OLEARIUS, Adam (1603-1671); MANDELSLO, Johann Albrecht von (1616-1644); DAVIES, John (translator)
The voyages and travells of the Ambassadors sent by Frederick Duke of Holstein, to the Great Duke of Muscovy, and the King of Persia. Begun in the Year M.DC. XXXIII. and finish’d in M.DC. XXXIX. Containing a Compleat History of Muscovy, Tartary, Persia … whereto are added the Travels of John Albert de Mandelslo … into the East-Indies … …
London : for John Starkey and Thomas Basset, 1669. Second edition. Two parts in one volume, folio, contemporary full mottled calf with blind embossed boards, spine with raised bands and contrasting morocco title label with gilt lettering and ornament, front pastedown with eighteenth century armorial bookplate of John and Louisa Trevelyan, additional engraved title incorporating 5 portraits, main title leaf, pp , 316; , 232, ; with 2 engraved portraits and 6 folding or double-page maps (including one of the East Indies), engraved illustration of the Ruthenian script; engraved headpieces and historiated initials; complete, with all the folding maps in very good condition; a fine copy in a contemporary binding.
The principal aim of the Duke of Holstein’s embassies was to establish an overland trade route with Persia. A first embassy travelled to Russia in 1633-34 to secure a right of passage through the Tsar’s realms; the embassy to Persia itself was sent in 1635. Adam Olearius acted as secretary on both embassies, and his accounts of Tartary and Persia, first published in Dutch in 1647, were of the utmost value to European travellers of the later seventeenth century. This is the second ‘corrected’ English edition, translated by John Davies (the first English edition had appeared in 1662). The second part, with separate title, comprises the narrative of German adventurer Johann Albrecht von Mandelslo, who was also a member of the Holstein embassy. He was given permission to journey on to India, also visiting Ceylon before returning to Europe via the Cape. Although he did not personally travel to the Far East, Mandelslo’s account includes secondhand descriptions of Formosa and China.
Wing 0-270; Löwendahl, China illustrata nova. Supplement, 1571