Colloquia et dictionariolum octo linguarum. Amsterdam, Everard Cloppenburg,

BERLAIMONT Noel de (1631.)


Please contact us in advance if you would like to view this book at our Curzon Street shop.


Engraved title page.

Oblong 16mo. [192]ff. Contemporary vellum (lightly soiled, some marks).

Amsterdam: Everard Cloppenburg,

Rare early edition of this polyglot phrasebook & dictionary aimed at tourists and business travellers and printed in eight languages: Dutch, English, German, Latin, Italian, Spanish, French and Portuguese. The engraved title-page has eight portraits which depict eight different men in the national costume of the countries whose language is represented in the work.

Structured around dialogues taking place in various scenarios, the work first appeared in 1536 as a phrase book in French and Flemish when it contained only three dialogues involving a dinner party, buying and selling, and the demanding of debts. Soon Latin, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian were added, and towards the end of the 16th century four new dialogues appeared, bringing the total to eight, and the English and German languages were also added. There is also a chapter devoted to letter writing and a long alphabetical word list. It ends with various grammatical sections including instructions on the correct pronunciation of French, Italian, Spanish and Flemish. Useful phrases provided in the dialogues include dealing with serving staff - 'Looke if the pasteys and the tartes be brought', 'prepare us then a dosen of new layde egges' - and conducting business in the marketplace - 'sheew me a peece of blacke velvet', 'this French Crowne is to light'. 

Considering the amount of use which these phrase books were put to, this copy is in decent condition, although there is some browning affecting quires M & N and some light staining.

Provenance: 1. Manuscript inscriptions on pastedown and front flyleaf, 'las penas[?] del', with faint manuscript annotation in same hand, in ink with repeated date '1650' on rear endpapers in Latin and overleaf in Spanish. 2. Sticker of the Lilliput Oval Salloon, bookdealer in Tokyo, Japan, and the world's "first all-miniature bookstore"; closed in 2015, with inventory sold the subsequent year. 

ESTC 1431.31 (6 copies). Verdeyen 80. Alston II, 56.

Stock Code: 225125

close zoom-in zoom-out close zoom