BREYDENBACH, Bernhard von. Peregrinatio in terram sanctam. [Speier:] Peter Drach, 29 July 1490.
Chancery 2° (305 x 213 mm). Collation: a8 b2 (+ 3 fold-out sheets) c2 c22 c32 (+ 1 fold-out sheet) d12 (+ 1 fold-out sheet) d22 (+ 1 fold-out sheet) e-n8 [o]2 (+ 2 fold-out sheets) p10 (a1r blank, a1v allegorical woodcut of Mainz, a2r Breydenbach's dedication to Bertholdus [de Henneberg], archbishop-elector of Mainz, a3r table, a3v preface, a6r text (with fold-out woodcuts as below) p10r colophon, p10v blank). 99 (of 104) leaves, plus fold-out sheets. 52 lines. Types 10:146G, 13:80G. 4- and 6-line initial spaces. Initials and paragraph marks supplied in alternating red and blue. Woodcuts after Erhard Reuwich: Venice (4 sheets, three supplied in facsimile), Parenzo (1 sheet), Modon (2 sheets, partially backed and with losses), Rhodes (2 sheets, partially backed and with losses). 7 (of 9) woodcuts in text showing Middle Eastern costumes and genre scenes, 6 cuts of alphabets of various Middle Eastern languages (lacking the full-page allegorical woodcut of the city of Mainz with the armorial shields of Breydenbach and his traveling companions Johannes von Solms and Philip von Bicken [supplied in facsimile], and views of Corfu, Candia and Palestine with Jerusalem). (a1-8 with fore-margins renewed, l2 and l6 with marginal repaired tear, some wear, dampstaining, and soiling.) 19th-century dark brown morocco, top edges gilt, by Alfred Matthews (a few scuffs).
Second Latin edition of THE FIRST ILLUSTRATED BOOK OF TRAVEL AND ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT ILLUSTRATED BOOKS OF THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY. The peregrinations of the Reuwich woodblocks probably exceeded in sheer miles those covered on the journey depicted. Of the eight incunable editions of Breydenbach (including Nicolas Le Huen's free French adaptation [Lyon 1488]), six reprint the original woodblocks: after serving again for Reuwich's German and Dutch editions of 1486 and 1488, the blocks traveled from Mainz to Lyons, where Gaspard Ortuin employed them for the first French edition [1489/90]. From Lyons they were shipped back to Germany, where Drach used them to print the illustrations of the present edition, but by the time he was ready to reprint a new edition in 1502, the blocks were long gone -- to Spain, where they appeared in 1498 for the sixth and last time, in the Spanish translation printed in Saragossa by Paulus Hurus. Drach was obliged to have new copies cut for his two further 16th-century editions, undoubtedly at considerable expense, as one can deduce from the repeated willingness of fifteenth-century printers to take on the costs of lengthy overland shipments of the woodblocks. HC *33957; GW 5076; IGI 2056; Oates 1123; Pellechet 2980; Polain (B) 895; Schreiber 3629; Davies Breydenbach 2; Fairfax Murray German 93; Goff B-1190.