A rare and important early work, that provides some of the first reliable information on the international jewellery trade and on a number of large and famous diamonds which have survived to this day. Includes information on Peru, the West Indies and America.
Referred to as an ‘adventurer in literature’ Samuel Chappuzeau (1625-1701) is perhaps best-known for his work on French theatre of the 17th century ‘Théâtre François’ (Lyon 1674). He was a prolific author, particularly after his move from his native Paris to Geneva in 1662, where he worked with the publisher Widerholt. In this gem of a book he describes the wealth of the East. ‘The text is in two parts, the first, of six chapters, describes gemstones beginning with diamond, then those of colour, pearls, coral, amber, yellow stones, the metals, ambergris, bezoar, indigo and other “rich” productions of the East and West Indies, and including salts. The second part describes the places which are referred to in the first part, from Abyssinia to Visapur’ (Sinkankas).
First English edition. 12mo, xvi, 128 pp., light marking and soiling to title, I2 with small portion of restoration, affecting a few words, occasional browning, margins trimmed, ink inscription ‘ffor my Lady Conway’ pasted to front free endpaper, ink ownership inscriptions to front free endpaper and rear pastedown, bookseller’s description tipped onto front pastedown, contemporary tree calf, sympathetically rebacked.
Provenance: Job Lousley (ink inscription to front free endpaper and pastedown ‘A rare and curious work and worth 5/0… Hampstead Norris Berks 1842’)
Sinkankas 1252; [Sabin 32140; Wing C1959
Stock ID: 100198