Small 8vo, pp. 128, with one full-page woodcut illustration; first few leaves browned, light dampstain at foot of gutter throughout, two leaves (A6 and A7) shaved at fore-edge with loss of beginning of some lines on versos (sense recoverable), small hole in two leaves (C3–4) with loss of a few letters; late nineteenth-century vellum; ownership inscription of ‘L. S.[?] Higginson / Venice / Mch. 1884’ on front flyleaf.
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One of several editions issued by Righettini in the 17th century. Marco Polo’s travels were first put into writing, apparently in French, by Rusticiano of Pisa, to whom Polo had dictated his adventures while the two were prisoners in Genoa (1298–9). Many manuscript versions in various languages appeared at about this time but the account was not actually printed until 1477, in German. It was followed by editions in Latin circa 1483/5, Italian in 1496, Portuguese in 1502, Spanish in 1503, French in 1556 and English in 1579, ‘but it is probable that the Italian text was the most widely read by the Mediterranean navigators and traders whose adventurousness so greatly extended our knowledge of the globe. Marco Polo was the first to give anything approaching a correct and detailed account of China and the Far East [including Japan] . . . . This influence prevailed until the seventeenth century when the maps of Martini, the visits of the Jesuits and the work of de l’Isle and d’Anville superseded his accounts . . . . As a story of adventure, an account of the experiences of one of the greatest travellers who ever lived, the book has remained alive’ (Printing & the mind of man p. 23).
Brunet III 1405; Cordier, Sinica 1972; Cordier, Book of Ser Marco Polo II p. 563. OCLC records six copies (Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Cincinnati, Harvard, Herzog August Bibliothek, Library of Congress and New York Public Library).
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AN INSCRIBED COPY OF ESTRIDGE’S RARE, PHOTOGRAPHICALLY-ILLUSTRATED ACCOUNT OF THE SEYCHELLES ESTRIDGE, Henry Watley.
Six Years in Seychelles; with Photographs from Original Drawings.
First edition. Following a period in the army, Estridge (1837-1902) was appointed Collector of Customs at Mahé in the Seychelles (probably in 1880), and held the position until 1885, when he returned to England. In 1886 he took up the position of Receiver and Accountant-General, British Bechuanaland (and was elected a fellow of the Royal Colonial Institute in the same year), remaining in the country until 1888, when he retired to England.
TAVERNIER, Jean Baptiste.
Recüeil de plusieurs relations et traitez singuliers et curieux . . . qui n’ont point esté mis dans ses six premiers voyages. Divisé en cinq paties [sic]. I. Une relation du Japon, et de la cause de la persecution des Chrestiens dans ses isles: avec la carte du païs. II. Relation de ce qui s’est passé dans la negociation des deputez qui ont esté en Perse et aux Indes, tant de la part du roy, que de la Compagnie Françoise, pour l’establissement du commerce. III. Observations sur le commerce des Indes Orientales, et sur les frauds qui s’y peuvent commetre. IV. Relation nouvelle et singuliere du royaume de Tunquin: avec plusieurs figures et la carte du païs. V. Histoire de la conduite des Hollandois en Asie.
First edition, separately published, of the third part of Tavernier’s celebrated collection of voyages. The first two parts, Les six voyages, had appeared in 1676 and were also reissued in 1679.