MAYERBERG, Augustin, baron de Voyage en Moscovie d’un Ambassadeur, Conseiller de la Chambre Impériale, Envoyé par l’Empereur Leopold au czar Alexis Mihalowics, Grand Duc de Moscovie.


Account of travel to Russia in the 17th century by a German diplomat

The account of a diplomatic mission undertaken to Russia in 1661. A fine copy bound in contemporary light brown calf with the arms of Jérôme II Bignon, great master of the King’s library.

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Leiden, Friderik Harring, 1688.

12mo [152 x 86 mm] of (1) bl. l., (1) l. of title, 381 pp., (2) bl. ll. A few foxing. Bound in contemporary light brown calf, gilt arms stamped in the center of covers, spine ribbed and decorated with gilt monograms in the panels, red morocco lettering-piece, mottled edges. Contemporary binding.

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First edition of the French translation of this account of a travel to Russia in 1661. Barbier, IV, 1085; Querard, I, 296; Brunet, III, 1557; Graesse, IV, 456.

« This account of an embassy carried out in 1661 is very peculiar; it brings to light the poor level of civilization that Russia had reached at that time. » (Querard).

The first edition was published in Latin (« Iter in Moschoviam », folio), towards 1670.

«A rare work. There is a French abridged translation, under the title ‘Voyage en Moscovie d’un ambassadeur, conseiller de la cour impériale, envoyé par l’empereur Léopold, au Czar Alexis Mihalowics, grand duc de Moscovie’, Leyde, Harring, 1688.» (Brunet)

« Mayerberg is a German diplomat who lived in the second half of the seventeenth century. He was sent on a mission by Leopold I to the tsar Alexis Michaelowitz, in order to restore peace between Poland and Russia. He left Vienna on February 16th, 1661; he crossed, with his colleague Calvucci, Prussia and Courland, obtained after many difficulties the permission to enter Moscovia, and arrived in the capital on May 25th. After a year of stay, during which he couldn’t have any communication with foreign countries, he was allowed to go back to Vienna, where he returned on March 19th, 1663. He published the account of his travel. This rare and peculiar work brings to light the customs of seventeenth century Russia and the strange way foreigners were treated there. » (Biographie générale, 34, 543).

A fine copy contemporary bound in light brown calf with arms and monograms of Jérôme II Bignon (1627-1697). Jérôme Bignon, 2nd man of that name, son of Jérôme Ist, was born in Paris in November 1627, obtained the title of prosecutor in survival in February 1652 and succeeded his father to the title of great master of the King’s library and to the one of prosecutor on April 7th, 1656, he resigned office in 1673, was received as State councilor in 1678 and Chief of the council for the record of armorial bearings in 1696. He married Suzanne Phélypeaux de Pontchartrain, the sister of the chancellor. He died in Paris on January 15th, 1697. (Olivier, pl. 868).

Engraved ex libris on the endleave.

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MAYERBERG, Augustin, baron de