"on pesche les perles ... dans le Golfe Persique, principalement ... aupres de Baroyn"

Berquen, Robert de. Les merveilles des Indes orientales ou nouveau traitté des pierres precieuses & perles, contenant leur vraye nature, dureté, couleurs & vertus: chacune placée selon son ordre & degré, suivant la cognoissance des marchands orfévres, le tiltre de l'or & de l'argent, avec augmentation à plusieurs chapitres, les raisons contre les chercheurs de la pierre philosophale & souffleurs d'alquemie, et de deux autres chapitres du prix des diamans, & des perles.

Paris, C. Lambin, (1668-)1669.

4to. (8), 152 pp. With engr. portrait frontispiece of Anne Marie Louise d'Orleans and numerous pretty woodcut initials and tailpieces. Contemporary richly gilt calf, gilt dentelle central cover decoration showing the Sacred Heart of Jesus, gilt spine on five raised bands (upper spine-end and corners repaired). Marbled pastedowns.


Second, enlarged edition of this rare work on precious stones and pearls found in the East and West Indies, written by a Parisian "marchand orphèvre" in Paris and first published in 1661. Both editions are dedicated to "La Grande Mademoiselle" Anne Marie Louise d'Orléans, Duchess of Montpensier and niece of Louis XIII, with her finely engraved portrait, which is here more delicately executed (by Nicolas de Larmessin, in 1664). The large chapter devoted to pearls and pearl fishing cites the Gulf and several specific places there as among the main locations of pearl fishing: "on pesche les perles en divers endroits du monde. Dans le Golfe Persique, principalement aux environs de l'Isle d'Ormus & Bassora: aupres de Baroyn [i.e., Bahrain], Catiffa, Iuffa, Camaron, & autres lieux de ce Golfe [...]" (p. 68). This chapter is here "augmented with an appendix which recounts the history of the Spanish conquest in the New World and additionally gives remarks on pearl fisheries, natural history, and production [...] New chapters comprise Ch. 17, on the pricing of diamonds according to size and quality, and Ch. 18 on pricing of pearls. In tems of substance, this edition [the second one, here offered] is considerably superior to the first; both are rare" (Sinkankas p. 97f.). It is these new, additional chapters in particular for which this second edition is sought after: "Du prix des Diamans" and "Du prix des Perles", as well as one entitled "Raisons contre les chercheurs de la Pierre Philosophale & souffleurs d'Alquemie. Et ne sera pas mal à propos de parler de Nicolas Flamel sur ce sujet".

Lower spine-end and corners somewhat bumped, otherwise fine. A good copy in an appealingly decorated contemporary French binding.


Sinkankas 593. Duveen 71. Sabin 4957. Brunet VI, 4780. Graesse I, 348.