Picart, Bernard (1673-1733) The Ceremonies and Religious Customs of the Various Nations of the Known World. London: by William Jackson, for Claude du Bosc, Engraver at the Golden Head in Charles-Street, Covent Garden, 1733-1739. First English edition, seven large folio volumes bound in six, illustrated with 233 engraved plates, bound in full contemporary French sponge-decorated calf, gilt spines, from the library of the Earls of Macclesfield, with the 1860 engraved bookplate on front pastedowns and embossed stamp on half-title, title page, and the following one or two leaves in each volume, fresh with light offsetting, occasional minor foxing, minor worm holes in outer margins of second volume, not affecting text or images, leaf 6H2/9O2 torn with slight loss of blank margin, 18 x 10 3/4 in. (6)
Composed with the object of summarizing religious views and practices worldwide, and written originally in French, this compilation contains valuable and early descriptions of many far-flung peoples. Volumes three and four are dedicated to "ceremonies of the idolatrous nations" with a large section focusing on Native American Indians. The descriptions of the people and their practices are exhaustive, covering ceremonies, languages, clothing and personal ornamentation, marriage, childbirth, death, and everything in between. Native peoples of Canada, Virginia, Florida, Hispaniola, Mexico, Venezuela, the Caribbean, and Peru all receive attention. The "idolatrous nations" section also includes the Far and Near East and Africa. Western religions are also covered, including Judaism, Catholicism, along with Greek Orthodox Catholicism, and the Protestant and Anglican, religions, and their minor sects.
Provenance: The Estate of David Spinney.
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