THE RARE BOOK AND
MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
OF COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

Treasures


19 Marco Polo 1254?-1324?
Das puch des edlñ Ritters uñ landtfarers Marcho Polo
Nuremberg, Friedrich Creussner, 1477
Only eleven copies of the first printed edition of Marco Polo's account of his voyage are known to be extant, and this copy, from the library of the Earl of Crawford, is one of four recorded as being in America. Of paramount interest is the woodcut frontispiece portrait of Marco Polo, which has been colored by hand, probably at or near the time of publication. Shortly after his return from the East, Polo joined the Venetians in a sea battle against Genoa and was captured. While in prison in 1296, he dictated the story of his life and travels to a fellow prisoner. The account served as the chief source of information on the East during the Renaissance, and until the nineteenth century was the only source of information on parts of central Asia.
Gift of Solton and Julia Engel

Collections and Treasures