The most complete set known of an exceedingly rare Turkish costume book

Silvestre, C[harles] F[rançois]. Differents habillements de Turcs, dediez à monseigneur le duc de Bourgogne.

No place, [c. 1700].

Large 4to (195 x 268 mm). Title and 30 captioned plates, engraved throughout (image size ca 110 x 170 mm). Late 19th century half calf with gilt spine rules and 18th or early 19th c. giltstamped lozenge label on upper cover.


Charming, rare suite of engravings showing the costumes of the Turks, including the Sultan and various courtiers of the Porte, Ottoman soldiers and janissaries, an Arabian preacher, a falconer, street salesmen, a porter smoking a long meerschaum pipe, and several Turkish ladies (one in surprisingly revealing attire).

Charles-Francois Silvestre (1667-1738) held the title of "Maître à dessiner du Roi" (Drawing Master to the King) and was in 1695 appointed art instructor to the young Dukes of Burgundy, Anjou and Berry, the grandsons of Louis XIV. The present suite, dedicated to Louis, Duke of Burgundy, reflects the orientalist fashion of its time but is also a highly original work of art demonstrating a vivid, flamboyant style and not apparently based on earlier illustrations. The title and 21 of the plates are signed in full with the Royal privilege: "F. Silvestre inv. et ex. C.P.R.", while eight are simply signed "S." and one ("Janissaire de la garde, Solac ou Pzyc") is not signed, though it is clearly executed in the same style as the others. Uncommon thus with 31 plates including the title: the copies listed by both Hiler and Colas, as well as that in the Gennadius Library at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, are oblong volumes containing only 30 plates including the title, on a total of 15 leaves (Colas: "titre compris [...] Ces planches sont tirées à deux sur la même feuille"), while the Lipperheide copy comprised a mere 22 plates including the title, making this the most complete set known.

Insignificant browning and fingerstaining, more pronounced in title but on the whole confied to the wide margins.

Hiler 799; Colas 2744 (both listing 30 plates including title). Lipperheide Lb 25 (listing title and 21 plates).

Art.-Nr.: BN#46777 Schlagwörter: , , , , ,