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DAPPER, Olfert.

Naukeurige Beschryving van Asie:

behelsende de Gewesten van Mesopotamie, Babylonie, Assyrie, Anatolie, of Klein Asie: beneffens eene volkome Beschrijving van gansch Gellukigh, Woest, en Petreesch of Steenigh Arabie.

Amsterdam : 1680 Stock Code: 100075
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First edition of Dapper's Asia Minor and Mesopotamia; a German edition followed in 1681. In common with contemporaries such as John Ogilby, the Dutch physician Olfert Dapper (1639-1689) never travelled to visit the lands he wrote about, instead compiling extant translations and other eye-witness accounts to produce lavish and encyclopaedic books for the northern European readership. His and others work thus both reflected and directed growing public interest in distant places and foreign peoples. Dapper was meticulous in using hundreds of published sources and several unpublished ones for each of his books; he did not lift whole passages from one book, but often based a single paragraph on two or three different sources. In this sense his work is indispensible to modern scholarship, as it reflects manuscript sources that have since been lost.
Central to the contemporary appeal of Dapper's works were the engravings, which ranged beyond the geographical interest served by maps and views. Clothing, eating habits, religious beliefs, court ceremonies, and judicial practices were all subjects discussed by travellers and missionaries in letters and travel books and were reproduced by Dapper. The plates (here in excellent strong impressions) include superb views of Baghdad, Abydos, Ephesus, Smyrna, Magnesia, Muscat, and Mecca. Among the half-plates are attractive botanical subjects, including the coffee tree (p. 62 in the second part). The Atabey Library copy counts 16 plates but one of these is an additional botanical plate not called-for in the collation.

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2 parts bound in 1, folio (317 x 194 mm). Contemporary vellum, title inked on spine, three-line blind tooled border on sides enclosing a large arabesque blind stamp, red speckled edges.


Letterpress title printed in red and black; engraved pictorial title, 12 double-page engraved view (2 also folding), 3 double-page maps, 22 half-page plates.


Bookplate of Heyse-Tak; front board has "sprung", 19th-century repair to fore edge of engraved title. An attractive copy in a contemporary binding.


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