The first serious introduction to Turkish costume

Nicolay, Nicolas. Le navigationi et viaggi nella Turchia.

Antwerp, Willem Silvius, 1576.

8vo. (14) pp., 1 blank f., 328 (but: 408), (30) pp., final blank f. With woodcut title border and 60 full-page costume woodcuts in the text. 17th-century vellum with ms. title to spine.


Rare first Italian edition, published in the same year and by the same printer as the second French one. "Fort estimée et recherchée pour les excellentes figures" (Olschki). Silvius re-issued the book in 1577 with a new title page; he simultaneously produced a German and a Dutch version, all with the same illustrations, considered "the first serious introduction to Turkish costume" (Atabey). The costumes include Janissaries, merchants, pilgrims, peasants, clerics, a physician, a cook, etc. "C'est la première série de documents sérieux sur les habillements du proche Orient" (Colas). The woodcuts, based on the etchings in the original edition, which appeared in Lyon in 1567/68, are usually attributed to Assuerus van Londerseel (Ahasver von Landfeldt), but Mortimer, Funck and Hollstein cite Antonij van Leest. "Nicolay was the royal geographer sent by Henri II to Constantinople to join d'Aramon's embassy in 1551. [...] The engraved plates are attributed to Louis Danet, or Louis Thiry" (Atabey).

Some browning due to paper; several marginalia, some slight edge flaws. A fine copy from the library of the Counts della Trinità with their bookplate.

Edit 16, CNCE 31562. Adams N 251. BM-STC Dutch 160. Atabey 871. Blackmer 1196 (note). Göllner 1663. Funck 368. Colas 2203. Hiler 656. Hollstein X, 43. Olschki 3967. OCLC 43806648. Cf. Lipperheide Lb 2 (French ed.). Mortimer (Italian) 319; (French) 386. Weber II, 167. Olschki 4906f.