GOETEERIS, Anthonis.


Iournael Vande Legatie ghedaen in de Iaren 1615. Ende 1616.

’sGraven-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. 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.


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Peregrinacya abo Pielgrzymowanie do Ziemie Swiętey.

Cracow, W Drukarniey Antoniego Wosinskiego, 1628.


4to. pp. (viii) 356. Gothic letter. T-p and text within typographical border, large oval portrait of Mikołaj Radziwiłł to verso of t-p. Paper softened, light browning, t-p fore-edge and lower outer blank corner of last four ll. restored, small repair to lower portion of t-p, touching couple of lines of text, first couple of ll. somewhat dusty, holes to lower blank margin of F 1 and G 4 , marginal paper flaw to Z 2 , light water stain to outer blank margin of first and last few ll, lower egde of NN 2-3 uneven. A good copy in contemporary vellum, recased over modern boards, slightly splayed, small repair at head of spine, corners worn, old ink stain to lower cover. Stamps of Archivium Treterianum and H. Treter (C19), and Bibl. Treteriana (C18?), and inscriptions ‘Ta ksiazka jest E. Laibodzki dana mi ad W Jozefa Sczepanskiego 25 Apr 1816’ and ‘Kupilem z Jazdz [city of Jażdże?] 860 Hilary Treter’, all to t-p, C19 stamp of H. Treter to verso of last leaf.

The exceedingly rare Polish translation—with no copies recorded outside Poland—of the author’s journey to the Holy Land. Prince Mikołaj Krzysztof Radziwiłł (1549-1616) was a traveller, diplomat and member of a powerful aristocratic family in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. In 1601, he achieved popularity with the publication of ‘Hierosolymitana peregrinatio’, an account, in Latin, of his travels to the Holy Land, Syria, Egypt, Italy, Greece, Crete and Cyprus in 1582-84. It was quickly published in German in 1603, and in Polish in 1607, based on the German edition. This copy was in the possession of the Treter family, purchased in 1860 by a descendant of Tomasz Treter (1547-1610), who first translated Radziwiłł’s ms., by then widely circulated, into Latin. The idea of publishing the account was promoted by the Jesuits, as part of the Counter-Reformation attempts to reignite pilgrimages to the Holy Land. These had subsided after the Ottoman conquest of Jerusalem and the Eastern Mediterranean, the more remote exploration routes, the commercial crisis between Venice and the Orient, and Reformed theologians’ criticism of pilgrimages (Longo, ‘Memorie’, 16). In his preface to the first Latin edition, Treter indeed presented Radziwiłł’s pilgrimage as a Catholic’s ‘heroic journey’, in the face of the Reformation (Noonan, ‘Road’, 187). Like its contemporary European counterparts, ‘Peregrinacya’ included itineraries and
logistic information for pilgrims, with unusual attention to ethnographic descriptions. It begins with the difficult organisation, e.g., the procurement of a passport, ‘without which one cannot go to Jerusalem’, from the Doge Nicola da Ponte in Venice, and a meeting with the Custodian of the Holy Land, Geremia da Brescia. It also reports the text of documents he needed to present to authorities along the way. The account continues with his journey to Greece and Cyprus via Dalmatia, thence to Cyprus, Jerusalem, Tripoli and Egypt. In addition to a long section on the customary holy places he visited in Jerusalem, he also mentions the situation of the Ottoman occupation in the Eastern Mediterranean. Most fascinating is the long third section, on Egypt, where he describes the ‘glory’ of Memphis and devotes three pages to the pyramids of Giza, with references to Pliny and the story of Rodopis, the prostitute who allegedly built the third pyramid with money earned through her profession. Scattered in the third part are also descriptions of Egyptian mummies, including a reference to the recent decree forbidding the trade in and export of mummies, which were used by European apothecaries for medicaments.

Only National Library of Poland copy recorded.

Estreicher, Bib. Polska, 184828; Brunet IV, 1087 (mentions first Polish ed. of 1617 [i.e., 1607] only). Not in Röricht, Bibliotheca Geographica Palaestinae. F.T. Noonan, The Road to Jerusalem (Philadelphia, 2007); P.G. Longo, Memorie di Gerusalemme (2010).


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[FRANZINI, Girolamo].


Las cosas maravillosas de la S. Ciudad de Roma.

Rome, por Girolamo Francino: por Alessandro Gardane & Francesco Coattino, 1589.


FIRST EDITION thus. 8vo. pp. (xvi) 260. Roman letter, little Italic. T-p in red and black with small woodcut view of Rome, allegorical figure and arms of Sixtus V, 103 half-page woodcuts of Roman monuments, decorated initials and ornaments. T-p a bit dusty, thumb marks to a few ll., a little marginal spotting. A very good copy in polished calf by Hering, rebacked with onlaid spine, double gilt ruled, border of tendrils with large fleurons to corners in blind, gilt arms of William Stirling Maxwell to upper board, joints and extremities a bit rubbed, ffep and fly detaching. Armorial label of Charles Brooke to front pastedown, William Stirling Maxwell and binder to ffep, bookplates of J.B. and Michael Bury to rear fep, another of Stirling to rear pastedown.

Scarce first edition in Castilian of this early illustrated guide to Rome. Born in Brescia, Girolamo Franzini (1537-96) moved to Rome, retaining business connections with Venice, to work as a printer and publisher. He specialised in the production of works on the city of Rome and its monuments, from 1588. ‘The history of his publishing house was crucial for the development of a specific type of Roman guidebook’ (Schudt, ‘Guide’, 32). ‘Las cosas maravillosas’ was a translation of his ‘Le cose maravigliose dell’alma città di Roma’ (Venice, 1588), of which it reprised the woodcuts, with a few additions to the text. Probably cut by Franzini himself, the illustrations depict ‘extremely schematically drawn monuments’, with a simplicity which ‘imitates images of sculpture and architecture on ancient coins’ (Tschudi, ‘Baroque Antiquity’, 55). Catering for the international market of religious pilgrimage, it explained how to see the major sights of Rome, the parishes and antiquities, including obelisks and columns. For the pilgrims, it included a list of churches functioning as stations for indulgences and a treatise on ‘the way to earn the indulgence at the stations’. For tourists, it provided a three-day sightseeing programme, since ‘for those who wish to see the marvellous antiquities of Rome it is necessary to proceed in an orderly fashion, not doing like those who look at one thing and then another, and eventually leave having seen only half’. The last part includes useful factual information like chronological lists of popes and emperors, of parishes and confraternities, and a brief survey of the customs of ancient Rome.

No copies recorded in the US.

Schudt, Guide di Roma, 163; Wilkinson, Iberian Books, 9197. Not in Fowler, BM STC It., Berlin Cat or Palau. V.P. Tschudi, Baroque Antiquity (New York, 2017).


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BG. [Mazzella Scipione.] [with] DE BRY, Theodor.



BG. [Mazzella Scipione.] Regum Neapolitanorum vitae et effigies. 

Augsburg, sumpt. Dominici Custodis. Coelo Raphael Custodis, 1605


DE BRY, Theodor. Indiae orientalis pars vndecima,

Frankfurt, typis Hieronymi Galleri, 1619


Folio. Two works in one. 1) C-T² lacking first two quires [4 leaves, A-B2 title and prefatory material]. Roman letter. 31 full page engraved genealogical tables and portraits with typeset explanations on verso, one tear with marginal loss, one affecting plate. 2) pp. 62 (ii); (ii) X engraved plates. [A-H⁴; a-c⁴] without last blank. Roman and Italic letter, first title with engraved portrait of Olivier van Noort with two natives at sides and with two map hemispheres, large grotesque head and tail pieces and initials, second part with separate t-p with grotesque woodcut ornaments, and 10 half page engraved plated with printed explanations, tiny single worm trail in lower blank margin of last four ff. Light age yellowing. A fine copy in stunning contemporary English olive morocco, covers double gilt ruled to a panel design, outer panel with a dentelle border made of small gilt tools, and a second border two blind rules and gilt laurel scrolls, inner panel with corner pieces of gilt laurel branch fleurons, filled with semée of gilt stars, large arms of James I within grotesque border, crown at head, gilt stamped at centres, spine double gilt ruled in compartments, gilt fleurons at centres with gilt star tools, edges gilt ruled, all edges gilt, upper joint repaired at foot, remains of blue silk ties, a.e.g.

The beautifully illustrated, rare and important eleventh vol of Theodor De Bry’s Small voyages containing three important travel accounts including the relation of Vespucci’s third and fourth voyage to America, in a stunning, finely preserved, contemporary morocco binding from the library of James I, very much in the style of Bateman. The first part contains all the plates from Mazella’s history of the kings of Naples.

The Small Voyages were printed in a total of 13 parts and an Appendix, at Frankfurt from 1597 to 1633; this is the sole Latin edition of part eleven of the Small voyages.“This eleventh part contains three narratives: 1) [p. 5-10] The relations of the third and fourth voyages of Vespuccius to America, in 1501 and 1503; it is a reprint of selections of the author’s: Mundus novus, first printed under title: Albericus Vespuccius Laurentio Petri Francisci de Medicis salutem plurimam dicit Amerigo Vespucci, Paris, 1503 but generally known as: Mundus novus. 2) [p. 11-46] An account of Robert Coverte’s travels by land through Persia and Mongolia [here, Church is incorrect. Instead of Mongolia, it is the Mogul Empire], after his shipwreck off Surat. This relation was first printed in English, at London in 1612; it is a translation of ‘A true and almost incredible report of an Englishman, that (being cast away in the good ship called the Assention in Cambaya the farthest part of the East Indies) trauelled by land through many vnknowne kingdomes, and great cities, by Robert Coverte, first printed London, 1612’ 3) [p. 47-62] A geographical description of Spitzbergen and a refutation of the claims of the English to the northern whale fisheries, with the journal of the voyage of Willem Barentsz and Jan Corneliszoon Rijp, in 1596, Cf. Church. It is a translation of: Histoire du Pays nommé Spisberghe collected and edited by Hessel Gerritsz, printed in Amsterdam, 1613, which is, in turn, a translation of selections of his: Descriptio ac delineatio geographica detectonis freti; sive Transitus ad occasum, supra terras Americanas, in Chinam atque Japonem ducturi, recens investigati ab M. Henrico Hudsono Anglo, first printed in Amsterdam, 1612. There are two states of the title page: in the first one, the vignette has two natives and a centre engraved portrait of Olivier van Noort, with two map hemispheres; the other has a native woman on the left with her child and a native man on the right with two ships in the centre. This copy contains the rare Plate VII, of a woman being carried in state to be burned with the body of her husband. This is often replaced by the plate, in which a woman is represented as throwing herself into the funeral pyre of her husband, used as plate IX.” JCB. 

“The language of Vespucci’s first public letter is compatible with the idea of a “new world” under and subordinate to the known configuration of lands. But in his second published letter Vespucci treats the southern and northern parts of the area he and Columbus explored as a single continent that is not Asia. This was a stunning breakthrough in the state of knowledge, one Columbus never achieved” Wills, Letters from a New World. 

This marvellous copy, with two works of particular interest to the English, comes from the library of James I (1566-1625), the first and probably the most learned ‘King of Great Britain’ as ruler of both Scotland and England. ‘He studied Greek, French, and Latin and made good use of a library of classical and religious writings that his tutors, George Buchanan and Peter Young, assembled for him. James’s education aroused in him literary ambitions rarely found in princes but which also tended to make him a pedant.’ EBO. His numerous books were often customised with his arms by the royal binder, John Bateman, who employed various style, material and techniques (M. Foot, The Henry Davids Gift, I, pp. 38-49, 52). This copy is of exceptional quality even within Bateman’s refined and wide-ranging output.

Church II 223. “Sole edition” t-p reproduced. JCB I 383. Brunet I 1341. Graesse VII 129. 


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SANDYS, George


A relation of a iourney … Containing a description of the Turkish Empire, of Ægypt, of the Holy Land, of the remote parts of Italy, and ilands adioyning.

London, Printed [by Thomas Cotes] for Ro: Allot, 1627.


Folio pp. (iv) 309 (i). A², B-2D, two fldg. engraved plates, without last blank. Mostly Roman letter, some Italic. Fine engraved architectural title by Delaram depicting Isis, the Sibyl and ‘Achmet’, Truth and Constance above, the Cumaean Sibyl below, with early hand colouring, double full page map of the eastern Mediterranean and Near East, smaller double-page engraved view of the sultan’s seraglio with early hand colouring, 46 fine illustrations of places and costumes engraved in text, a few with early hand colouring, many after Natale Bonifacio, variant issue without the engraving, often missed, intended to fill a blank spot left on D4v. General light age-yellowing, minor, very light marginal water-staining in places, t-p very slightly soiled, rare mark or spot. A very good copy, crisp and clean, in handsome contemporary calf, covers blind and double gilt ruled to a panel design, fleurons gilt to outer corners, central arabesque gilt, rebacked to match, spine with gilt ruled raised bands, corners restored.

Third edition of the story of Sandys’ great journey throughout 1610 through north Italy, Venice, Turkey, Egypt, the Greek Islands and Palestine; George Sandy’s Relation is one of the most interesting and important travel books of the English Renaissance. He was an observant traveller as well as an able writer and the work was immediately popular, as well as regarded as authoritative. Izaak Walton noticed in his ‘Compleat Angler’ (pt. i, ch. i) Sandys’ account of the pigeon courier service between Aleppo and Babylon, and Milton derived hints for his ‘Ode on the Passion’ (st. viii) from Sandys’ ‘Hymn to my Redeemer’ composed on visiting the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. One of the works responsible for reviving English interest in the ‘Near East’, it is still important for its references to contemporary customs and commerce and its contribution to the geography and ethnology of the area (see J.F.B. S90 of 1st ed.). Its faithful engravings of maps, views, costumes and antiquities doubtless contributed to the work’s wide popularity.

“Sandys was a perceptive observer of other peoples and cultures, noting details from everyday life as well as those of more obvious importance, and he was able to move easily from one to the other in his writing. He comments on the significance of the crocodile in Egyptian cultural and religious life, as well as recognising the achievements of Egyptian civilisation. Sandys account of the Jews is notably sympathetic to their plight and the anti-semitic prejudice they have suffered, and he includes comments on Jewish women (again, sympathetic in the main.)”. Andrew Hadfield. ‘Amazons, Savages, and Machiavels: Travel and Colonial Writing in English. 1550 -1630.’

Sandys was also deeply interested in America. He was one of the undertakers named in the third charter of the Virginia company and later treasurer and member of its Council. His celebrated translation of Ovid was actually completed in America.”These travels written in a pleasant style are distinguished by erudition, sagacity and a love of truth” Lowndes.

ESTC S114571. STC 21728. See Blackmer 1484 and Gay 2232. Lowndes VI 2189. Taylor 1089. Alden 637/89 – includes references to the Turks’ use of tobacco.


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CLERCK, Nicolaes de.



Tooneel der beroemder Hertogen, Princen, Graven ende Krygs-Helden van Christenrijck binnen dese drey laeste eeuwen.

Delft, Nicolaes de Clerck, 1617.


FIRST EDITION. Folio. pp. (viii) 325. Gothic letter, with Roman. Engraved t-p with angel above, heraldic shields to centre, and male allegorical figures below, 82 half-page engraved portraits, decorated initials and ornaments. T-p slightly dusty, lower edge a trifle frayed, intermittent slight browning (paper probably not properly dried), small ink burn just touching one letter on E4 and S4, minor see-through or offsetting from couple of pls, light water stain to few lower or upper margins, small paper flaws to three lower outer blank corners. A very good copy in contemporary vellum, yapp edges, C19 bookplate of James William Ellsworth to front pastedown, glued paper slip stamped ‘Armand’ (C19).

A fascinating history of the most important princes (including two from the New World), noblemen and heroes (mostly explorers and navigators) of Christianity, beautifully illustrated with numerous engraved portraits, here in fine impression. The Flemish Nicolaes de Clerck (fl. 1599-25), printer in Delft, specialised in engravings from plates designed and engraved by skilled artists like Jacques de Gheyn the Younger. He also himself produced maps and dozens of portraits of political figures for historical publications (‘Drawing’, 191). In 1600, he was rewarded financially for ‘having dedicated and presented to the States General the depictions of the genealogy of the illustrious house of Nassau and the feats of war’ (Klinkert, ‘Information’, 62). Each section of ‘Tooneel’ begins with a textual genealogy, focusing at length on major figures, depicted in handsome portraits. These include Cesare Borgia, Alessandro Farnese, William of Orange, Cosimo I de’ Medici, Gaston de Foix, Edward Prince of Wales and Philip the Good. The portraits (and biographies) of the Americana section were drawn from André Thevet’s famous ‘Les vrais pourtraits et vies des hommes illustres’ (1584). These include Montezuma, King of Mexico, Atahualpa, King of Peru, Hernán Cortés, Francisco Pizzarro, Ferdinando Magellano and Amerigo Vespucci (this last filed in the section of de’ Medici, his patrons). Thevet’s ‘Les vrais pourtraits’ was hitherto the closest attempt to replicate a faithful image of New World figures. Montezuma was the only prince whose image Thevet had not managed to acquire, so he used as a source the Aztec ‘Codex Mendoza’ (c.1529-33); nobody was allowed to look at the king, though Cortés had described him in a letter to Charles V. For Atahualpa, Thevet used an image from his personal collection; no native portrait has survived (Hajovsky, ‘André Thevet’, 335). An unexpected Americanum, with fresh illustrations in the Netherlandish style.

Only three copies recorded in the US (Folger, Lehigh and JFB).

Alden 617/42; Sabin 13637. Not in BM STC Dutch, Graesse or Lipperheide. W. Liedtke et al., Vermeer and the Delft School (London, 2001); C.M. Klinkert, ‘Information or Indoctrination?’, in Selling and Rejecting Politics in Early Modern Europe, ed. M. Gosman et al. (Leuven, 2007), 59-70; P.T. Hayovski, ‘André Thevet’s ‘true’ portrait of Moctezuma and its European legacy’, Word & Image 25 (2009), 335-52.


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CONESTAGGIO, Cerolamo Franchi di


The historie of the vniting of the kingdom of Portugall to the crowne of Castill.

London, Arn[old] Hatfield for Edward Blount, 1600.


FIRST EDITION thus. pp. [xii], 324, [viii]: A-2E, 2F. Roman letter, some Italic. Woodcut printer’s device (McKerrow 293), floriated woodcut initials. Early manuscript autograph “Ex-libris Joannis Johnson, Coll Mag. Cant” on verso of last Engraved armorial bookplate of James Ibebetson on pastedown, Richard Radcliffe’s below, manuscript ex-dono from ‘Richard Duncan Radcliffe to Albert George Sandeman, 1879’ above, Patrick W Sandeman’s on fly, early armorial stamp of John Blount on verso of title, repeated over that of Ibebetson. Light age yellowing, t-p backed, dusty on recto, predominantly marginal light waterstaining in places, verso of last a little soiled. A very good copy, with good margins, in early vellum over boards, later label, covers bordered with double blind rule, a little soiled.

First edition of the English translation of this most interesting history generally attributed to Juan de Silva, conde de Portalegre; the work deals with the recent history of the kingdoms of Spain and Portugal prior to and during the union of their crowns. “A history and description of Portugal and the East Indies containing a royal genealogy starting in 1090, a geographical description, Portuguese exploration and an anecdotal account of the wars between Portugal and Spain. Translated by Edward Blount (?) who had it printed in folio by Arnold Hatfield in 1600. .. Scott suspects that the real author was Juan de Silva, fourth Count of Portalegre, who concealed himself behind the name of Girolamo Franchi de Conestaggio.. Dedicated to Henry Wriothesley, third Earl of Southhampton by Edward Blount. No later edition.” A Bibliographical Catalogue of Italian Books Printed in England 1558–1603. Of particular interest is its treatment of the voyages of discovery and of Portuguese colonial expansion, especially in Africa (in battles against the Moors), Asia and the Southern Americas, its description of the states of the Colonies (e.g. Brazil apparently was only a penal colony while the Moluccas were prized for their cloves and nutmeg), and the role of the Jesuits in state affairs. Contemporary events in Europe are not ignored. The House of Hapsburg and the Prince of Orange figure fairly frequently and even the story of the request of aid from the people of Ireland to the Pope, against Queen Elizabeth I is recorded. The work begins with the genealogy of the Kings of Portugal from 1090 to 1527. The translation is almost certainly by Edward Blount (1565-1632), though it was also attributed to Marlowe, publisher and translator into English of a number of popular Spanish and Italian works of the day, including the first English edition of Cervantes. Interestingly the work has a double Shakespeare connection. It is dedicated by Blount to Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton, Shakespeare’s close friend and patron and Blount, of course, with Jaggard, was the publisher of Shakespeare’s great first folio.

The early autograph could well be that of John Johnson of Cranbrook (1662–1725) the theologian who published several theological works in the Laudian tradition.

STC 5624. Lowndes II, 508. Alden 600/31. Brunet II, 217 (referring to the original Italian edition); ‘ouvrage curieux, qui a eu beaucoup de succès dans le temps: il est Jean de Silvá, comte de Portalegre, qui accompagna Don Sébastien en Afrique en qualité d’ambassadeur d’Espagne’. JFB has 1589 Italian version only.


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BUSBECQ, Ogier Ghislain de.


Legationis turcicae Epistolae quatuor.

Frankfurt, apud A. Wechel (heirs of), C. de Marne and J. Aubry, 1595.


8vo. pp. 360 (xxiv). Roman letter, little Italic. Woodcut printer’s device to t-p and last, decorated initials and ornaments. Blank margins somewhat wormed, intermittent faint water stain to upper outer corners, paper flaw to upper outer corner of F2 and outer lower of T4, outer and lower edges of last gathering softened and little frayed, couple of holes to outer blank margin of last two ll. A good clean copy in contemporary limp vellum, traces of ties, title and shelfmark inked to spine, lower edges of rear cover chewed. Latin verse in contemporary hand inked to fly, inscriptions ‘Moyle Breton Univ. Coll. Oxon. 1768’, ‘Amasia natus est Strabo’ (late C17, a scholarly gloss), ‘one and thirtieth booke third shelf from the top of the South East Box’, ‘meo remigio rem gero’ (motto) and ‘R Leedes’ (c.1600) inked to t-p, occasional annotations in contemporary hands, casemark inked to outer and lower fore-edge.

Second edition of these remarkably important letters on Turkey, written in the 1550s, with the only surviving glossary of a long-extinct Germanic language. Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq (1522-92) was a scholar, keen herbalist and diplomat in the service of the Austrian monarchy; he spent several years in Constantinople where he negotiated the boundaries of disputed territories and was involved in politics at the court of Suleyman the Magnificent. First published without authorial licence in Paris in 1589 as ‘Itinerarium Constantinopolitanum’, ‘Epistolae’ is his most famous work and one of the earliest Western testimonies on the Ottoman world. It gathers letters which Busbecq sent to the Hungarian diplomat Nicholas Michault. In addition to observations on the natural environment, he included in his work the first and only recorded glossary (80 words), as well as the excerpt of a song, in a Crimean dialect. Having heard of a Germanic language being spoken in Turkey, he managed to have an interview with a native speaker noting words close to Dutch (e.g., ‘tag’ ‘day’, ‘plut’ ‘blood’), others which differed, and cardinal numbers (Considine, ‘Dictionaries’, 140-41). Busbecq also expresses strong opinions on the conquest of the New World, as colonisers ‘seek the Indies and the Antipodes through the vastity of the ocean because there the booty is easy to take from naïve and gullible natives, without bloodshed’. One of the English annotators of this copy, who wrote in English, Greek, Latin and Arabic, was a scholar at University College, Oxford, as per ex-libris on t-p. He wrote in Arabic the word ‘sherbet’ to gloss a sentence on ‘sorbet’, a cooling fruit drink typical of Eastern territories; according to the OED, the word was first recorded in English in 1603. He was also interested in Busbecq’s observations on Turkish flora and fauna, as he glossed ‘glycyrrhiza’ as ‘liquorish’ and ‘sicedula’ as ‘nightingale’ and ‘beccafico’. The Latin verse on the fly reprises some of the epigraphs which Busbecq used to conclude his accounts, e.g., the Tacitean ‘religion is the pretext, the object is gold’ in his discussion of the conquest of the New World. A very influential work in the history of Western perceptions of the Ottoman world.

A jeweller named William Leedes took part in expeditions of the Turkey Company in 1579 and 1584, with other merchant adventurers, arriving as far as Baghdad.

Göllner 2026; Graesse I, 580 (1605 ed.); Blackmer 249. Not in BM STC Ger. or Alden. J. Considine, Dictionaries in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge, 2008); The Turkish Letters of Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq, ed. E. Seymour Forster (Baton Rouge, 2005).


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SOMNER, William

The antiquities of Canterbury. Or a survey of that ancient citie, with the suburbs, and cathedrall…

London, printed by I[ohn] L[egat] for Richard Thrale, 1640


FIRST EDITION. 4to. pp.[xvi], 516, [xiv], 3 fldg. plates, one a map. Roman and Italic letter, full page woodcut arms of Canterbury on verso of title, woodcut and typographical headpieces, floriated woodcut initials, early binder’s record and price on front f. e-p. Light age yellowing, pale waterstaining in places, a little heavier on first quire, hole in upper margin of A1 just touching running headline on verso, some soiling on recto and A3 and 4, marginal staining on 3I3 and 4, minor marginal spotting in places, the odd mark or spot. A very good copy, in handsome contemporary calf, covers bordered with a double blind rule, spine with raised bands, blind ruled in compartments, red morocco label gilt, edges gilt ruled, a.e.r. lower corners a little worn. 

A handsome copy of the first edition of Somner’s important description of the town of Canterbury and more particularly the Cathedral, finely illustrated with plates and a map. “The Antiquities of Canterbury, true to its title, deals with ‘antiquities’: it is concerned only with that which is the work of civilization, and, its subject being Canterbury, it is not a country description, but an urban description. .. while Somner takes some basic notice of architecture, he does so in order to help determine age rather than to appreciate the impression a building might make on a visitor or resident. It is only in describing his beloved Cathedral that there is some betrayal of such sentiments .. .Somner takes his readers on a veritable guided tour of Canterbury Cathedral, and we may imagine that his text, rehearsing an itinerary which he had often followed in reality, while showing the church to visitors. In touring the building, Somner endeavours to inform his readers of the period of construction of each of the component sections, the benefactor or builder, and changes that may have transpired in form or utilization.” Somner often quotes from Erasmus’ account of the Cathedral in pre-reformation times. Ironically Somner’s book was used by the fanatical puritan preacher Reverend Richard Culmer who, in 1642, bearing a copy of this work, visited the Cathedral with the mayor in order to destroy the ‘Cathedrall Idolls’. He wrote of the book that it was “a card and a compasse to sail by, in that Cathedrall Ocean of Images: by it many a Popish picture was discovered and demolished. It’s sure working by the booke: but here is the wonder, that this booke should be a means to pull down Idols, which so much advaunceth Idolatry.” William Somner worked as an ecclesiastical notary at the Cathedral. “The Antiquities of Canterbury appeared when William was only 34 – widely welcomed but the dedication of the book to his patron Archbishop Laud proved to be unfortunate.  Laud was arrested for treason the following year and beheaded four years later. This setback put paid to William’s original plans for a history of the whole county of Kent. When Cromwell’s parliamentary soldiers smashed the cathedral font in 1642, William managed to collect the pieces and hide them. Eighteen years later, with the Commonwealth period at an end, King Charles II returned to England.., and called at Canterbury ..and William was able to offer the king a copy of his history of Canterbury. In that same year, 1660, William returned the pieces of font to the cathedral, and the elaborate apparatus was re-assembled” Canterbury Historical and Archaeological Society.

ESTC S121902. STC 22918 (Variant without errata leaf at end). Lowndes VI 2442 “An excellent work” (Nicholson)


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LONICER, Philipp

Chronicorum Turcicorum tomus primus [-tertius].

Frankfurt, Sigmund Feyerabend for Johann Feyerabend, 1578.


FIRST EDITION. Folio, three vols. in one. 1) ff. [iv], 130, [iv].  )(, A-Z, a-h, i, k. (k4 blank). 2) pp. [viii], 255, [i]. a, A-D, E-Z, a-g. 3) ff. [iv], 271, [v]. (*), A-Z, a-2z. Separate title and colophon to each. Italic letter in various sizes, some Roman. Each title with fine woodcut of Turks, historiated woodcut initials, woodcut tail-pieces, 206 woodcuts by Jost Amman illustrating text, depicting notable leaders, battles and other great events, large woodcut printer’s devices to last of parts 1 and 3, small stamped monogram of Otto Schäfer collection on rear pastedown. Light age yellowing, very occasional marginal foxing. A fine copy, unusually crisp and clean, with the cuts in fine bold impression, in handsome well preserved contemp. German blindstamped pigskin over boards, covers double blind ruled to a panel design, outer panel filled with acanthus leaf blind roll, second and third with a fine rolls of religious figures, acanthus leavs to centre, spine with blind ruled raised bands.

First edition of a collection of texts about the Turks – their culture, customs, and history. Phillip Lonicer, brother of the German naturalist Adam Lonicer, contributed the general account of the Turks in volume 1 which also contains works by Menavino, Aventinus and Georgievitz. The woodcuts, which include portraits of sultans, battle scenes, embassies and executions, are attributed to Jost Amman. A second edition appeared in 1584. Lonicer’s monumental history of the Turks was the outstanding work on the subject of its day. It begins with Lonicer’s own account of Turkish origins, the lives of the Sultans up to Selimann II, and their military, civil, religious and political organization. Next comes descriptions of their principal military campaigns, particularly in Europe, drawn from various authors; Leonard of Chio’s account of the Fall of Constantinople, the capture of Negroponte, Sabelicus’ history of the wars against the Venetians, Fontani’s account of the siege of Rhodes, Crispus of the taking of Naxos, Stella on the devastation of Hungary and Georgijevic on Turkish incursions into Christendom in general. The last part includes Marinus Barletius’ compendious account of the great Albanian patriot Scanderbeg, and the history of the siege of Scutari. Many of the illustrations in this work were reused in later editions, even recycled in completely different texts.

There is no other comparable work of the period on the Ottoman Empire either for the comprehensiveness of its information or the quality and vigour of Amman’s illustrations.

The second panel of the binding has a fine blindstamped roll which appears to be a copy of one made by the “NP Meister”, see BL Shelfmark c68e5. “This master was one of the most prolific roll engravers. About three dozen rolls are recorded, dated between 1549 and 1564 (K. Haebler, Rollen- und Plattenstempel, I, p.337-357)”.

A splendid volume, and a fine copy.

BM STC Ger. p. 525. Göllner 1695. Blackmer 1030. Graesse III 256. Hammer 1090. 2215 Adams L-1455. USTC 621419.


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