Bosio, Giacomo; Jean Baudoin et al. trans: Histoire des Chevaliers de l’Ordre de S. Iean de Hierusalem, contenant leur admirable institution & police, la suitte des guerres de la Terre Saincte… & leurs continuels voyages, entreprises, batailles, assauts & rencontres. Cy-devant escrite par le feu S[ieur]D[e] B[oissat] S[ieur] D[e] L[icieux]… ensemble d’une traduction des establissemens & des statuts de la religion, par I. Baudoin. Derniere edition. Où l’on a joinct les ordonnances du Chapitre General, tenu en l’an 1632 … Oeuvre enrichie d’un grand nombre de figures en taille douce; & illustrée d’une ample chronologie; des vies des serenissimes Grands-Maistres … & autres traittez fort remarquables. Par F.A. de Naberat… A Paris, chez Thomas Joly… 1659
Folio. pp. [xviii], 510, [xxiv], 248, [xxiv], 196, 28. Engraved title by C. de Pas with imprint excised and vertical crease; two divisional titles engraved by Joannes Blanchin. Folding maps and views (mostly engraved by Henri Raignauld but also by Jean Picart) of Margat in Syria, Acre, Cyprus, Valletta and Malta; smaller plans of Jerusalem, Acre, Rhodes,Valletta, 57 engraved portraits (plus three repeated) and a template for a family tree set within the text. Occasional browning. Contemporary mottled sheep, gilt-ruled and lettered direct on spine; leather infills to areas of loss on lower cover, subtle restoration of joints and headcaps. Early signature to engraved title, probably J.S. Erlach. Book label to front pastedown: ‘Bibliotheque de Spietz’. The library of the Château or Schloss Spiez, at Bern in Switzerland, seat of the von Erlach family, was dispersed at auction in 1874. Bookplate of Harrison Gray Otis beneath, bearing the motto ‘legere, et non intelligere, est negligere’. There are a number of possible contenders, but by far the most likely is Harrison Gray Otis 3rd (1822-1884). A variant book label listed by Princeton on Notabilia gives addresses in Boston and at ‘Château de Spiez’ itself. Otis settled in Switzerland after fighting a duel in Washington in the 1840s. He may have purchased part of the library with the property, or at the 1874 auction, but it seems that the book did not stray far from its former home. The author, Giacomo Bosio, was a brother as well as historian of the Order of St John of Jerusalem, the Knights Hospitaller. This is one of the most comprehensive early accounts of the Order, which flourished in the Kingdom of Jerusalem, Rhodes, Cyprus and Malta. Bosio’s work was published in Italian in 1621 and translated into French by Pierre de Boissat, Jean Baudoin, and Frère Anne de Naberat, with earlier editions appearing in 1629 and 1643.