The earliest detailed plans of St Sophia
GRELOT, Guillaume Joseph
Relation nouvelle d’un voyage de Constantinople. Enrichie de Plans levez par l’Auteur sur les lieux.
Paris, Damien Foucault, 1680
4to (256 x 184 mm) 6 nn.ll., 306 pp., 1 nn.l., 13 engraved plates mostly folding ; contemporary calf, spine gilt with raised bands.
3 500 
Blackmer, 750 ; Atabey, 527; Koç collection, 75

In stock

First edition.

In the dedicatory preface to King Louis XIV the authors explains that he did not return from his journey with pearls or diamonds, but with several drawings. Grelot spent several years in Constantinople before heading to Persia with Chardin in 1671. Disguised in Turkish costumes he was able to produce detailed drawings of important building and monument, such as St. Sophia.

His drawings were in fact “the only reasonably accurate delineations of the buildings in existence for over 150 years – until the work of Texier and Fossati in the 1830’s and 40’s” (Blackmer).

This important work contains the earliest detailed plans of St. Sophia and other monuments in Constantinople. Grelot was resident in the city for some years before he set out for Persia with John Chardin. He knew Antoine Galland ans John Coverl, both of whom are among the signatories to the attestation as to the veracity of his work” (Atabey).

Grelot disguised himself as a Turk in order to gain entry top the mosques; an entertaining passage describes the some of the difficulties he encountered” (Koç).

The detailed drawings have been engraved and are illustrate this book, with plates 2  and 3 signed by Leblond.

Somewhat rubbed. From the religious library at Montbrison, small library stamp on the title.