AUCTION 40 | Thursday, June 26th, 2008 at 1:00
Fine Judaica: Printed Books, Manuscripts, Autograph Letters, Graphic & Ceremonial Art

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Lot 215


Benjamin of Tudela. Voyages...en Europe, en Asie & en Afrique, depuis l'Espagne jusqu'à la Chine...traduits de l'Hébreu & enrichis de Notes & de Dissertations Historiques & Critiques [“Voyages…in Europe, Asia and Africa, from Spain to China…translated from the Hebrew and enriched by notes, historical dissertations and cfritiques.”] pp. [56], 247, [9]; [2], 377, [1] pages. Frontispiece with repaired vertical clean tear. Contemporary tortoise-shell binding with silver cornerpieces, hinges, catches, and clasps, brown velvet doublures and end-leaves. 8vo

Amsterdam : Dépens de la Compagnie 1734

Est: $5,000 - $7,000
Excellent Copy in a Fine Contemporary Tortoise-Shell Binding. Benjamin of Tudela, one of the very earliest medieval travelers, set forth in 1159 from Tudela in Spain to traverse across Europe, Asia Minor, Upper Egypt and other African Lands. He presents here, observations of the manners and commerce of the various nations he came into contact with, and reports on the political situation of his fellow-Jews. He names the principal Jews resident in each city visited, and provides additional reports concerning commerce and trade. “There is no general account of the Mediterranean world or of the Middle East in this period which approaches that of Benjamin of Tudela in importance, whether for Jewish or for general history” (EJ). The original Hebrew text was first printed in Constantinople in 1543. This French version was the work of Jean-Phillipe Baratier of Schwaback (1721-40), a learned prodigy who published it at the age of just 13 years. See JE, Vol. II, p. 523; EJ, Vol. IV, cols. 535-38; Potthast, p. 145; Sarton II, 414; Tobler, p. 17; Weber II, 72