardcover: 640 pages
The two volume book is the third in a unique series that was inaugurated in 1932 with the appearance of Creswell’s Early Muslim Architecture, Part II & was continued in 1940 with Volume I Table of Contents the publication of a second volume of the same title. These volumes were concerned w/ structures erected in all Moslem lands during the first three centuries of that era, while this book works from the chronological point reached
at the end of Part II & tracts architectural history in Egypt
alone. The current two volume book weighs 18 pounds, displays some 125 collotype plates and 173 figures in the text, & provides a separate map of Cairo in two large, color-printed sheets. The volumes has no indices, but the model of the first two volume suggests that it will be found in the final volume of the series devoted to Egypt. Scattered throughout the text, are clues to the concept & development of the project. There is a list of 45 monuments which have been
studied in detail. One distinguishable page which typifies the relationship between meticulousness of study and elaborateness of illustration is the 18 x 22” folding plan of the Al-Azhar mosque w/ each of 13 suggested construction periods. Since no draughtsman was made available to him he undertook all the work without assistance. Five volumes had been published by 1969, totalling 1,769 pages, with a sixth volume in preparation but unpublished on his death in 1974. This massive work was split into two: Early Muslim Architecture (Volume I published in 1932; Volume II published in 1940; Volume I second edition in 1969) and The Muslim Architecture of Egypt (Volume I published in 1952; Volume II published in 1959).