7. VARTHEMA, Ludovico di Novum itinerarium Aethiopiae, Aegipti utriusque Arabiae, Persidis, Siriae, ac Indiae, intra et extra Gangem [translated by Archangelo Madrignano] Milan: Joannes Andreas Scinzenzeler for Io. Iacomo and fratelli da Legnano, after 25 May 1511. Folio (270 x 190 mm). , 62 ff. 36 lines to the page in Roman type, shoulder notes printed in same. Printer’s woodcut device on title, woodcut initials. 19th centhury vellum-backed boards, red morocco lettering piece and contemporary library label to upper cover. Condition: lower margin damp-stained; boards lightly soiled, bottom corners worn. Provenance: Jacobus de Bannissis Dalmate (early ownership inscription on final leaf).
Acquisition: sale, Sotheby’s London, 6 June 2000, lot 332, £36,000 ($54,000).
first latin edition of the first account of a christian taking the pilgrimmage to mecca, one of the great travel narratives of the age of discovery. The Italian Ludivico di Varthema was one of the first to publish a detailed account of a voyage to Asia, well before many of his contemporaries. “…a man whose fame in his own lifetime rivaled that of Columbus and Magellan and who even now must win our admiration by his courage and resourcefulness.” (Penrose)