ALPINI, Prospero

ONE OF THE EARLIEST EUROPEAN STUDIES OF NON-WESTERN MEDICINE AND BOTANY

De medicina Aegyptiorum. (with) De plantis Aegyptis liber … De balsamo dialogus.

Venice, Francesco de Franceschi, 1591 (with) 1592.

£4,950

Two volumes in one. 4to. 1) FIRST EDITION, ff. (12), 150, (26); 2) FIRST EDITION of first work, ff. (4), 80, (8). Roman letter, little Italic; printer’s device on titles; historiated and foliated initials, initial C a figure of Cronus; grotesque head- and tail-pieces. Volume I: three woodcuts in Book Two of Egyptian cupping glasses; two full-page woodcuts, the first showing the process of scarification of the legs, the second a treatment for dropsy; diagram of a leg on leaf M7v. Volume II: many woodcuts of plants, mostly full-page and in good clean impression; occasionally lightly age yellowed, slight marginal damp stain at lower edge of final two gatherings. A very good copy in elegant mottled calf c. 1700, gilt edges, gilt spine with floral compartments and title on red morocco label; red sprinkled edges; early inventory number on front pastedown and pencil modern signature of ‘Dr Gazeau’, repeated on head of title; eighteenth-century library stamp in blank margin of title.

Fine copy of three pioneering medical and botanical treatises of the late Italian Renaissance. ‘Alpini, an Italian physician and botanist, graduated from Padua and travelled through Greece, Crete and Egypt from 1580-1583. Following his travels, he returned to Padua where he remained as professor of botany and director of the botanical garden until his death.’ (Heirs of Hippocrates).

The volume begins with the first edition of ‘one of the earliest European studies of non-Western medicine. Alpini’s work dealt primarily with contemporary (i.e. Turkish) practices observed during a three-year sojourn in Egypt. These included moxibustion (the production of counter-irritation by placing burning or heated material on the skin) which Alpini introduced in European medicine. Alpini also mentioned coffee for the first time in this work’ (Norman). He also introduced the banana and baobab to Europeans.

Preceded by an extensive subject index and followed by an exhaustive alphabetical one, the text, divided into four books, discusses inter alia the state of Egyptian medicine, the reasons behind the unusual longevity of the Egyptian people, epidemics and illnesses that had affected Egypt, methods of and reasons for blood-letting, Eunuchs, varieties of cupping glasses, techniques of scarification, cures for dysentery, the range and extent of surgery and drugs available, the use of softening baths to enhance the appearance of the body, the composition and administration of theriacs (obeying the hair-of-the-dog principle with regard to poisoning), and syringes. He also mentions the use of wine in medicine and describes, for the first time in print, the coffee plant.

In very readable Latin, the book provides a fascinating insight into early homeopathy, surgical and cosmetic procedures, and Egyptian lifestyle. The unusual degree of specialization of Egyptian medics is also discussed, with doctors said to become experts in individual organs and areas (e.g. ears and lungs), so as to maximise their wisdom and knowledge.

The second part of the volume is taken up by the joint edition of two other treatises of Alpini, the first edition of De plantis Aegyptis, and the second edition of the Dialogue on Balsam, which appeared separately in 1591. Alpini combined his medical training with a deep interest in botany, resolving to travel in search of the most useful vegetable sources of balm or balsam. He stayed three years in Cairo and gathered materials for the two works printed there, after which he returned to Italy in 1593.

De plantis Aegyptis discusses and illustrates around 50 species of Egyptian flora, 23 of them never previously described by any European writer and all of which the author had personally examined. The descriptions and drawings of the papyrus, coffee and cotton plants are the first ever to be printed. The work is the earliest on African flora listed in Pritzel, and it was to this book more than any other that Alpinus owed his great reputation among contemporary naturalists.

While the term ‘balm’ or ‘balsam’ was applied in this period to a variety of resins derived from plants, or to the plants themselves, Alpinus’ Dialogue is concerned specifically with the amyris species and the resins, fruit and wood they produce. The book is the earliest monograph on balms recorded in Pritzel, and contains one full-page illustration. Somewhat surprisingly a large initial at the beginning of the second work depicts a man playing the bagpipes.

“From a scientific point of view, the De Plantis Aegyptis is his [Alpinus’] most important work. The pioneering study of Egyptian flora introduced exotic plants to the still parochial European botanical circles … this … later was used by such systematists as Hasselquist and Forskal as a basis for their more complete studies … Some of Alpinus’ original descriptions were included in the writings of Linnaeus, who … name[d] the genus Alpini … in his honour.” DSB I p. 124.

1) BM STC It., 20; Norman, 39; Adams, A 802; Mortimer It., 16; Heirs of Hippocrates, 240 (1646 edn.); Osler, 1796; Durling, 178; Wellcome 232; Garrison-Morton, 6468 (‘First important work on the history of Egyptian medicine’); Simon, II, 42. Not in Vicaire or Bitting.

2) BM STC It., 20; Adams, A 803; Pritzel, 163; Wellcome, 234; Osler, 1799; Mortimer It., 17. Durling, 179; Arber, 90.

L2101

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BIBLE in Arabic

ARABIC TYPE IN ITALIAN PRINT

Evangelium Sanctum, in Arabic

Rome, Medici Oriental Press, 1591.

£25,000

FIRST EDITION. Folio, ff. 368. Arabic letter, a few lines in Latin on title and colophon, all neatly impressed on thick paper; double-fillet border on each page and some Arabesque head- and tail-pieces, a hundred and forty-nine large and charming woodcuts illustrations of Christ’s life and passion partially by Antonio Tempesta and Leonardo Parasole, with sixty-seven blocks repeated; oil splash on mid-outer margin, clean marginal tear to 192; a few leaves slightly aged browned, couple of pages slightly foxed. A good copy in modern dark morocco over boards; occasional contemporary marginalia in Armenian, red ink mark at beginning of chapters; small blue stamp of the Dr. Caro Minasian’s library in Isfahan on title, final leaf and few other blank spaces; contemporary Arabic note (title?) on upper-edge. Original fly leaves preserved.

Rare Arabic edition of the Gospels and first publication of the renowned Medici Oriental Press, established in Rome in 1584 with the endorsement of Pope Gregory XIII and Cardinal Ferdinando de’ Medici (later Gran Duke of Tuscany). The main aim of this enterprise, run by the famous Oriental scholar Giovanni Battista Raimondi, was to print religious books in the most common Oriental languages (i.e., Arabic, Syriac, Hebrew, Ethiopic and Persian) and distribute them in the East so as to encourage the spread of the Gospels. The splendid Arabic font employed in this edition was designed by Robert Granjon, the official type-cutter of the press. In 1591, the Medici press published also the interlinear edition with the Latin original text, also edited by Raimondi. This bilingual version was used in Europe for teaching Arabic and thus survives in a much greater number of copies than the pure Arabic edition, which was distributed (and almost certainly not warmly welcomed) in the Middle East for (literally speaking) evangelisation. It seems likely that the beautiful illustrations included in the book as an aid for readers were not at all appreciated by Muslims, who, according to the Koran, forbid contemplation of images of God. A large part of the print-run may have been quickly destroyed.

Curiously, this copy bears a few contemporary annotations in Armenian, possibly written by a member of some Armenian (thus Christian) minority settled either in the Ottoman or Persian Empires (where the edition was shipped to). It comes from the valuable collection of Caro Minasian, ‘an Armenian physician from Isfahan, Iran, who began collecting in 1935 and spent his life amassing manuscripts and antiquities of varied provenance and background. In many ways, he is symbolic of the Armenian community of Isfahan, largely associated with the distinct suburb of New Julfa, where they were settled by Shah Abbas I in 1604. The community has developed a unique socio-cultural ambience based on historical Armenian traditions accented with elements from its Persian setting and from its important interactions with the significant European presence in the city during Safavid times. By 1968, when his private library was acquired by UCLA, it included several hundred Armenian medieval manuscripts, including the Gladzor Gospels (the prime example of a medieval Armenian biblical codex), a substantial collection of Armenian printed incunabula and rare editions, a small group of Sumerian artifacts and other archeological treasures, and approximately 1,500 single works and majmuas (manuscript collections).’ http://minasian.library.ucla.edu/minasianaboutCollection.html

‘The editio princeps of the Gospels in Arabic … The early editions of the Arabic Gospels are all forms of the ‘Alexandrian Vulgate’’. Darlow, II/1, p. 63.

Not in BM STC It. Adams, B 1822; Brunet, II, 1123; Graesse, II, 531; Darlow, 1636; Mortimer, Italian, 64.

L2002

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LUSIGNAN, Estienne

THE KINGS OF JERUSALEM

Les genealogies de soixante et sept tres-nobles. (with) Les droicts, autoritez et prerogatiues que pretendent au royaume de Hierusalem, les princes & seigneurs spirituels & temporels cy apres nommez.

Paris, Guillaume le Noir, ruë S. Iacques, à l’enseigne de la Rose blanche couronnee, 1586.

£2,750

FIRST EDITION of the second work. Two works in one. 4to. 1) ff. (iv), 128. 2) (viii), 40. Roman letter, some Italic. Woodcut printers device on both titles, full page woodcut of Melusine holding the arms of Luxembourg and Lusignan on â4 verso of first volume, floriated woodcut initials, grotesque headpieces, early inscription (illegible) on fly, autograph Pf Van Meldert de Deveal in C19th hand on verso, modern armorial bookplate on pastedown, C19th label above, ‘Ad usum don[?]’ in contemporary hand on fly. Light age yellowing, tiny worm trail at gutter well away from text. Very good copies, crisp and clean, in contemporary limp vellum, remains of ties.

Second edition of this important and early genealogy, bound with the first edition of the second work “Les Droicts, Autoritez et perogatives que pretendent au Royaume de Hierusalem.” Estienne de Lusignan was born in Nicosia, capital of Cyprus, and chose an ecclesiastical career under the guidance of the Armenian Bishop, Julian. After the fall of Cyprus he escaped to Italy and spent his fortune buying back his enslaved parents from Turkey. He moved to Paris in 1577 and was nominated Bishop of Limasso in Cyprus.

“The work of Veccerius … became an important source for the Généalogies of Estienne de Chypre de Lusignan (1537 – 1590). As his name suggests, Estienne was a descendant of the Lusignan Kings of Cyprus and Bishop of Limassol. He wrote his Genealogies for Francois de Luxembourg-Piney, in which he presented the genealogies of sixty-seven noble dynasties that can all be traced back to the Merovingians. … In this book, Melusine and the search for her true historic identity are a recurrent theme. This may be unsurprising, since it is that very figure that enabled the author’s own glorious dynastic roots to be connected with those of his patron, or, as he wrote, ‘The house of Luxembourg, according to our opinion and that of many others, derived from the House of Lusignan.’ He also sees Melusine on the crest worn by “all members” of the house of Luxembourg and Lusignan as clear proof of his hypothesis.” Pit Péporté. “Constructing the Middle Ages.”

The second work is the first edition of Lusignan’s interesting treatise on the various claims of the main European noble houses, including the Papacy and the Patriarchy, over the Kingdom of Jerusalem. The first chapter concerns the rights over the Kingdom exercised by his own family. He then discusses the rights of each of the Royal families of Europe and their connection to the Kingdom, including the English Royal family through the exploits of Richard the Lionheart. Very good crisp copies of these two works.

L1917

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BREYDENBACH, Bernard von

THE FIRST ILLUSTRATED TRAVEL BOOK


Le grant voyage de hierusalem.

Paris, for Francois Regnault, 1522.

£37,500

4to. ff. (iv) 66 + folding plate, 67-90 + folding plate, 91-210, last blank. Lettre bâtarde, two parts in one, first title in red and black with armorial initial, second with Regnault’s elephant device, white on black and figurative initials throughout. Two very large folding woodcuts, 30” by 9½” and 32” by 9½” including margins (cuts amazingly uncropped), 42 further woodcuts mostly illustrating text, 3” by 3½” on average, largest 5” by 4½”, in very good clear impressions. Very slight age yellowing, light foxing at beginning, a few small ink splashes mostly at blank fore-edge; generally a good, clean, crisp, large copy in early C18 English calf, spine (remounted) and borders gilt, worn at corners, marbled endpapers, all edges red. Armorial bookplates of Charles, Viscount Bruce of Ampthill 1712 on pastedown and verso of title page, and Boies Penrose on fly.

Rare and early edition of the first illustrated travel book, the earliest modern account of the Holy Land and one of the most remarkable popular picture books of its day. Breydenbach, Dean of Mainz and friends set out for the Holy Land in 1482 and after a hazardous journey via Venice, Corfu, Crete and Rhodes eventually reached their goal. One of the company was the artist Berwick, a painter of considerable talent, whose works, based on first hand observation, forms the basis for some of the illustrations in the present work, though others are culled from earlier printed texts. Berwick’s work is easily discernible, however it owes nothing to the imaginary orientalism which characterises other works of the previous centuries which attempt to illustrate the Near East; by comparison the local colour is fresh and striking. Breydenbachs’ account of his travels is no less noteworthy. He had a remarkable gift for seeing and describing the principal characteristics of the of the places he visited, and which he viewed with curiosity and intelligence, faithfully recounting what he saw. No detail was too minor for his interest and observation, from the many strange animals he encountered to the unknown alphabets of the various inhabitants. As Hoefer puts it “Breydenbach mérite encore d’être lu”.

The glory of the book are the two great folding plates (often mutilated or missing). That of Jerusalem, in two distinct sections, was executed for Regnault’s editions from an entirely new design. The second similarly in two parts, depicts first the knights and princes of Christendom receiving the Papal blessing before departing on the crusade and second the French army before Jerusalem with the infantry composed of ‘adventurers’ and Swiss (probably mercenaries) with the Turks in the background. Other cuts are mainly of battles and sieges but also represent the Pope and the Kings of France, Persia and Poland, Badouin and the Duc de Lorrain, the murder of the King of Cyprus, various city views and the Turks including the Sultan and the Holy Sepulchre. The French translation is by Nicholas le Huen, here with additional material. Fol. 198 comprises the letter of Pietro Pasqualigo describing G. Cortereal’s discovery of Labrador, see Alden 522/4.

BM STC Fr. has Jean de Hersins’ earlier translation only. Fairfax Murray 625. Brunet I 1252-3. Not in Mortimer, Harvard C16 Fr. or Göllner. Blackmer had a later abridgment only.

L195

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MATTHIEU, Pierre

EUROPEAN CHRISTIANITY AGAINST THE OTTOMAN TURKS

Dell’Historia di S. Luigi IX e delle Cose piu Memorabili occorse nella Guerra da lui fatta con Saraceni per l’Acquisto di Terra Santa.

Venice, Francesco Baba, 1628.

£1,250

FIRST EDITION thus. 4to. pp. (viii) 308 (xxxvi). Italic letter. Fine engraved architectural title with putti holding the arms of Louis IX above, signed M. Greuter, instruments of war and science to the sides, arms of the French Royal house beneath, woodcut printer’s device on recto of last. Large floriated woodcut initials, woodcut and typographical headpieces and ornaments, notes on the text in early hand on rear pastedown. Tiny worm holes to blank margins of title page, small burn hole in engraved border, light mostly marginal spotting, small light water stain in lower blank corner of first part, lower blank corner of Qq2 cut out, the occasional thumb mark and oil spot, small worm trail in blank upper margin towards end over two quires. A good, well margined copy, in contemporary limp vellum, yapp edges, upper cover a little stained with ink spots, title manuscript on spine.

First edition of the Italian translation of this important and popular history of the crusades of Louis IX against the Turks for possession of the Holy Places, by the French historian, playwriter, and poet Pierre Matthieu, translated into Italian by Battista Parchi, and dedicated by him to Angello Contarini, the Venetian ambassador and patron of Galileo. Contarini was sent to London in 1625 to congratulate Charles I on his accession.

Matthieu studied with the Jesuits, where he quickly mastered Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, later studying law at Valencia, and practicing at Lyon. He was among the members of a delegation sent by the people of Lyon to Henry IV in February 1594 to assure him of their loyalty. The king toured the city the following year, and Matthieu was responsible for overseeing the ceremonies for the royal reception. The success of his intervention, and the protection of his patron Pierre Jeannin in Paris allowed him to obtain the title of historian. He was well received at Court, and was on close terms with the King, who was not averse to instructing him on the specifics of his reign.

Matthieu fell ill in Toulouse while accompanying Louis XIII during the siege of Montauban and died at the age of 58. He was the author of numerous histories, mostly covering the period of Henry III and IV and the civil wars, and a few monographs such as this one, which was particularly successful and was translated into both English and Italian.

The work extensively covers the two crusades of Louis IX, which, though unsuccessful, brought him great prestige, and reflects the contemporary concern with the expansion of the Ottoman Empire. Book One gives a brief history of Louis’ youth and his accession to the throne, and describes the background and preparations for Louis’ first crusades. Book Two describes his approximately 15,000-strong army, including 3,000 knights and 5,000 crossbowmen, who sailed on 36 ships from the port of Aigues-Mortes, specifically built in preparation for the crusade. His arrival and stay in Cyprus are also detailed, besides his landing in Egypt and the capture there of the town of Damietta. Book Three describes the march to Cairo, the siege of Mansourah, and Louis’ eventual defeat and capture. Book Four describes the death of the King on his attempt at a second crusade and gives an account of his beatification. Much of his work is derived from Jean de Joinville’s ‘Histoire de Saint Louis,’ though Matthieu’s account is particularly vivid and entertaining.

BM STC It, C17. II p. 558. Brunet III 1531 “Ouvrage recherchee a cause des pieces qu’il renferme.” (of the edition of 1605).

L1183

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LAET, Johannes de [with] [ABELIN, Johann Philippx, COOTWIJK, Johannes van, DRECHSLER, Wolfgang, FARGHANI, SIONITA, Gabriel, HESRONITA, Johannes]

AN INTRODUCTION TO PERSIA AND ARABIA FOR EUROPEAN MERCHANTS

Persia seu Regni Persici status. Variaque itinera in atque per Persiam: cum aliquot iconibus incolarum

[with]

Arabia, seu Arabum vicinarumq[ue] gentium orientalium leges, ritus, sacri et profani mores, instituta et historia: accedunt praeterea varia per Arabiam itinera.

Amsterdam, ex officina Elzeviriana, 1633.

£1,750

16mo. Two volumes in one. 1) FIRST EDITION. pp. 374, (x) last blank. Roman letter. Engraved title, signed CC Dufend, with a full length portrait of a Persian holding a cartouche with title, eight full page woodcuts, floriated woodcut initials and headpieces.  2) FIRST EDITION. pp. 297 (i.e. 287) (i). Roman Letter.  Engraved title with a full length portrait of an Arab holding a cartouche with title, floriated woodcut initials. Light age yellowing with some minor light spotting in places. Very good copies in contemporary vellum over boards.

First editions of these two interesting works on Persia and Arabia, designed for investors interested in the opportunities afforded by the trade opening up in the New World and the East, especially clients of the relatively new Dutch West and East India companies. De Laet (best known for his History of the New World), was a founding director of the Dutch West India Company, and remained a director until his death. He dedicated the first work to the English antiquary William Boswell, having spent some time in London, to learn the trade of a merchant. He corresponded regularly with William Camden, Sir Henry Spelman, Sir Simonds D’Ewes and other English scholars.

His work is divided into two parts: the first gives a general description of the region, including eight charming and accurate full page woodcuts of Persians in costume, probably inspired by earlier works such as Nicolay’s on the Turks. The second part gives short and important accounts of various travels into the east, some taken from Ramusio, including the journeys of several Englishmen such as Cartwright, Joseph Salbank and Robert Covert, Richard Steele, and John Newberry. “Cet ouvrage, dit Boucher de la Richardie, est plus recherché pour les relations que J. de Laet a jointes à sa description de la Perse, que pour sa description même, qui est très-superficielle. Les écrits géographiques de Laet sont rédigés avec beaucoup de soin et d’exactitude; ils ont encore de intéret aujourd’hui, parce qu’ils servent à faire connaitre les changements survenus depuis dans divers pays de l’Europe.” Schwab.

The second work is an interesting compilation of descriptions of the habits and customs of Arabic countries, Islamic and Arabic history, topography and laws, including an account of the travels to Jerusalem and Syria by Johannes Cootwijk, and an appendix on the Muslim calendar. It includes the description of numerous Arab cities such as Baghdad, Bokhara, Damascus, Medina, Mecca, Aleppo, etc. and also contains Gabriel Sionita, “De nonnullis orientalium urbibus, nec non indigenarum religione ac moribus, tractatus brevis” (pp. 3-90), Christophe Richer, “De moribus atque institutis turcarum, arabum, aliarumque, quae Mahumedem sequuntur, gentium” (pp. 91-112), Johannis Cotovici, “Itinerario hierosolymitano et syriaco, de sacris, ritibus, moribus et institutis mahometaeorum” (pp. 113-228), Johann Ludwig Gottfried, “Excerpta ex Lodovici Godofredi archontologia cosmica” (pp. 229-242), “Arabiae topographia et alia, ex Adriani Romani theatro urbium” (pp. 243-257), and Wolfgang Drechsler, “Historia arabum” (pp. 258-297).

Printed by Janssonius in almost exactly the same style as the first, the second part was undoubtedly meant to complement it though, strangely, they are rarely found together. Very good copies of these two important first editions.

1) Willems 386. Rahir, Les Elzevier, 374.

2) Gay 3452.

L1321b

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SCORTIA, Giovanni Baptista

A JESUIT’S TAKE ON THE GEOGRAPHY OF THE NILE

De natura et incremento Nili libri duo.

Lyon, Horace Cardon, 1617.

£1,250

FIRST EDITION, 8vo., pp. (xvi) 148 (xii), last blank. Roman letter, small woodcut printer’s device on title page, three printed diagrams in text. Intermittent, mostly very light, water stain, couple of marginal repairs, three paper flaws to privilege leaf, two affecting a couple of letters, third repaired with loss of a few letters, repair covering some more; a perfectly respectable copy in modern boards.

First edition of the principal work of the Genoese Jesuit Giovanni Baptista Scortia (1553-1627), who spent a great part of his career as a professor at the Academia Patavina. The current work is the fruit of debates there, with colleagues and students, on the nature, source, and rise and fall of the Nile. It opens with a list of some 250 authors, ancient and modern, pagan, Christian, Jewish and Arab consulted by the author in its composition. Divided into two books, the first discusses the source of the Nile, its course, mouths, size, water quality and benefits for Egyptian agriculture. The second goes into much greater technical detail on the causes, nature, extent and occasion of its rise and fall, and discusses its various tributaries and possible sources.

There are accounts of the wildlife dependent upon it – crocodiles, hippopotami and elephants, with excursions on pyramids, papyri and sphinxes. The text is preceded by a detailed table of chapters and concludes with a comprehensive alphabetical index. An important and encyclopaedic little work, the first of its kind and a major contributor to the great geographical debate on the Nile’s source. Scortia reasonably attributes it to the melt water of mountains of Ethiopia, but its discovery became the Holy Grail of the great African explorers of the 19th C. This is the only early edition and quite uncommon.

BM STC Fr. C17 S476. Wellcome I 5878. Ibrahim-Hilmy II 225. Paulitschke 459 “sehr seltenes werk”. Blackmer 1513. Not in Gay.

L1010

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NICOLAY, Nicolas de

A ROYAL VALET’S TRAVELS ACROSS THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE AND MIDDLE EAST

Les navigations, peregrinations et voyages, faicts en la Turquie, par Nicolas de Nicolay.

Antwerp, Guillaume Silvius, 1577.

£4,950

4to. pp. (xxiv) 305 (i.e. 388) (xxxii). Roman letter, occasional Italic, prefatory epistle in Civilité. Small woodcut printer’s device on title, title within typographical border, historiated woodcut initials and typographical ornaments, 60 full page woodcut plates within typographical borders. Slight age-yellowing, some mostly marginal spotting on first and last few leaves, small single worm hole in blank upper margin of thirty leaves, the odd spot or thumb mark. A very good, clean copy in C19 English calf, gilt oval armorial device of the Society of writers to the Signet at centres of covers, spine with gilt ruled raised bands, re-backed with original spine laid down.

Excellent edition of this seminal and beautifully illustrated work by Nicolay, a detailed account of his travels to the Near East illustrated with sixty spirited full-length portraits of male and female figures of all ages and ranks in local costume. It was first published in Lyons in 1568, with copperplates engraved by Louis Danet from Nicolay’s original drawings, two reproduced in Mortimer-Harvard Fr. 386. According to Mortimer, Nicolay’s illustrations are ‘the first to represent the costume of the Near East in detail,’ and were widely copied in the C16th; this edition is illustrated with fine woodcuts by Antonij van Leest, whose initials appear in the first and other plates, after those of the first edition.

Dedicated by Nicolay to Charles IX, whom Nicolay served as valet de chambre and géographe ordinaire, it also contains a long “Elegie” by Ronsard addressed to Nicolay, and a letter (in a fine Civilité type) from the publisher Silvius to Cornille Pruney. The book opens with Nicolay’s long preface on traveling and the great travelers of history, from Noes and Jason down to Marco Polo, Vasco de Gama, Columbus, Pizarro, and many more.

Book I describes, i.a., the Balearic islands, Algiers, Pantelleria, Malta and Tripoli, and its plates depict their women. Book II deals briefly with the Greek islands (i.a. Kithira, Khios, and Paros) and then concentrates on Constantinople describing in detail its antiquities, monuments, harem, mosques (St. Sophia in particular), and Turkish baths. Again, the plates portray women only, including a harem lodger, two women dressed to go to the baths, and one with two children. Contrastingly, Book III is all dedicated to men: Janizaries, the Sultan’s valets, semi-naked wrestlers, the Sultan’s cook, doctors, judges, relatives of Mahomet, pilgrims going and coming from the Mecca, and representatives of four religious confessions, one of whom has his penis pierced with a ring in order to preserve his chastity (p. 184). Book IV deals with Persia, Saudi Arabia, Greece and other Middle Eastern provinces. Its plates include an Arab and an Armenian merchant, a black slave, a Jewish merchant and a Jewish woman, a Turkish courtesan and a ‘Delly’, i.e. a ‘mad and bold man’ with plumed hat and shield, portrayed here riding a horse (p. 238).

Nicolay (1517 – 1583) was, as Ronsard notes in his Elegie, extensively travelled and one of the best draughtsmen of his time. In 1551 he followed Gabriel d’Aramon, the French ambassador, to Constantinople, and visited all of the places mentioned in this book. He could speak nearly every European language and wrote several travel books. A landmark in the history of the travel to the Near East, handsomely illustrated throughout with very accurate costume plates. “His (Nicolay’s) illustrations have been called the most influential introduction to Turkish costumes” (Blackmer). Colas notes “c’est la première série de documents serieux sur les habillements du proche Orient.”

Not in BM STC Fr. C16th. Adams N 254. Brunet IV p. 67. Graesse IV p. 671. Göllner 1664 (the 1576 Silvius edition). JFB N144 (first french edition) “one of the earliest descriptions of the lands and peoples of the Near East.” Alden has a later English translation only.

L1011

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GAFFAREL, Jacques

CONTROVERSIAL TREATISE ON ORIENTAL ASTROLOGY

Curiositez inouyes, sur la sculpture talismanique des persans. Horoscope des patriarches. Et lecture des estoilles.

(Paris), n.p., 1637.

£2,950

8vo. pp. (xvi), 315, (i) and two folding plates. a8, A-T8 V6. Roman letter, some Italic and Hebrew. Woodcut initials, typographical headpieces, grotesque woodcut tail-pieces, small woodcut diagrams and tables in text, two large folding woodcut star charts inserted at end, autograph of “Carl Aurivillius, Upsala, 1762”, his shelf mark above. Light age yellowing, marginal wine stain to lower outer corner of quires D and E, small tear restored in S2. A very good, well margined copy, lower margins untrimmed in contemporary limp vellum, old stain to edge of lower cover.

A rare clandestine edition of an important and influential work on Oriental Talismans, Hebrew, Egyptian and Arabic Astrology, the Kabbalah and star reading, including two beautiful folding celestial charts depicting the constellations. One of the theories argues that the stars are arranged in the form of Hebrew letters, which can be read by those with the right knowledge. Gaffarel was a follower of Pico de Mirandola and one of the chief exponents of Christian Kabbalism, and as such came into conflict with Sorbonne and particularly with Mersenne, who unambiguously rejected his work as impious and published ‘De Gaffarello Judicio’ attacking him, though he recognized Gaffarel’s profound knowledge of Kabbalah.

“Jaques Gaffarel was born in Provence in 1601, educated at the Universities of Valence and Paris where he received the degree of Doctor of canon law, became a priest and chaplain of Richelieu, and had a wide knowledge of Oriental languages: Hebrew, Arabic, Syrian and Persian. (This) is Gaffarel’s main work, the first appearance was in Paris 1629 and then it was repeatedly reprinted into the early 18th century and translated into Latin and English. It is divided into three parts, of which the first defends orientals, especially Hebrews, from Christian charges, and the third deals with ancient Hebrew and oriental astrology. The second part, on the talismanic sculpture of the Persians, especially interests us for its close connection with natural magic. He further contends that the astrology of the ancients was neither idolatry nor the cause of idolatry, and accuses Scaliger and others of having misrepresented the astrology of the ancient Hebrews, Egyptians and Arabs. On August 1, 1629, the faculty of theology at Paris condemned Gaffarel’s book as “entirely to be disapproved”, and called its doctrine false, erroneous, scandalous, opposed to Holy Writ, contumelious towards the Church Fathers, and superstitious.” Thorndike.

Gaffarel duly signed a retraction, but couched it in vague and general terms, stating that he was merely recording the opinions collected from the writings of the Arabs and Hebrews. The book enjoyed great success, Descartes read it with interest and Pierre Gassendi defended it. Richelieu made Gaffarel his librarian and he travelled extensively, first to Italy, where he met Campanella, then to Greece and Asia in search of rare books.

A most appropriate provenance: Carl Aurivillius was professor of oriental languages at Uppsala, Swedish linguist, translator and orientalist (1717-1786). He wrote several dissertations of profound scholarship on subjects connected with biblical and oriental literature, of which thirty were published by J. D. Michaelis. Aurivillius studied at Uppsala, then at Paris, Leiden and Halle, where he became friends with great contemporary Orientalists, such as Michaelis, Fourmont and Albert Schulten. He was part of Gustav III’s Biblical Commission, and helped translate almost the entire Old Testament into Swedish. A very good copy of this work, with the two folding plates in excellent condition.

BM STC Fr. C17 p. 214, no. 59. Cantamessa, vol, I, 1671, Thorndike, History of Magic & Experimental Science vol. VII, pp. 304-6. Caillet 4293 (first edition). Houzeau & Lancaster vol. I, 5127. Duveen p. 235 (1650 edition only).

L1321

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CARTWRIGHT, John

VERY RARE FIRST EDITION


The Preachers travels: through the great countreyes of Syria, Mesopotamia, Armenia, Media, Hircania and Parthia. With the authors returne by the way of Persia, Susiana, Assiria, Chaldæa, and Arabia.

London, William Stansby for Thomas Thorppe, 1611.

£14,500

FIRST EDITION. 4to. pp. [vi], 107, [i] [lacks blank A4]. Roman letter. Title within typographical border, woodcut floriated initials and headpieces. Small restoration in upper blank margin of F3, small marginal inked symbol on t-p (contemp.). A very good, well margined copy, crisp and clean in modern calf antique.

Very rare first edition of John Cartwright’s fascinating description of his groundbreaking travels in the Near East and Arabia; he is the first Englishman to have been to and recorded all four keys sites of antiquity in the Near East: Babylon, Nineveh, Persopolis and Susa, and was the earliest English traveller certainly to have visited Armenia. Cartwright most probably left England in April 1600, and travelled to Aleppo via Sicily, Zante (Xakinthos) and Crete. At Aleppo he was welcomed by the consul Richard Colthurst, and he met John Mildenhall, then in the employ of Richard Staper, a member of the newly formed English East India company, who was on his way to the Muhgal court in India. The two Englishmen travelled together for part of the way, members of a Caravan of some thousand people.

Cartwright gives an elaborate and fascinating account of their journey from Aleppo to Kashan via Armenia. His description of Armenia is most detailed and valuable. He remarks on the widespread distribution of the Armenian Nation and notes ‘their great liberty in the Ottoman kingdom’, the reason for which he ascribes to their commercial acumen. He also mentions their two patriarchs and describes in detail the state of the Church in Armenia. He berates their faith for being ‘spotted with superstitions’ but gives them a backhanded compliment in pointing out their resistance to Rome. Both Cartwright and Mildenhall had proposed to travel together to Lahore, but the former, for reasons which he does not set down, parted company, allowing Mildenhall to travel to Lahore alone and himself “setting forwards to the great Citie of Hispaan (Ispahan), three daies travell distant from Cassan”.

His Journey home includes, pp.67-71, part of G. Manwaring’s ‘True discourse of Sir Anthony Sherley’s travels into Persia,’ a description of Sherleys’ audience with the Shah, first published in full in ‘The three brothers,’ 1825. He then describes in detail Persopolis, Susa, The “Island of Eden”, the City of Bagdad, before his return to Aleppo. Cartwright, in addition to describing the numerous places on his various journeys, also writes of the routes in use, describes products of commercial interest, and examines the potential for commerce. Though he refers to himself, and is generally known as “the Preacher”, he makes no mention in his travels of preaching in any of the places he visited or to any congregations and it is much more probable that his travels were prompted by commercial considerations. He was sometime agent of the Muscovy company. A very rare book, one of the earliest English narratives of travels in the Near East. “The account of his journeys is one of the most valuable of the period” (Howgego, Exploration, p.197).

STC 4705. Cox vol. 1, page 205-6 “This is one of the most interesting and valuable accounts of old English travels in the East we possess. The occasional Christian comments on Mohamedean darkness are not accompanied by any prejudices in the narrative.” OCLC 37749438, 4687781. Not in Gay, Blackmer.

L1122

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