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Lot 4

Lot 4VARTHEMA, Lodovico de. c.1470-1517. Die ritterlich unn lobwirdig rayss des gestrengen unn ueber all anderweyt erfarnen ritters und Lantfarers herren Ludowico Vartomans von Bolonia Sagent von den landen, Egypto, Syria von bayden Arabia Persia India unn Ethiopia. Translated by Michael Herr (d. c.1550). Augsburg: Johann Miller, 16 June 1515. US$ 40,000 - 60,000

RUB 2,300,000 - 3,500,000

Fine Books and Manuscripts

9 Mar 2018, 10:00 EST

New YorkLot Details VARTHEMA, Lodovico de. c.1470-1517. Die ritterlich unn lobwirdig rayss des gestrengen unn ueber all anderweyt erfarnen ritters und Lantfarers herren Ludowico Vartomans von Bolonia Sagent von den landen, Egypto, Syria von bayden Arabia Persia India unn Ethiopia. Translated by Michael Herr (d. c.1550). Augsburg: Johann Miller, 16 June 1515. 4to (188 x 152 mm). 74 of 76 leaves (missing leaves a2 and a3 supplied in facsimile, and 8 leaves c1, c2, p2, p3 and t1-4 probably supplied from another copy) with 43 (of 45) woodcut illustrations fully hand-colored, three pages with red capital strokes. Modern morocco. Some light browning, a few marginal repairs, g4 with tiny mended hole to image and letters on verso.

FIRST ILLUSTRATED EDITION, and first German edition, of one of the greatest travel narratives of the age of discovery, by the first non-Muslim European to enter Mecca.

The title features a large woodcut showing Varthema presenting his book to Agnese, Duchess of Urbino, and forty-five smaller cuts in the text, all by the Augsburg artist Jorg Breu the Elder (c.1475-1480). Varthema made his voyage from Italy to the East between 1501 and 1507, and visited Egypt, Syria, Alexandria, Cairo, Beirut, Tripoli, Aleppo, Damascus, Mecca and further east to India. "Varthema was a real traveler. His reports on the social and political conditions of the various lands he visited are reliable as being gathered from personal contact with places and peoples. His account of the overland trade is of great value in that we are made to see it before it had begun to give way to the all-seas route. He even heard of a southern continent and of a region of intense cold and very short days, being the first European probably after Marco Polo to bring back the rumor of Terra Australis" (Cox I, 260). Varthema's fame rivaled that of Columbus and Magellan in the sixteenth century and his work, first published in Italy in 1510, was very popular, appearing in numerous editions and in all important collections of travel accounts such as Huttich, Grynaeus, Ramusio and Purchas. It was consulted by many cartographers including Muenster, Waldseemueller, Mercator and Ortelius. VERY RARE. According to online databases, only the imperfect Perrette copy (lacking title and 4 leaves) of this first German edition has sold at auction since 1971. VD 16, ZV 15156; Cordier, Indosinica I, 102; Ibrahim-Hilmy II, 305; Dodgson II, 424; see Cox I, 260; Reichert, Reisen im Orient, Ludovici de Varthema, Sigmaringen, 1996.

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