The original Polish edition

Raczynski, Edward. Dziennik podrozy do Turcyi odbytey w roku MDCCCXIV.

Breslau, Grass, Barth & Co., 1821.

Royal folio (375 x 488 mm). VII, (1), 204, VIII pp. With 64 plates (46 full-page, 17 half-page and 1 folding), mostly engraved after Ludwig Christian Fuhrmann, some after drawings by the author; 8 engraved text vignettes, 1 engraved tughra as headpiece; lithographed dedication. Modern half calf over contemporary marbled boards with printed title label on spine.


First edition. The very rare original edition of this important account of a journey through Turkey and Asia Minor. According to Brunet the finest publication ever to leave a Polish press, it was soon translated into German as "Malerische Reise in einigen Provinzen des Osmanischen Reichs" (last sold for £20,400 at Sotheby's 2004 Natural History and Travel Sale; no copy of the present original edition has appeared at German auctions during the last decades).

The Polish statesman Count Edward Raczynski (1786-1845), a patron of the arts and founder of the Raczynski Library in Poznan, travelled to Constantinople by way of Odessa during the months of July through November 1814. He was accompanied by the artist Ludwig Christian Fuhrmann (1783-1829), and most of the plates are engraved after his drawings. Raczynski also visited the Troad, the peninsula containing the ruins of Troy, of which a detailed description is given. This beautifully illustrated work is highly sought after for its many detailed engravings, including a folding map of Istanbul, illustrations of the ruins of Troy and Assos, the bay of Lesbos, a portrait of Sultan Muhammad IV, the mosque of the Sultan, etc.

In the present set, most of the plates are early or proofs prints, still lacking numbers and/or captions, which are frequently supplied in meticulous pencil calligraphy (in Polish and English). Leaves of pp. 1/2 and 3/4 transposed; the former bound showing page 2 before 1. Interior severely browned throughout as common. Tears to title and dedication repaired; a few edge flaws due to brittleness of paper. Only 5 copies of this original edition listed in library catalogues internationally (BL, BnF, LoC, Stabi Berlin, NL Sweden).


Brunet IV, 20412. Weber 133 (note). Not in Atabey. Cf. Blackmer 1375 (1824 German edition).