29 November 2007
GOETEERIS, Anthonis. Journael der legatie ghedaen inde jaren 1615 ende 1616. The Hague: Aert Meuris, 1619.
Oblong 4° (195 x 146mm). 4 double-page engraved plates, and 20 full-page engravings in the text, all after and probably by Goeteeris. (Title and a few leaves neatly repaired in the inner margin, a few small repairs, occasional dampstain.) Early vellum, edges red (re-cased, light soiling). Provenance: deleted stamp on title verso.
FIRST EDITION OF THIS RICHLY ILLUSTRATED EARLY ACCOUNT OF AN EMBASSY TO RUSSIA. The embassy, with Goeteeris as treasurer, was sent at the request of both Sweden and Russia to assist in the negotiations intended to bring an end to their long-running conflict. Goeteeris's account is especially notable for its suite of plates illustrating cities, villages and scenery encountered along the journey -- particularly the environs of Novgorod and Staraia Rossia where negotiations took place. It is an excellent source for the effects on the Russian countryside and its people of many years of war and famine. It also gives a colourful description of local customs and Ivan IV's ferocity. A popular work which was reprinted at least twice in the 17th-century; copies complete with all the double-page plates are rare. Graesse III, 103 (wrongly dated 1617); Muller 118 ('livre des plus interessants. Rare'); Russen en Nederlanders, Rijksmuseum exhibition catalogue, p.408; Tiele 391.
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