NICOLAY, Nicolas de. Le Navigationi et Viaggi, fatti nella Turchia, di Nicolo de Nicolai del Delfinato, signor d’Arfevilla, Cameriere & Geografo ordinario del Re di Francia, con diverse singolarità viste, & osservate in quelle parti dall’Autore. Novamente tradotto di Francese in Italiano da Francesco Flori da Lilla, Aritmetico…

Price : 14.500,00 

Rare Venetian edition.

Italian edition, partly original, illustrated with 67 full-page copper-engravings depicting costumes from Turkey, Arabia and Greece seven of which appear here for the first time.

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Venice, Francesco Ziletti, 1580.

Folio of (8) ll., (4) ll., 192 pp. illustrated with 67 full-page copper-engravings. Small, partially faded wetstamp on the title, tiny tear in margin of title, restored tear at corner of pp. 53, 137, 139, 185 and margin of p. 183, small ink stain on p. 110. Red calf, double fillet around the covers, ribbed spine, gilt title, inner gilt border. Modern binding.

303 x 202 mm.

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First Italian edition in folio format, partly original, containing seven more full-page engravings of oriental costumes than the previous editions. For this reason and for its format, this edition, which has become rare, is one of the most sought-after.

It is also the first edition to feature copper engravings to illustrate the text, much finer and more detailed than the woodcuts used in previous editions.

Brunet, IV, 67 ; Adams n°253 ; Cicognara 1731 ; Colas 2204 ; Mortimer, II, 319.

Rare Venetian edition, partly original, “containing 7 more engravings than the French edition of 1568“.

The first edition was published in Lyons in 1567. This Venetian edition features 67 full-page copper-engravings, 7 more than the French edition of 1568. These superb engravings are an invaluable source of information on the peoples of the 16th-century Ottoman Empire.

“These additional engravings are listed below:

1 plate paginated 154 without caption depicting 3 figures.

1 plate, paged 182: Capitano d’Arabie.

1 paged plate 184: Donna turca standi in casa

1 paged plate 186: Sposa di Constantinopoli

1 paged plate 188 : Patriarca di Costantinopoli

1 paged plate 190 : Calidesquer a piedi

1 paged plate 192 without caption with 4 women’s costumes”. (Colas, 2204)

Nicolas de Nicolay was born in La Grave d’Oisans (Isère) in 1517 and died in Paris in 1583. After taking part in the siege of Perpignan (1542), he travelled most of Europe, serving in the armies of most of the countries he visited, studying the languages he heard spoken and taking sketches, of which he formed a collection. Returning to France after sixteen years, he became valet and geographer to Henry II. In 1551, he accompanied the Aramon ambassador to Constantinople, then visited the Greek archipelago, the northern coasts of Africa and became artillery commissioner.

Commenting on the 1567 edition, Colas writes: “These engravings depict male and female costumes from Turkey, Arabia and Greece; this is the first series of serious documents on the clothing of the Near East, and was copied by most 16th-century dress designers; these engravings are attributed to Louis Danet by most bibliographers, 42 of whom bear the monogram L. D. However, the Cabinet des Estampes copy bears a handwritten note stating that these plates were engraved by Léonard Thiry dit Léonard Daven, and the Destailleur sale catalog (1893, no. 1325) confirms the latter attribution. Neither Bartsch nor Passavant mention this suite in Thiry’s work.”

After describing the customs of Algiers, Tripoli, Barbary and Scio, where he landed on his way to Constantinople, Nicolay (1517-1583), a traveler from the Dauphiné region, dwells longer on the Turks, Greeks and other inhabitants of the Ottoman Empire. His remarks are instructive for the time in which they appeared, and even offer some curious details. But Nicolay suddenly interrupts his report at the end of the third book; he speaks of the inhabitants of Persia and Arabia, countries he did not visit, and to fill in his text, as well as what concerns the Greeks, Armenians and Jews, he has recourse to ancient and modern authors who have written about these peoples and the countries they inhabit.

A copy with wide margins, bearing the ex libris “Gonnelli Firenze 1875”.

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NICOLAY, Nicolas de.


Venise, Francesco Ziletti, 1580.