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LE BRUYN, Cornelius.

Voyages … par la Moscovie, en Perse, et aux Indes Orientales.

Published: Amsterdam: Les Freres Wetstein, 1718

Stock code: 61428

Price: £10,000

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First edition in French of one of the principal accounts of Russia published during the 18th century, originally published in Dutch, Amsterdam 1711. Cornelis de Bruyn, the Dutch traveller and painter, also known for his account of his journey through the Levant, was the first traveller to whom the tsar gave permission to make drawings of the towns and villages in the Russian provinces, and the superb engravings are from on-the-spot drawings by the author. The book is arguably the best authority for costumes of the era in the countries visited, for the Assyrian antiquities of Persepolis at that time, and for the views of cities and their natural history. His account also “details the route taken by Everard Ysbrants Ides, the Russian ambassador to China, and contains an account of his encounter with William Dampier at Batavia. In 1714 De Bruyn published a pamphlet discussing the differences between his engravings of Persepolis and those of Chardin and Kaempfer. His remarks [are] appended to the second part of his travels” (Howgego).

2 volumes folio (330 206 mm). Contemporary sprinkled calf, skilfully rebacked with the original spines laid down, new red and green labels, spines gilt in compartments, edges sprinkled red. Allegorical frontispiece by Picart, portrait of Le Bruyn by G. Valck after G. Kneller, 114 plates, 14 of them folding, and 57 double-page, and 43 full-page showing 491 views, 3 folding maps, engraved headpiece and 44 illustrations, half-titles bound in, titles pirnted in red and black. From the library of the Earl of Camden, armorial bookplates and press-marks to the front pastedowns. Slightly rubbed on the boards, light toning, but a very good set.

Bibliography: Brunet III, 911; Schwab 345; Cox I, p.251.

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