The written legacy of the Islamic world from the eighth to the twentieth centuries, with an emphasis on Arabic and Persian manuscripts, together with Western books and manuscripts dealing with Islamic cultures and countries.Quaritch has been handling such material since the nineteenth century, and has been instrumental in the expansion and refinement of many major collections. Among the important works to pass through our hands have been a manuscript of Nizami's Khamsah, copied for the Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1595, now MS Add. 12208 at the British Library; a set of four volumes from a thirty volume Qur'an, one of the earliest known examples of Eastern Kufic, now MS 1417 at the Chester Beatty Library; and Pagano's monumental view of Cairo, printed at Venice in 1549, one of two surviving copies, now in a private collection.
DELLA VEDOVA, Michele.
Lamento di Costantinopoli [with] a fragment of an unrecorded Italian poem in praise of Malatesta Novello.
Northern Italy (probably Veneto), c. 1460.
Extremely rare complete manuscript of Michele della Vedova’s Lamento di Costantinopoli, written in the immediate aftermath of the capture of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453.
[SELIM I, Sultan.]
Das ist ein anschlag eins zugs wider die Türcken. Und alle die wider den Christenlichen glauben seind.
[Nuremberg, Friedrich Peypus, c. 1518].
The expansion of the Ottoman empire during the reign of Sultan Selim I (1512–20) was closely watched throughout Europe, which was both fascinated and fearful of the rise of Ottoman power. The present pamphlet, of which there were several editions, at Nuremberg and other cities in the German-speaking...
Iacobi Blanchoni ucessiensis adversus Ludovicum beneventanum abbatem selestensem defensionum liber.
Lyon, Jean de Tournes, 1550.
First edition of a very rare work of sixteenth-century Lyonnese Neoplatonism, an elegantly-printed de Tournes edition. Ostensibly a simple series of remarks against the theses of the (presumably sternly Scholastic) abbot of Selestan, this is a tract of Renaissance moral philosophy. The theme of...
The second Part of the Booke of Batailles, fought in our present Age: taken out of the best Authors and Writers...
At London, Printed for Giles Cawood. 1587.
First edition, scarce. Polemon had been commissioned by Henry Bynneman to compile a compendium on modern warfare which was duly published as All the famous Battels that have been fought in our Age in 1578. It covered from the beginning of the century up to the Battle of Lepanto in 1572....
Oratio habita ab eloquentissimo viro Hieronymo Balbo Praesule Gurcen[sis] Serenissimi Principis Ferdinandi Archiducis...
[Rome, Francesco Minucio Calvo, 1523].
One of several editions of Balbi’s celebrated oration to appear in the same year, priority not established.
Risvegliamento a’ prencipi christiani contro il turco.
Rome, Manelfo Manelfi, 1646.
Only edition, exceptionally rare, of a powerful call for unity and action against the Turk threat issued to all princes of the West, and dedicated in particular to the Austrian lineage, which the author sees as the natural leader of a Christian league. A free-ranging blend of logical argumentation,...
Il Goffredo overo Gierusalemme liberata del sig. Torquato Tasso. Con le figure intagliate in rame dal Tempesta.
Rome, Filippo de Rossi, 1657.
Attractive copy of the 1657 illustrated pocket Gerusalemme Liberata, reprinting the successful Rome edition of 1607. It includes Tasso’s Allegoria del poema, printed as introduction to the poem, and is enlivened throughout by one of the famous cycles of engravings produced by Tempesta.
BUSBECQ, Ogier Ghislain de.
The four epistles ... concerning his embassy into Turkey. Being remarks upon the religion, customs,...
London, for J. Taylor and J. Wyat, 1694.
First edition in English of Busbecq’s Turkish letters. Busbecq (1522–1592) served as emperor Ferdinand I’s ambassador at the Ottoman Porte between 1555 and 1562. ‘His letters contain perhaps the most interesting of all accounts of Turkish life, and his description and analysis of the Ottoman...
An historical account of the British trade over the Caspian Sea, with a journal of travels from London through Russia...
London, Dodsley, Nourse, Millar, Vaillant, & Patterson, Waugh, and Willock, 1753.
First edition of Hanway’s narrative of his trade mission to Russia, Persia, and the Caspian Sea. Having joined the Russia Company in 1743, Jonas Hanway (1712–1786) sailed for Riga in April that year, before travelling on to St Petersburg, Moscow, and Astrakhan in an attempt to re-establish...
Travels, or observations relating to several parts of Barbary and the Levant, illustrated with cuts, the second edition,...
London, A. Millar and W. Sandby, 1757.
‘Second and most valued edition’ (ODNB) of Shaw’s observations of North Africa and the Near East. Serving as Chaplain to the English factory at Algiers from 1720 to 1733, Thomas Shaw (1694–1751) travelled extensively in Egypt, Palestine, Cyprus, and North Africa, gathering extensive observations...
BEAUHARNOIS, Félicité (pseudonym?).
Zoraïm, ou les aventures d’un musulman; traduit de l’Anglois, par la c. Félicité Beauharnois,...
Paris, chez la cit. Dhotel, libraire, an VIIme .
Very rare (only one copy traced) cautionary tale against ambition and vengeance, set in the Ottoman world, and penned during the French Revolution.
BECKETT, Ernest William, 2nd Baron Grimthorpe.
Manuscript diaries descriptive of a voyage around the world.
1882, 1892, 1894-96, 1898, 1899, 1902.
An intriguing set of travel diaries kept by Ernest Bennett (1856-1917), banker, Conservative politician, dilettante and philanderer, lover of Alice Keppel (long-time mistress of Edward VII) and rumoured father of Violet Trefusis. Schooled at Eton, Beckett briefly attended Trinity College, Cambridge,...
The life of Mahomet, founder of the religion of Islam, and of the empire of the Saracens; with notices of the history...
London, T. Tegg, 1840.
First edition. ‘In the following work, brevity has been as much studied as is consistent with a correct and full exhibition of the subject of a memoir . . . . It is fancied that such a work, within the reach of all, was a desideratum in our literature, felt more than ever now that oriental studies...
DOZY, Reinhart Pieter Anne (Francis Griffin STOKES, translator).
Spanish Islam: a history of the Moslems in Spain . . . translated...
London, Chatto & Windus, 1913.
First edition in English of Dozy’s comprehensive history of Islamic Spain from AD 711 to 1110, first published in 1861 as Histoire des Musulmans d’Espagne.
ATABEY, Sefik E. – Leonora NAVARI.
The Ottoman World. The Sefik E. Atabey Collection. Books, Manuscripts and Maps.
London: Bernard J. Shapero, 1998.
First and only edition, limited to 750 sets. A comprehensive catalogue of Sefik E. Atabey's remarkable library of some 1,370 pre-1854 books, manuscripts, and maps relating to the Ottoman Empire and the Middle East. Each item is carefully described and annotated, and the catalogue is supplemented...
Malay seals from the Islamic world of Southeast Asia.
Singapore, NUS Press in association with the British Library, 2019.
A new publication by Annabel Teh Gallop, Lead Curator in Southeast Asia Collections at the British Library, published by NUS Press in Singapore. The British Library website describes Malay seals as ‘a catalogue of 2,168 seals sourced from more than 70 public institutions and 60 private collections...
Guillaume Postel (1510–1581).
A catalogue of a collection of the works of the Renaissance scholar and Arabist, Guillaume Postel. ‘Not only does it include editions of quite exceptional rarity, to be found in few libraries on either side of the Atlantic, but it illustrates every moment of Postel’s extraordinary career and...