Embassy to Persia and adventurous travels in the East

Mandelslo, Johann Albrecht von. Morgenländische Reyse-Beschreibung.

Hamburg, Christian Guth (printed by Johan Holwein, Schleswig), 1658.

Folio. (32), 248, (36) pp. With engraved frontispiece by Christian Rothgiesser, full-page engraved author's portrait, double-page engraved map, and 21 large engravings in text, mostly signed by Rothgiesser; woodcut initials and head- and tailpieces. Contemporary blind-ruled leather, remnants of ties.


First complete German edition of an important and entertaining travel account by Johann Albrecht von Mandelslo, edited by Adam Olearius. Mandelslo was attached to the diplomatic mission of Frederick III, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp, to Moscow and Persia. Frederick's aim was to negotiate a new trade route for Persian silk and to make his small duchy an important centre of European silk trade. After visiting Moscow, the mission continued along the Volga to Astrakhan and from there to Persia, crossing the Caspian Sea near Shamakhi. Via Ardabil, Qazvin and Kasan the party finally reached the capital, Isfahan. The ambassadors remained in Persia for several months (only to return without concrete results), but Mandelslo travelled further to the east. He sailed from Hormuz to Surat and proceeded through Gujarat to Agra, Lahore, Goa, Bijapur and Malaba, visiting Ceylon, Madagascar, the Cape of Good Hope and St. Helena on his return voyage in 1639. Before his death 5 years later, he had entrusted his rough notes to Olearius, who subsequently published them with a third part containing descriptions of the Coromandel coast, Bengal, Siam, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Bantam, the Philippines, Formosa (Tai-wan), China and Japan. Small contemporary owner's entry ("Jos[eph] Baudler"?). Some foxing and brownstaining; slight tears in lower margin of pp. 31 and 137. A very good copy of an important account of an embassy to Persia and further to the East.

VD 17, 23:233226D. Lipperheide Ld 1. Adelung II, pp. 306-308. Alt-Japan-Katalog 943. Bircher A 6927f. Cordier, Japonica, cols. 362-368. Cox I, 271f. Dünnhaupt, pp. 293-294, 30.1. V. Gelder, Het Oost-Indisch avontuur, pp. 77, 99, 263. Howgego I M38. Commissariat, "Mandelslo's Travels in Western India", in: The Geographical Journal, 78 (1931), pp. 375ff.