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DE BRUYN, Cornelius.

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

Amsterdam: Les Freres Wetstein, 1718 Stock Code: 61428
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A superb survey of the Russia of Peter the Great

First edition in French of one of the principal accounts of Russia published during the 18th century and certainly one of the most lavishly illustrated; it was originally issued in Dutch (Amsterdam, 1711). It is of note that De Bruyn was "far more concerned" than other visitors to Russia, "to describe the Russian built environment in detail, both verbally and graphically" (Cracraft, p. 51).

Cornelius de Bruyn (1652-1726/7), Dutch explorer 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 work is "largely valued for the engravings executed from De Bruyn's drawings" (Howgego), and includes panoramas - notably of Moscow, Isfahan, Persepolis, Arkhangelsk, and Astrakhan - city views and natural history subjects. The book is arguably the best authority for costumes of the era in the countries visited, which includes Turkey, Persia, and India; 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" (ibid.).

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2 volumes, folio (330 x 206 mm). Contemporary sprinkled calf, skilfully rebacked with original spines laid down, new red and green labels, spines gilt in compartments, edges sprinkled red.


Allegorical frontispiece by Picart, portrait of De Bruyn by G. Valck after G. Kneller, 114 plates (14 folding, 57 double-page), and 43 full-page showing 491 views, 3 folding maps, engraved headpiece and 44 illustrations, half-titles bound in, titles print


From the library of the Earl of Camden, armorial bookplates and press-marks to front pastedowns. Boards slightly rubbed, light toning, but a very good set.


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