first printed book for sale international book fair
Last Updated : GMT 11:59:16
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Egypt Today, egypt today
Last Updated : GMT 11:59:16
Egypt Today, egypt today

First printed book for sale International Book Fair

Egypt Today, egypt today

Egypt Today, egypt today First printed book for sale International Book Fair

Viaggio dell’Indie Orientali by Gasparo Balbi
Abu Dhabi - Arab Today

The first printed record of Abu Dhabi and Dubai is up for sale at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF).

Printed in 1590, Viaggio dell’Indie Orientali by Gasparo Balbi, which translates to Travels of Balbi, is the travelogue of a Venetian state jeweller and merchant who travelled to the Gulf to buy pearls in the 16th century. Balbi mentions four of the seven emirates, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ajman and Ras Al Kheimah in the book. 

The first edition book is being sold for €150,000 (About Dh600,000) at the Inlibris Association with Antiquariaat Forum stand, which represents two European antique sellers from Vienna and Holland. 

“The book is 450 years old and you can still handle it in the same way people used to handle it when it was printed. It is pretty outstanding,” said Hugo Wetscherek, owner of Antiquariat Inlibris.

“He [Balbi] reports on his travels, the adventures he went through by securing pearls and other jewelry for the people in the west,” added Wetscherek.

Wetscherek explained that the book is also very important because it is the first printed record of the Bani Yas tribe. 

“He had encounters with the men from the Bani Yas tribe. They were part of his travels to a certain extent,” Wetscherek said.

The book would have served as a very useful source of information to merchants at a time as it contains rates of exchange, duties, travel routes and distances as well as a detailed account of the pearling grounds in the Arabian Gulf. 

Laurens Hesselink, Antiquariaat Forum, owner, further explained that the rarity of the book is what makes it more valuable. 

“We have only handled three or four copies of this book in our time,” he said.   

If the Dh600,000 price tag seems excessive, you will be in for a surprise when you see some of the other valuable items at the stand. 

Among the stall’s collection is a €2.8 million (around Dh11.2million) manuscript from 1550, with 58 unique watercolour drawings of birds, some with highlights in gold. 

Inlibris Association with Antiquariaat Forum also have an impressive collection of the earliest maps of the Arabian Peninsula on the stall’s wall including the first ever printed woodcut map of the region, in original hand colour, priced at €185,000 (about Dh740,000).

Don't miss it

What: Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF)
Where: Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC)
When: April 26 to May 2, 9am to 10pm
Cost: Free entry  

source : GULF NEWS

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first printed book for sale international book fair first printed book for sale international book fair



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