LE BRUYN, Cornelius (1652-1727/28) [or Le Brun]
Voyages ... par la Moscovie, en Perse, et aux Indes Orientales
Amsterdam: Chez les Freres Wetstein, 1718. 2 volumes, small folio. (13 x 8 inches). Half-title in volume II, titles printed in red and black. Vol 1: engraved portrait of the author by G. Valck after G. Kneller, engraved allegorical frontispiece by B. Picart, dedication with engraved headpiece, 3 engraved double-page maps, 111 engraved plates (numbered 1-110, plus 1 unnumbered) on 52 sheets (29 double-page, 7 folding), 24 engraved illustrations within the text (illustration on p. 164 pasted on slip as issued). Vol 2: 162 engraved plates (numbered 111-262, plus 10 unnumbered) on 56 sheets (33 double-page, 9 folding), 20 engraved illustrations within the text. (A few plates shaved at margin, some plates bound out of order).
18th-century calf, nicely rebacked retaining the original lettering pieces, spines in seven compartments with raised bands, lettering pieces in the second and third compartments, the others with a repeat decoration in gilt
Provenance: Thomas Lennard Barrett, Lord Dacre of the South, of Belhus, Essex (1717-1787, armorial bookplate).
First edition in French of Le Bruyn's important illustrated account of his voyage to Russia, Persia, India and Java.
In his first expedition of 1674, Dutch traveller and painter Cornelius Le Bruyn remained in the Levant for seven years, travelling principally in Asia Minor, Syria, the Holy Land and Egypt. On his return, he published his Voyages au Levant, and encouraged by its success, undertook a second, more far-reaching expedition. "In 1701, Le Bruyn started on the second of his journeys taking a ship to the country of the Samoyeds ... and then proceeding to Moscow. Travelling by way of Asia Minor, he arrived in Persia where he remained for the years 1704-05. Leaving Persia he proceeded [by ship] to India [stopping at Cochin], Ceylon and the East Indies [i.e. Batavia]. He returned by much the same route, residing in Persia between 1706 and 1707 and describing the ruins of Persepolis and Pasargades" (Howgego). The numerous finely engraved illustrations include large folding panoramas of Moscow and Isfahan, views of Astrakhan, and the antiquities at Persepolis and many of the forts encountered on his journey, as well as portraits of native peoples, and depictions of the flora, fish, birds, animals etc. Of particular note are Le Bruyn's description and images of the Samoyeds and their country, among the earliest for the region. Le Bruyn also gives an account of an encounter with William Dampier in Batavia, and describes the route taken by Everard Ysbrants Ides, the Danish Russian ambassador to China.
Brunet III:911 (calls for 262 plates based on the numbering of the plate list which does not include the unnumbered plates); Chadenat II, 5085; Chahine 2078; Cohen-de Ricci 610; Lipperheide Kaa 6 (calls for 128 plates and 45 engraved illustrations); Howgego B177.