19 December 2002
BELON DU MANS, Pierre (1517-64). Les Observations de plusieurs singularitez et choses memorables, trouvees en Grece, Asie, Iudée, Egypte, Arabie, & autre pays estranges. Paris: [Leon Cavellat for] H. de Marnef and the widow of G. Cavellat, 1588.
4o (232 x 158 mm). Large folding map of the isle of Lemnos and Mount Athos, woodcut ornaments, initials and 45 illustrations within text including a portrait of the author, botanicals, animals, local costume and maps (folding map with lower joined sheet in printed facsimile and with a few tears and creases, scattered pale spotting and some light browning). Contemporary calf (worn). Provenance: Captain Hatton (gift inscription on front pastedown from Nat. Cole.)
Fourth edition. Pierre Belon du Mans travelled for three years around the eastern Mediterranean. Although originally inspired by an interest in medicinal herbs, his expedition and the account of it grew to cover many aspects of natural history and local culture. "His [Observations] was the most documented account of the Levant which had appeared up to that time in French. Of importance is his description of Cairo after 30 years of Turkish occupation" (Blackmer 115). This edition is the only one to contain the large map. Adams B-565; Brunet 762; Cleveland Collections 131; Nissen ZBI 304.
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