Description of the Middle East: first German edition

[Dapper, Olfert]. Umbständliche und eigentliche Beschreibung von Asia: In sich haltend die Landschafften Mesopotamien, Babylonien, Assyrien, Anatolien oder Klein-Asien. Ins Hochteutsche getreulichst übersetzet von J. Ch. Beern.

Nuremberg, Froberg f. Hoffmann, 1681.

Folio (220 x 332 mm). (8), 556, (12) pp. With engraved frontispiece, 3 double-page-sized engraved maps, 20 engraved plates (13 double-page-sized, 1 folding), and 8 engravings in the text. Contemp. calf with gilt spine.


First German edition of Dapper's description of the Middle East, including Mesopotamia or Algizira, Assyria, and Anatolia; the second part is entirely devoted to Arabia. Dapper's work is of special importance for its original and new information on Islam, Arab science, astronomy, philosophy, and historiography, as well as for its illustrations. "Dr. Olfert Dapper (1636-1689), physician, geographical and historical scholar, was the author of a series of works dealing with Africa, America and Asia. The fine plates [...] are after a number of mapmakers and artists, including Christiaan van Adrichom, Juan Bautista Villalpando and Wenzel Hollar among others" (Blackmer). Includes accounts of Mecca (with a description of the Hajj), Jeddah, Medina, Sana'a, etc. The engravings show costumes, religious rites, specimens of local flora, views, etc., including Aden, Mocha, Maskat, Babylon, Baghdad, Ninive, Ephesus, and Smyrna (re-engraved from the Dutch original edition).

Old repair to view of the Tower of Babylon (slight loss to image). Engraved armorial bookplate "ex Bibliotheca Blomiana" to pastedown. Formerly in the Ottoman collection of the Swiss industrialist Herry W. Schaefer.

VD 17, 39:133144U. STC D 200. Blackmer 450. Tiele 300 (note).