BEAUTIFULLY ILLUSTRATED RUSSICUM
Iournael Vande Legatie ghedaen in de Iaren 1615. Ende 1616.Graven-Hage [The Hague], Henricus Hondius, 1640
Oblong 8vo. pp. (vi) 157 (i). Roman letter. Additional t-p with engraved vignette ‘1639’, 24 full-page engraved plates (4 folding) with views of Muscovy and Swedish territories (inc. Estonia), decorated initials. Additional t-p and verso of last leaf dusty, first and last couple of gatherings a little soiled with few minor repairs to blank margins (one affecting early inscription on t-p), expert repair to blank margins or versos of four plates, thumb marks or mainly marginal ink splashes in a few places, outer edges dusty in places. Fol. 117 marginal tear repaired. A good copy in contemporary vellum, newer eps, small loss to upper edges. In modern slipbox.
A good copy of the scarce second edition of this beautifully illustrated travelogue-report of the Dutch embassy to Muscovy in 1615-16. First published by Aert Meuris in 1619, it includes 24 full-page etchings with views of Muscovy and the Swedish territories, including the second oldest view of Tallinn, from the sea. They were sketched ‘to the life’ by Anthonis Goeteeris (fl. C17) and cut by the Dutch Simon Frisius, who travelled with him. Goeteeris was treasurer of the embassy to Muscovy led by the Dutch Commissioner Reynbout van Broderode. With an English embassy, he was to negotiate a peace treatise between Russia, ruled by Michail Feodorovich, the first Romanov tsar, and Sweden, ruled by Gustavus Adolphus. The result was a mere three-month armistice, signed in March 1616. The chronological account, proceeding day by day, includes details of the journey and on meetings with local state officers. It begins in Holland, with a view of ’T Coll, proceeding to the Swedish territories, with Tallinn (here called with its old German name, Reval), Colko, Narva and Ivangorod. A folding plate depicts their passage over a long, unsafe-looking wooden log bridge—Goeteeris says there were many—crossing a marsh, with a cross halfway marking the spot where a traveller died. Another shows the dilapidated monastery of St Nicolai Vaysitsquy, near Novgorod, then Swedish. In the Muscovy sections are depictions of Russian burning stoves, the towns of Milagona, Romanov and Glebovo, where the embassy was quartered by the Muscovite authorities, and the camp at Diderina, where the negotiations took place. On their way back, via Sweden, Goeteeris was impressed by, and had illustrated, a natural rock formation in the shape of a human face; the state room of Gustavus Adolphus is also beautifully portrayed, decorated with handsome tapestries. Scarce and handsome.Only Yale copy recorded in the US.Estreicher, Bib. Staropolska, III, 210 (1619 ed.); Warmholtz, Bib. hist. Sueo-Gothica, 8210.