Book details: Extremely Rare first German edition first Luckhardt issue! of the first edition. No other copy of the Memoiren with this very fine (but non standard) contemporary cloth binding (by the binder J.R. Herzog) and heavily gilded edges has been found so far.
The Memoiren were sold with a standard cloth pictorial publisher binding (13 Mark) or with a pictorial paper cover (10 Mark) Most copies found of the Memoiren are of the cheaper paper variant that have been rebound, sometimes the original paper covers have been bound with the book. The standard illustration on both type of covers covers shows the palaces and clock tower in Stonetown Zanzibar. The paper cover of the first auflage (first issue) has been printed on blue paper.
One copy of the first issue in a standard red pictorial publisher cloth binding (the only one found so far) was sold in the past at Christie's, but this copy is untraceable. All the German issues (Auflagen) by Luckhardt in the original pictorial publisher binding are very rare.
Each of the four issues of the Memoiren in a cloth binding had a different colour. The first issue was a red binding the second Turquoise and the third and fourth red-brown. The reason for the first issue being bound in a red binding is probably that the flag of Oman and Zanzibar was plain red.
A quarter of the books with cloth publisher binding or with the paper covers have a sticker "Berlin W verlag von H Rosenberg (Hugo Mewis)" pasted over the name of publisher Luckhardt on the title page and on the paper cover. The reason for these stickers is still a mystery.
The first German editions are higher quality books than the English editions (especially when compared with the Appleton edition) beautiful paper and fine printing. Bibi Salme wrote the book in German so the text is also more authentic than the English translations.
This book is the genuine( ! ) autobiography of Princess Bibi Salme daughter of Sayyid Sai’id Ibn Sultan, ruler of Oman and Zanzibar who escaped from the palace and her country to marry the German merchant Ruete, they lived in Germany and got three children. The book presents the reader with an intimate picture of life in Zanzibar between 1850 and 1865, and an inside portrait of her brothers Majid bin Said and Barghash bin Said who both became sultans of Zanzibar. After the death of her husband, Emily Ruete was caught up in the colonial plans of Otto von Bismarck.