Expositie 'On Expedition'

Tijdens de beurs wordt een kleine expositie rond het thema Travel and Discoveries verzorgd door de Kunst- en Erfgoed Commissie en de Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences van Maastricht University. Ook zijn er in het MABP Magazine (verkrijgbaar tijdens de beurs) enkele artikelen te lezen over reisboeken uit de Jezuïtencollectie van de Universiteitsbibliotheek van Maastricht University. 

Bijzondere Collecties 

Travels in the Levant

about giraffes, mummies and Turkish people

Belon, P., Tournon, F., & Cavellat, G. (1553). 
Les obseruations de plusieurs singularitez et choses memorables, trouuées en grece, asie, iudée, egypte, arabie, et autres pays estranges : Redigées en trois liures. A Paris: Chez Guillaume Cauellat, à l’enseigne de la poulle grasse, deuant le College de Cambray.

 

3 parts in 1 volume. 4to. With Cavellat’s woodcut device on title-page and the 2 part-titles, Corrozet’s woodcut device on last page, 36 woodcut illustrations in the text (4 hand-coloured), numerous decorated initials (1 hand-coloured), and an extra added folding woodcut map (31 x 32.5 cm) showing Mount Sinai. The main text set in italic, with the preface and commentary in roman. 18th-century mottled calf, gold-tooled spine with gold-tooled label in the 2nd of 6 compartments, gold-tooled board edges.

One of the travel books that students of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences study is the sixteenth-century Les observations de plusieurs singularitez et choses memorables by the French traveler, naturalist, writer and diplomat Pierre Belon (1517-1564). Recently acquired with a financial donation from the Stichting Boeken voor Mensen, this first edition of Belon’s Observations (1553) means an enrichment of our Special Collections and the teaching of historical travel books. The book is unique because the first edition is rare. There is no comparable copy in the Netherlands. Moreover, our print contains several hand-coloured images.

The Observations is the result of Belon’s extensive travels in Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Palestine, Lebanon and Syria from 1546 to 1549. As a naturalist, he was part of the second embassy sent to the Ottoman Empire by the French king, a region of which little was known in Western Europe. The embassy included numerous scientists who would make a major contribution to French science through publications of their findings. What distinguishes Belon from other writers at the time is that he tries to limit himself to detailed observations of flora and fauna and the people he met. He only commented on what he himself had seen and relied much less than others on the classical texts and extraordinary travel adventures.

The book contains valuable descriptions of Ottoman culture, Mount Sinai (illustrated with a beautiful folding plate), the pyramids and mummies of Egypt and the Greek peninsula Athos. The 36 woodcuts include a hand-coloured map of the Dardanelles (Hellespont), a representation of Alexandria, an illustration of a giraffe, a chameleon, coins with Arabic inscriptions and an armadillo. In addition, the work has numerous decorated initials. Our copy belonged to Petri Drouotz, who probably annotated the text.

Odin L.M.J. Essers MA,
curator Maastricht University
Special Collections

Peter Kolbe

Naauwkeurige en uitvoerige beschryving van Kaap de Goede Hoop. Amsterdam Balthazar Lakeman. 2 dln,  1727.

Behelzende een zeer omstandig verhaal van den tegenwoordigen toestant van dat vermaarde gewest, deszelfs gelegenheit, haven, sterkte, Tegerings-vorm, uitgestrektheit, en onlangs ontdekte aanleggende landen; nevens een geleerde beschryving van het klimaat en aart van dat landschap; van deszelfs dieren, visschen, vogelen, planten, kruiden, mitsgaders verscheide wonderen der natuur, daar te lande ontdekt; waar by nog komt, een zeer nette en uit eige ondervinding opgemaakte beschryving van den oorsprong der Hottentotten."

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