Manuscript on paper, folio (300 x 200 mm), ff. , paginated in modern pencil to 103, in a consistent and clear Italian scribal hand; light water stain in upper outer corners, but in excellent condition; old vellum; from the library of Luigi dal Pane (1903–1979), with his ownership stamp (sometimes erased) on several leaves.
US $2231 €2007
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[Relazione del Serraglio] [with] Massime essentiali del stato dell’Imperio Ottomano [with] Nota delli luoghi da’ quali si fanno le provis[ion]i delle cose necessarie cosi per l’uso ordinario del vitto come per la guerra [with] Entrate ordinarie dell’Imperio Ottomano.
Ottaviano Bon (1552–1623) held the post of Venetian bailo or diplomatic envoy to Constantinople between 1604 and early in 1608. His account of the inner workings of the Ottoman Empire, dwelling especially on the forbidden world of the Sultan’s harem, circulated widely in manuscript in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. An English translation, entitled A description of the Grand Signor’s seraglio, or Turkish emperours court, appeared in 1650, but the original Italian text was not published until 1866 in N. Barozzi and N. Berchet, eds., Relazioni degli stati europei lette al Senato dagli ambasciatori veneti nel secolo demiosettimo, ser. 5, Turchia, I, pp. 59–124.
The present manuscript contains two passages not found in Barozzi-Berchet’s publication. The first (pp. 77–78) describes the Sultan’s sending of representatives bearing alms on the annual Hajj to Mecca. The second, considerably more extensive (pp. 83–97), comprises an account of the sources of the Ottoman empire’s food (rice from Egypt, the best oil and honey from Crete, wine, vinegar and so on), clothes, weaponry and so forth, together with much information on military and naval matters.
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De dialogo liber. Ad Ioannem Moronum cardinalem.
SIGONIO, Carlo. De vita, et rebus gestis P. Scipionis Aemiliani liber. Adiectis in fine, unde historia sumpta sit, locis. Index rerum memorabilium. Bologna, Giovanni Rossi, 1569.
[Venetian “AQ” letter sheet.]
A completed example of the first prepaid letter sheet.