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"On pesche les perles ... dans le Golfe Persique, principalement ... aupres de Baroyn [= Bahrain]"

BERQUEN, Robert de.
Les merveilles des Indes Orientales et Occidentales ou Nouveau traitté des pierres precieuses & perles, ...
Paris, Christophe Lambin, 1669 (colophon 1668). 4to. With an engraved portrait of Anne Marie Louise d'Orleans facing the dedication. Contemporary gold-tooled, mottled calf.
€ 28,000
Second, enlarged edition of a rare work on precious stones and pearls found in what the title calls the East and West Indies (but including the Gulf region). It is most important for the author's new information on diamonds, pearls and pearl fishing, this last with considerable detail on the various pearl fishing sites in the Gulf. The extensive chapter devoted to pearls and pearl fishing notes the Persian Gulf as the most important source and names specific sites: "on pesche les perles en divers endroits du monde. Dans le Golfe Persique, principalement aux environs de l'Isle d'Ormus & Bassora: aupres de Baroyn [= Bahrain], Catiffa, Juffa, Camaron, & autres lieux de ce Golfe ..." (p. 68). The present second edition includes an entirely new 17-page appendix on the history of the Spanish conquest in the New World with further remarks on pearl fisheries, natural history and trade. Several new chapters have also been added, on the pricing of diamonds according to size and quality, on the pricing of pearls, two chapters on alchemy and tables of the fineness of silver and gold. This material, not included in the 1661 edition gives the present second edition its greater value: "In terms of substance, this [second] edition is considerably superior to the first; both are rare" (Sinkankas).
With an occasional faint stain and a couple leaves with very minor foxing, but still in very good condition. The binding is slightly worn, with cracks in the hinges and damaged corners (some repaired), but otherwise good, with most of the tooling well preserved. An important work on gems and pearls, especially interesting for pearl fishing in the Gulf, in an attractive French binding.
Alden & Landis 669/18 (6 copies); Duveen, p. 71; Sabin 4957; Sinkankas 593
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