Only editions. Three works of conduct, natural philosophy, and general knowledge, in Armenian, composed and printed by members of the Vanendec'i family of Amsterdam printers, and bound together for a youthful readership. The small-format volume forms a handy, compact encyclopedia, perhaps intended to recall Vincent de Beauvais' three-part Speculum Maius. The first book, The Golden Door to Knowledge, was produced for the use of Armenian children who had emigrated to Amsterdam from abroad, and presents a general liberal arts education, with discussions of rhetoric, music, mathematics, astronomy, alchemy, poetry, geography, and even the interpretation of dreams. It is illustrated with a full-page engraving, a small woodcut of the arms of the Vanendec'i clan, and a title woodcut of King David at the base of an ornate frame. The second book, Guide to Moral and Religious Living, is an introductory conduct book for youngsters, with advice on conflict in life and solutions to theological questions, arranged alphabetically, and illustrated with a fine, full-page allegorical engraving of the personifications of Morality, Justice, and Prudence. The third book, a compendium of the sciences of the natural world, discusses everything from vulcanism to color theory to the organization of the human body and its various appetites. It discusses geography, and has one of the earliest descriptions of America in an Armenian book. It is also known for having the earliest known Armenian translation of any Aristotelian work, the De virtute. It is illustrated with a marvelous folding engraving of a compass rose, as well as engravings of the four elements, and an astronomical scheme. Armenian printing has a long and complicated history. The Armenian alphabet was first printed in 1486, but the first book in the Armenian language did not appear till 1512. Sixteen Armenian titles are known from the 16th century, three of which were printed at Amsterdam. The golden age of Armenian printing in Amsterdam began in 1670, when the Hungarian punchcutter Nicholas Misztótfalusi Kis began producing comely founts in the Armenian language. In 1685, when the Vanendec'i family opened shop, they used Kis's types, and continued to do so through 1719, when the publishing house dissolved. Our three books were produced at the height of the Vanendec'i family's influence in the Armenian diaspora in Amsterdam, and were probably bound and sold together from their retail shop. Our copy is prefixed with a folding avertissement, in French, engraved at an early date. A most compelling survivor. None of the books recorded in any American or Dutch libraries.
VANENDEC'I, Lukas and Mattheos. ՈՍԿԵԱՅ ԴՈՒՌՆ ԴՊՐԱՏԱՆ [Transliteration]: VOSKEAY DURN DPRATAN [The Golden Door to Knowledge]. Amsterdam: The Authors for Tovmas Vanendec‘i, 1699.
VANENDEC'I, Lukas, Mattheos, and Tovmas. ՅՈԳՆԱԴԻՄԻ ԱՍՏՈՒԱՑԱԲԱՆԿԱՆ, ԲԱՐՈՅԱԿԱՆ ԵՒ Կ'ԱՂԱԿ'ԱԿԱՆ ԻՐՈՂՈՒՏ ԵԱՆԾ ՍԱՀՄԱՆԿ' [Transliteration]: YOGNADIMI ASTUACABANKAN, BAROYAKAN EW K'AGHAK'AKAN IROGHUT EANC' SAHMANK' [Guide to Moral and Religious Living]. Amsterdam: the Authors for T[ovmas]. Vanendec’i, 1704.
VANENDEC'I, Lukas and Mattheos. ԲՆԱԲԱՆՈՒԹԻՒՆ ԻՄԱՍՏԱՍԻՐԱԿԱՆ, ԿԱՄ ՏԱՐԵՐԱԲՆՈՒԹԻՒՆ [Transliteration]: BNABANUT'IWN IMASTASIRAKAN, KAM TARERABNUT'IWN [Natural Philosophy, or, The Elemental Sciences]. Amsterdam: the Authors for Tovmas Vanendec’i, 1702.
Amsterdam: Tovmas Vanendec'i for the authors, 1699-1704.
Three books in octavo bound together, 195 x 155 x 23 mm (binding), 192 x 152 x 20 mm (text block); I: , 70 pp. (last two getherings transposed); II: , 58 pp.; III: 120 pp. Late 18th-century straight-grained maroon morocco gilt, titled in gilt in French on spine: ENCYCLOPEDIE | DE LA | JEUNESSE, all edges gilt. Some wear to extremities, upper joint a bit tender but holding firm, small gouge to head edge of upper board. Interior: Some foxing, leaves a bit toned, otherwise all books in fine antiquarian condition, and engravings in sharp relief.
Acquired by W. S. Cotter Rare Books from Bruce McKittrick, Narberth Pennsylvania; engraved folding avertissement in French tipped to front free end; a few stray numbers penciled to endpapers; a few letters and numbers penned to rear free end at an early date.
I: Kévorkian 64; The Armenian Book 1512-1800 181. II: Kévorkian 66; The Armenian Book 1512-1800 201; Nersessian 71 (not consulted). III: Kévorkian 67; The Armenian Book 1512-1800 221 (translating title as The Diverse Definitions of Theological, Moral and Political Matters) General references: Schütz, Ö., "Nicholas Misztótfalusi and the Armenian book printing," Acta Orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 9, no. 1 (1959), pp. 63-73; Hacikyan, Agop J., Basmajian, Gabriel, Franchuk, Edward S. & Ouzounian, Nourhan, The Heritage of Armenian Literature: From the eighteenth century to modern times Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2000-2005, volume 3: 47; "Een armenisch priester, drukker te Amsterdam, 1695-1705" Nieuwsblad voor den boekhandel 73 No. 85 (1906), p. 1323; Haiman, Nicholas Kis: A Hungarian Punch-Cutter 25 & 405-14.
Status: On Hold