Lot 22 of 196:
Earliest account of a pilgrimage to the Holy Land  

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Lot closed - unsold
$3,000 - $5,000

Sanctorum Peregrinatiionum in Hierusalem Opusculum

Breydenbach, Bernhard von


Peter Drach

24 November 1502


69 ff. (of 70). Lacking leaf A1, the title leaf. 12 half-page woodcuts in text. Folding views not present. (Folio) 31x21.5 cm (12¼x8½") 18th century calf-backed marbled boards, gilt-lettered spine label. Custom slipcase. Third printing in Latin.

The third printing in Latin of this great work of travel, the earliest work on the Holy Land. With fine marginal notes throughout in a sophisticated humanistic hand. One of the earliest of all accounts of a pilgrimage to the Holy Land ever printed, and perhaps the earliest work containing a contemporary account. An immensely popular book, Breydenbach's work went through more than 20 different editions in the fifty years after its first publication. Breydenbach, the Dean of Mainz, travelled to the Holy Land in 1483-84. His itinerary included Venice, Rhodes, Jaffa, Rama, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Jordan, Mt. Sinai, the Nile, Alexandria, Modon, and the Greek Islands. His work is preeminent among early accounts of pilgrimages as the first to be printed with views of the places seen en route. These, from Venice to Mt. Sinai, were here delineated "for the first time according to Nature and Truth by an artist of considerable ability." The views are the first of their kind and are of the greatest importance, having been taken on the spot. Also included are seven illustrations of non-Latin alphabets including Arabic, Hebrew, Greek, Syriac, Coptic, and Ethiopic. The Arabic alphabet is believed to be the first printed specimen of the language. The same may also be true of the illustration of the Syriac, Coptic, and Ethiopic letters.

Lot Amendments

Some chipping to spine, edges lightly rubbed; lacking title leaf and folding views, a few small spots of insect tunneling within the text block but barely diminishing the text's legibility; light foxing; very good.

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