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Voyages de Monsieur le Chevalier Chardin en Perse

Voyages de Monsieur le Chevalier Chardin en Perse

Jean Chardin, Voyages de Monsieur le Chevalier Chardin en Perse, Amsterdam, Chez Jean Louis de Lorme, 1711

State Library of Victoria, RARES 915.5 C37

Jean Chardin was a French jewel merchant, whose trade gave him access to exclusive sections of Persian society. Chardin spent the equivalent of 10 years in Persia, mostly in Isfahan, between 1665 and 1677. Shah ʿAbbas II made him a royal merchant and commissioned jewellery from his own designs.

His three-volume Voyages was praised by many later writers, including Montesquieu and Sir William Jones, for its detailed and perceptive observations of Persian society.

After fleeing religious persecution in France, Chardin, a Protestant, resided in England. He became a court favourite of King Charles II; he was knighted and subsequently known as Sir John Chardin, and was dubbed ‘the merchant of the King of Persia’.