The “finest and most influential pictorial introduction of Turkish characters and costumes” in contemporary colour and a contemporary Lyonaise binding
By NICOLAY, Nicolas de, seigneur d’Arfeville., 1568
Les Quatre Premiers Livres des Navigations et Peregrinations Orientales.
- Author: NICOLAY, Nicolas de, seigneur d’Arfeville.
- Publication place: Lyons
- Publisher: Guillaume Roville
- Publication date: 1568.
- Physical description: Folio (338 by 234mm). First edition, second issue (the first issue is dated 1567 on the title but is otherwise identical to the second). No cancel slip on verso of *3, r3v and x2r with ink eradications over plate descriptions incorrectly printed as in the Harvard copy described by Mortimer. Letterpress title within elaborate woodcut border, woodcut head-piece and initial to dedication, 60 engraved plates attributed to Léon Davent (French, active 1540–56) after Nicolay. Contemporary Lyonaise calf, decorated in blind and gilt with roll tool borders with a central arabesque lozenge to both covers, spine in eight compartments with seven raised bands, decorated in six.
- Inventory reference: 10818
Nicolay accompanied Gabriel d’Aramont, French diplomat and ambassador, on a mission to Constantionople in 1551. While there he wrote this account and sketched the remarkable figures of Levantine men and women in costume. The figures depict Greeks and Arabs, Turks and Armenians, Malteses and Moors, and the plate after p. 105 depicts a Jewish physician. The plate following p.113 of a Qalandrite, member of a dervish fraternity, is often mutilated by readers objecting to its obscenity. This French edition was reprinted and translated into Italian, German, Dutch and English, but only this edition contains the engravings by Danet/Davent. This edition also includes the first printing of the 3‑page “Elégie” by Pierre Ronsard, dedicated to Nicolay, and not recorded by Seymour de Ricci in his catalogue of Ronsard’s writings.