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BREYDENBACH, Bernhard von (d.1497). Peregrinatio in terram sanctam. Mainz: Erhard Reuwich, 11 February 1486.
BREYDENBACH, Bernhard von (d.1497). Peregrinatio in terram sanctam. Mainz: Erhard Reuwich, 11 February 1486.
BREYDENBACH, Bernhard von (d.1497). Peregrinatio in terram sanctam. Mainz: Erhard Reuwich, 11 February 1486.
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BREYDENBACH, Bernhard von (d.1497). Peregrinatio in terram sanctam. Mainz: Erhard Reuwich, 11 February 1486.

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BREYDENBACH, Bernhard von (d.1497). Peregrinatio in terram sanctam. Mainz: Erhard Reuwich, 11 February 1486.

The Consul Smith copy of the first edition of an account of a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and the monastery of St Catherine of Sinai by Breydenbach, Graf Johannes von Solms, Philip von Bicken and others in 1483-4. It served as a valuable description of places on the way to, and in, the Holy Land, and in many ways it is an early guidebook, containing information on distances, alphabets of languages encountered en route, manners and customs of various peoples, and an Arabic vocabulary. The panoramic views of seven cities and other scenes set the Peregrinatio apart from other illustrated incunables. They are the first of their kind to be printed; they record actual views; and most of them were printed from multiple blocks over several sheets. Reuwich, not otherwise known as a printer, printed this first edition, and German (1486) and Dutch (1488) translations, all of which used his woodblocks. They then appeared in a 1490 Speier edition, a French edition printed at Lyons in 1489, and a Spanish edition printed at Zaragoza in 1498.

Joseph Smith, Consul at Venice in 1744-60 and 1766, was a keen collector of books and amassed several libraries, one of which (the books listed in his Bibliotheca Smithiana 1755) was purchased by George III in 1762; most of these books were transferred in 1828 to form the core of the British Museum Library. The present volume, with its bookplate naming Smith as Consul, almost certainly dates from Consul Smith's second great library. HC *3956; GW 5075; BMC I, 43; IGI 2055; BSB-Ink B-909; Bod-inc. B-552; Klebs 220.1; Schreiber 3628; ISTC ib01189000; Goff B-1189.

Chancery folio (305 x 210mm). 146 leaves (of 148, lacking one quire consisting of the Jerusalem view and 2 woodcut scenes). 6 (of 7) double-page and folding woodcut city views, full-page woodcut of allegorical figure of Maine with the arms of Breydenbach, Johannes von Solms, and Philip von Bicken, 7 (of 9, lacking those on verso of Jerusalem view) woodcut scenes of the Near East, 6 cuts of alphabets of Near Eastern languages, 2 woodcut decorative initials, Reuwich device, 4- to 7-line initials in red or blue. (Lacking about half of Venice and Rhodes views, other folding views repaired with some loss, Candia view partly mounted on verso, frontispiece mounted on verso repairing minor marginal tears, some staining, mostly marginal but occasionally in text block and with occasional repairs, minor repairs at a few gutters.) 18th-century Italian vellum, red leather spine label. Provenance: early annotations in Latin (washed) – ?17th-century annotations in French (some lightly washed) – Consul Joseph Smith (1682-1770, engraved bookplate as Consul) – Edinburgh, Advocates Library (inscription, duplicate stamp).
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