CHARDIN, JEAN. Journal du voiage du Chevalier Chardin en Perse et aux Indes Orientales, par la Mer Noire et par la Colchide: qui contient le voiage de Paris à Ispahan.
[Bound after:] SPON, JACOB. Histoire de la Ville, Et de l'Estat de Genève. Amsterdam / Utrecht: chez Jean Wolters et Ysbrand Haring / Frans Halma, 1686/1685. A sammelband of two works, contemporary vellum, ms. title on spine, all edges sprinkled blue. 6 x 3 3/4 inches (15.5 x 9 cm.); Chardin: 432,  pp. Full-page engraved portrait of Chardin above his heraldry bearing arms of two rosettes, chevron and bird, additional engraved title, 16 engraved plates, including two chapter headpieces (12 folding are maps, city panoramas or charts). Spon: 522, [16--table] pp. Woodcut printer's device of Halma with motto "Vivitur ingenio" to title, additional engraved title, 6 plates of which 3 are folding among which the view of the Geneva region with placenames highlighted in yellow, woodcut headpieces and decorative initials. One small fold-tear to Geneva plate, the Chardin with a marginal tear with loss at the platemark of the frontispiece. Formerly in the collection of famed bibliophile Henri Burton of Geneva, his morocco bookplate neatly to front endpaper.
A great deal of European travel writing details the history of Europe's relationship to the Orient, a place highly exoticized by western observers. Jean Chardin was a trader and the son of a jeweler who first went to the Levant in 1665 to purchase gems. He made a second journey in 1671 in the company of the artist Guillaume Grelot whom he met in Istanbul, and whose drawings inspired the engravings in the present work. This edition comprises the first volume of the author's manuscript dealing with the period 1671-1673, and is all that was published until 1711. His work is divided into four parts: the first, recounts his journey from Paris to Ispahan (1671-77), the second describes Persia and Ispahan, the third the ruins of Persepolis and the fourth gives a history of Persia, based on Persian writers.
Spon (1647-1685) was a doctor and pioneering archaeologist of Greek antiquities. After the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, he fled France for Switzerland, dying not long after in Geneva. His history of Geneva, first published in 1680, was translated into English in 1687. Chardin, an experienced trader, is in a position to give detailed accounts of trade-routes, prices, articles bought and sold, customs problems and so on, whereas Spon is primarily interested in Antiquity, concentrating on giving the exact wording of inscriptions, illustrations of medals and ancient buildings, and the comparison of towns and landscapes with the descriptions which appear in Classical texts.
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