BARRI [ie BORRI], Cristophoro.



containing many admirable rarities and singularities of that countrey. Extracted out of an Italian relation, lately presented to the Pope, by Christophoro Barri [sic], that liued certaine yeeres there. And published by Robert Ashley.
London, Printed by Robert Raworth; for Richard Clutterbuck, and are to be sold at the signe of the Ball in Little-Brittaine, 1633.

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The first English edition of the first Western book on Vietnam.

Borri (1583-1632), a Milanese astronomer, who was in Cochin-China (Vietnam) from 1618 to 1621, published the present work in Italian in 1631. It was the first European account of the region.

‘Remarkably full on products, trade, agriculture, fauna, and customs. It is a fundamental source’ (Lach).

A scarce book. Since this copy appeared at auction in 1973, we have only been able to trace one other copy sold at auction (1985).


First edition in English. 4to (20 x 13 cm), 72pp., bound without first and final blanks, modern brown morocco gilt, a fine example.

Provenance: Sir Thomas Phillips (bookplate, sale Sotheby’s London 26th November 1973).


Lach III, 1, passim; STC 1504.


Stock ID: 94568