The book that changed Europe: all religions of the world

Picart, Bernard. The Ceremonies and Religious Customs of the Various Nations of the Known World.

London, William Jackson, 1733-1739.

Folio. 7 in 6 vols. All title pages printed in red and black. Numerous engr. head- and tailpieces and initials, and 243 plates. Contemporary calf, spine elaborately gilt with double giltstamped red labels.


A perfectly preserved tall paper copy of this beautifully illustrated ethnographic work on the world's religions. Despite condemnation by the Catholic church, the publication was a resounding success. "'Ceremonies and customs' prepared the ground for religious toleration amid seemingly unending religious conflict, and demonstrated the impact of the global on Western consciousness [...] as it shaped the development of a modern, secular understanding of religion" (Hunt). Based on the author's "Cérémonies et coutumes religieuses de tous les peuples du monde" (Amsterdam, 1723-43).

Bindings a little rubbed, otherwise an excellent and unusually wide-margined complete copy in uniform bindings with elaborately gilt spines.

Cf. L. Hunt, The Book That Changed Europe: Picart & Bernard's Religious Ceremonies of the World (Harvard UP, 2010).

Stock Code: BN#44572 Tags: , ,