The Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians is a three volume set that was written J. Gardner Wilkinson and published in London by John Murray 1837. It was revised and corrected by Samuel Birch and published in Boston by S.E. Cassino and Co in 1883. The Museum of Visual Materials owns a first American edition. The set features original brown cloth with gilt designs and over 600 text woodcut illustrations.
According to Wood’s Books Rare Collectibles, “Often called the 'Father of British Egyptology,' Wilkinson was the first British Egyptologist to properly value the interpretation of Egyptian texts. He spent a total of twelve years in Egypt and carried out extensive excavations at Karnak. His sketches are rendered with an accuracy and consistency that make them valuable evidence for monuments that were either damaged or destroyed afterwards. Drawing upon his work in the tombs at Gurna, Wilkinson was able to present a poignant picture of daily life in ancient Egypt that instantly caught the popular imagination. It is considered one of the most influential works in English on Egypt, and one of the principle vehicles of Egyptology in the 19th century.”
Volume one contains the origins of the Egyptians, dynastic succession, extent of the country, other members of the castes, laws, housing, beer and wine making, furniture, sacred instruments, etc.
Volume two contains dinner customs, entertainment, animals, arts and manufactures, style of art, richness of Egypt, cultivation, festivals and religious opinions.
Volume three concludes with the Egyptian Pantheon, sacred animals, processions, funeral rites and an index.
Check out the entire antique book collection the next time you are at the Museum.