BERQUEN, Robert de
Les Merveilles des Indes Orientales et Occidentales, ou Nouveau Traitte des Pierres precieuses & Perles
Paris: C. Lambin, 1661. Small 4to. , 112pp. Engraved portrait of Anne Marie Louise D'Orleans.
Expertly bound to style
First edition of this rare work on precious stones and pearls found in the East and West Indies, including a section on pearl fishing in the Persian Gulf.
"The first chapter attempts to reconcile differing views of various writers, as cited by Berquen, on the origin of gemstones and precious metals, with following chapters taking up the principal gemstones, and some minor ones, as diamond, sapphire, topaz, ruby, spinel, emerald, amethyst, aquamarine, hyacinth, opal, chrysolite, iris, vermeille, garnets, carnelian, turquoise, quartz varieties, pearl, coral and amber, and lastly, a chapter on gold and silver" (Sinkankas, p. 97f). Dedicated to "La Grande Mademoiselle" Anne Marie Louise d'Orléans, Duchess of Montpensier and niece of Louis XIII, with her finely engraved portrait by L. Boissevin, This early treatise on the subject includes a chapter dedicated exclusively to pearls: "on pesche les perles en divers endroits du monde. Dans le Golfe Persique, principalement aux environs de l'Isle d'Ormus & Bassora: aupres de Baroyn [i.e., Bahrain], Catiffa, Iuffa, Camaron, & autres lieux de ce Golfe" (p. 74). Scarce, especially complete with the portrait.
Sinkankas 592; Sabin 4957; Brunet VI, 4780; Graesse I, 348; Ferguson II, 295 (note); JCB(3) III:51-52; Alden and Landis 661.