Illustrations from (to give its full title) The six voyages of John Baptista Tavernier, a noble man of France now living, through Turky into Persia and the East-Indies, finished in the year 1670 giving an account of the state of those countries : illustrated with divers sculptures ; together with a new relation of the present Grand Seignor's seraglio, by the same author / made English by J.P. - a remarkable account of travel through 17th century Asia. Tavernier (1605-1689) was a French diamond merchant, traveller and pioneer of diamond trade with India, who covered by his own account, 180,000 miles (290,000 km) over the course of forty years and six voyages. Though he is best known for the discovery and sale of the 118-carat (24 g) blue diamond that he subsequently sold to Louis XIV of France in 1668, (it was stolen in 1792 and re-emerged in London as The Hope Diamond), his writings show that he was a keen observer of his time as well as a remarkable cultural anthropologist. (Wikipedia)
See the English translation of Tavernier's book, from which these images comes, in our Text collection post.
January 18, 2013