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First Dutch translation of the first description of Greenland and its natural history,
the Inuit culture, seal hunting and whale fishery

EGEDE, Hans Poulsen.
Beschryving van oud-Groenland of eigentlyk van de zoogenaamde Straat Davis: behelzende deszelfs natuurlyke historie, standsgelegenheid, gedaante, grensscheidingen, veld-gewassen, dieren, vogelen, visschen, enz. mitsgaders den oirsprong en voortgang der aeloude Noorweegsche volkplantingen in dat gewest; benevens den aart, inborst, wooningen, levenswyze, kleding, spraak, bygelovigheid, dichtkunst, uitspanningen en tydverdryven der hedendaagsche inboorlingen.
Delft, Reinier Boitet, 1746. 4to. With an engraved folding map of Greenland (printed for this edition by Boitet) and 10 engraved plates with full-page views of whales and seals, whale fishery and seal hunting, the Inuits and their cultural habits and houses and (in the first plate) flowers. With the title-page printed in red and black and with some woodcut initials and tailpieces. Contemporary vellum, manuscript title on spine. [24], 192 pp.
€ 2,950
First Dutch translation of Hans Egede's first description of Greenland, including its natural and cultural history. Hans Egede (1686-1758) was a Norwegian-Danish missionary who went to Greenland in 1721 to convert the Greenlanders, but who also helped to initiate trade between Greenland and Denmark. His description of Greenland and Davis Strait is not only the first description of Greenland and its coastal area, but also one of the most trustworthy and popular accounts of the region. He describes not only the history of Greenland, but also the flora and fauna and the Inuit culture, commerce and religion. He draws particular attention to seal hunting and whaling, illustrated with engraved plates.
The present Dutch edition was translated from the second Danish edition, published in 1741 at Copenhagen and the present dedication to the Danish crown prince is still dated 1741. The first Danish edition, published without the author's permission, was much less extensive, so the present Dutch edition includes the extensive new material from the second edition, in which Egede added an "extensive study of the natural history of Greenland, together with descriptions of the life and customs of the Greenlanders, their religion, knowledge of the stars, and a brief vocabulary of their language" (Howgego). He also expanded the part on the geography and earlier history of Greenland. Another great improvement in the second edition is that Egede provided it with a folding map of the country and with 11 engraved plates, vividly illustrating his account. Egede's work on Greenland proved very popular and was translated in the following years not only into Dutch, but also into German, English and French.
Binding only very slightly dust-soiled, a small tear in the folding map, only occasionally slightly spotted or browned, but overall in very good condition. Rare first Dutch translation of Egede's work on Greenland, complete with all the plates and the map. Chavanne 5256; Howgego E17; Muller, America 652 & 653; Nissen ZBI 1236; Sabin 22026; Schuh 1484 ("very scarce"); STCN (9 copies); Tiele 347; cf. Arctic bibliography 4364; Cat. NHSM I, p. 301; not in Ingalls.
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