Rare account of a Swedish nobleman traveling Asia in the 17th century

Oxenstierna, Bengt / Laurelius, Olof. Lijkpredican, öfwer then ädle och högwälborne herre, Herr Bengt Oxenstierna, frijherre til Ekebyholm och Söderboo, Sweriges rijkes råd, rijksstalmästare, och general gubernator öfwer Lifland. Hwars saliga lekamen, medh tilbörlig ähreproces och christeliga ceremonier, bleff ledsagat til sin hwijlocammar, vthi Riddarholms Kyrckian, den 6. augusti åår 1643. Så och en kort relation, om then salige herrens stora förfarenheet, och widt kring om werlden giorda reesor.

Stockholm, Henrich Keyser, 1644.

4to. (56) pp, retaining blank leaf D4. With woodcut coat-of-arms on leaf E1 verso. Modern marbled boards.


First edition; the first travelogue printed in Swedish. The report of the travels of the Swedish diplomat Bengt Bengtsson Oxenstierna (1591-1643) is couched as his funeral sermon (by the Stockholm theologian Olof Laurelius), followed by a detailed biographical account with separate title-page (pp. 33-55). Since many of Oxenstierna's manuscripts are lost, this rare imprint is the only source for some of his journeys. Oxenstierna visited the Levant twice, first in 1613 and most importantly in 1616-20. After being employed in the service of the Grand Duke of Tuscany in the war against the Barbary corsairs, with ports of call on the Mediterranean islands and in North Africa, he travelled to Constantinople, where he resided during the winter of 1616/17. From Constantinople he continued to Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Iran, restlessly travelling back and forth throughout the following years. His returning journey to Europe took him on foot through Arabia to Egypt and Cairo. Oxenstierna so strongly inspired the explorer Sven Hedin that he wrote a biography of him (Resare-Bengt, 1921).

Some browning and dampstaining, with a small repaired hole to title-page. Extremely rare: not in the usual bibliographies of travel; OCLC records a single copy in library catalogues (Swedish Royal Library), to which KVK adds copies in Lund, Norrköping, Örebro, and Skokloster Castle.


Hacklin, Olavus Laurelius (1896), p. 161f., no. 6. OCLC 937092162. Not in Weber, Henze, or Howgego.