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Le navigationi et viaggi, fatti nella Turchia,

di Nicololo de' Nicholai del delfinato, signor d'Arfevilla...

Stock Code 110317

Venice, Francesco Ziletti, 1580

Original price £8,000.00 - Original price £8,000.00
Original price £0.00
£8,000.00 - £8,000.00
Current price £8,000.00
The Loverdos copy of the expanded Italian edition. The best, expanded edition in Italian of Nicolas de Nicolay's (1517-1583) Quatre premiers livres des navigations, the first comprehensive survey of the costumes and customs of the Ottoman Empire.

Artist, geographer and spy, Nicolay (1517-1583) was sent by the French king Henri II to Constantinople in 1551 to join d'Aramont's embassy at the court of the sultan. Henri's predecessor had counted Suleiman an ally and Henri wished to revive that accord. Nicolay's account of his travels, written whilst in residence, is more balanced in its depiction of the Ottomans than others of the period, although it still includes salacious details of sex, drugs and cruelty.

The work is illustrated with 67 plates claimed by Nicolay as his own work, although Baudrier assigns them to Louis Danet of whom nothing else is known. The engravings closely follow the 1567 Lyon edition of the French text, and attest to the cultural diversity of life under the sultanate, with plates depicting Greeks and Arabs, Turks and Armenians, and a Jewish physician. In our copy the often-mutilated image of a qalandar (p.108) member of the dervish fraternity is uncensored. The additional 7 plates produced for this 1580 Ziletti edition (pp. 154, 182, 184, 186, 188, 190 and 192) include images of an Arab captain, a lady travelling under canopy through the city, and the Patriarch of Constantinople.

The 'finest and most influential pictorial introduction of Turkish characters and costumes' (Rouillard). With provenance for Dionysius P. Loverdos (1878-1934), a banker from Cephalonia and one of the most important collectors of post-Byzantine religious art.

Second edition in Italian, expanded with 7 additional plates; folio (30.5 x 21 cm); text in Italian, 67 full-page engraved illustrations, minor offsetting, woodcut device to title, initials and headpieces, gilt bookplate and old bookseller's label to front pastedown, old library stamp to rear pastedown, endpapers watermarked with lily in circle, title watermaked with angel in circle below star, final blank f. present; old vellum, MS title to spine in pen, edges stained red, remains of silk ties, covers a little yellowed, minor worming top top-margin of first few ff., otherwise internally clean; [24], 192, [2]pp.

Blackmer 1196; Colas 2204.

Provenance: Spiros Loverdos Collection (bookplate).


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Le navigationi et viaggi, fatti nella Turchia,

NICOLAY, Nicolas de.

Stock code: 110317



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