Title: Peregrinatio in Terram Sanctam, June 21 1486
Author: Bernhard von Breydenbach
Publisher: Mainz, Erhard Reuwich
A substantial fragment of the first German edition of Breydenbach’s Peregrinatio in Terram Sanctam, or Journey to the Holy Land. Otherwise known as the first illustrated book of travel ever printed, this edition was published four months after the original Latin edition, using the same woodcuts and letter type. "They are in fact the most excellent woodcuts that Germany can boast of at this time. The views of the cities - incidentally the first topographical representations based on autopsies - and the pictures from the life of the people of the Orient breathe a truth and trueness to nature, as they are in later achieved by only a few travel writers" (Muther 641). The book goes into depth, with Breydenbach describing his pilgrimage to Jerusalem made between 1483-1484 and bringing along Erhard Reuwich of Utrecht. They travelled from Venice, then to Corfu, Moden, Rhodes, and Jaffa. Then after reaching Jerusalem Bethlehem, and the other sights of the Holy Land, they then went to Mount Sinai and Cairo, before taking a boat to Rosetta and returning home. There are woodcuts of various outfits worn in the Arabian Peninsula, and an Arabic alphabet. This alphabet is believed to be the first printed example of Arabic in Europe.
This work has been rubricated throughout with red and blue lombards, with 2 complete double page woodcut views of Porec and Corfu, 4 incomplete views of Venice, Rhodes, Modon, and Crete, and some woodcuts throughout. There are five, large in-text woodcuts, and several tables.
35 leaves are lacking. The views of Poreč and Corfu are complete, with the other four being fragmentary, though all views are detached from the main textblock. The two leaves of the right-side image of Venice are present. The two leaves of the left half of Rhodes are present, though severely damaged. The two leaves of the right half of Modon are present. The 3rd and 4th leaves and a fragment to the right picture end of Crete are present. The view of Jerusalem is completely lacking.
One disbound volume in folio, 145 of 180 leaves
This volume is in poor shape, with the binding lacking. There is some fraying throughout, heavier to the folding views and fragments (a few of the fragment being torn), and a few large tears. The view of Corfu is torn and damaged. 25 leaves are detached. Numerous corners and page edges are torn, heaviest to the last leaf, with the final small woodcut largely lacking, and a few letters of the month of the imprint obscured as well. There is toning, staining, and light mildew spotting throughout.