1674 · Paris
First edition of this collection of significant and interesting voyages, edited by a scholar and book collector who served in the employ of Louis XIV before being appointed Keeper of the King's Library at St. James by Charles II. The compilation includes French-language travelogues of Barbados, the Nile River, Ethiopia, "l'Empire du Prète-Jean," Guiana, Jamaica, and the English colonies, with illustrations including banana and palmetto trees, Caribbean pottery, and maps of New England, Jamaica (including Florida and the Antilles), and Barbados.
Some of both the voyages and the maps make their first published appearances here—among them the New England map depicting the Maryland and Virginia coastlines, engraved by R. Michault after one contained in Richard Blome's Description of the Island of Jamaica, part of which work appears here translated into French.
Altogether, a volume notable both for its strong African and North American content and for the aesthetic appeal of its plates and pleasingly ornamented typography.
Sabin 36944; Alden & Landis, European Americana, 674/159; Beinecke Lesser Antilles Collection 68; Baer, 17th-Century Maryland, 78. Recent 17th-century style mottled calf with covers framed in a gilt roll and double-panelled in gilt fillets with gilt-stamped corner fleurons; spine with gilt-stamped leather title and author labels and gilt-stamped decorative devices. Several pages (not including title) and the versos of a few plates stamped by a now-defunct institution. Paper slightly embrittled. Light waterstaining to a number of leaves and plates, mostly in margins; the first map with two repairs. One leaf (blank?) prior to Colonies Angloises excised; lacking the folding map of the Nile. A good copy, in a handsome binding of recent vintage and contemporaneous style. (Inventory #: 8746)