DAULIER DESLANDES, ANDRÉ (b. Montoire-sur-le-Loir, 1621, d. Paris, 23 October 1715), author of Les Beautez de la Perse …, a brief but valuable description of Safavid Persia in the years 1075-76/1664-65.
No information on his early years has yet come to light, but in 1663 he joined the French jeweler Jean Baptiste Tavernier (1605-89) on his sixth voyage to the Orient, apparently entrusted with the interests of other merchants who had invested in Tavernier’s commercial venture. He was the only Catholic in the party, which included seven other young men with different skills, including a physician, all Huguenots (Joret, pp. 164-65; Kroell, pp. 9-10). They reached Isfahan on 25 Jomādā I 1075/14 December 1664, and Daulier took up residence in the Augustinian convent there, while Tavernier stayed at the home of another French jeweler and the rest of the party in the suburb of Jolfā. Daulier learned to his dismay that Tavernier had negotiated the sale of a large part of the valuable merchandise privately, with Raphaël du Mans (q.v.) acting as his interpreter; his dismay was all the greater becaus eht purchaser had been Shah ʿAbbās II (q.v.; 1052-77/1642-66). In a letter to his brother Pierre, a secretary in the Compagnie Française des Indes Occidentaux, Daulier described his sense of helplessness at these events. He said little of his travel from Tabrīz to Isfahan, however, choosing rather to refer to the description of Pietro della Valle (q.v.), but he emphasized the elegance and comfort of Persian houses, which he contrasted with their unassuming facades. Daulier also described a party held by the shah at the royal palace; he had attended and been called upon to play a spinet that an Armenian had brought from the Netherlands (letter published with annotations in Kroell, pp. 9-19; cf. Tavernier, II, pp. 188-89).
On 8 Šaʿbān 1075/24 February 1665 the travelers, including Jean de Thévenot, a scholar of oriental studies with whom Daulier had become friendly, left Isfahan for India. A month later, while still in Bandar-e ʿAbbās (q.v.), Daulier decided to return to France instead (Kroell, p. 10). He and de Thévenot went back to Shiraz and visited Persepolis (Thévenot, London, II, p. 139); then de Thévenot left for India via Baṣra, and Daulier proceeded to France.
After a two-year assignment as director of the Compagnie Française des Indes Orientaux (see EAST INDIA COMPANIES iii) at Bordeaux Daulier settled in Paris, where in 1673 he published Les Beautez …, with a map and seven engravings drawn from his own sketches by the well-known artists Israël Silvestre and Antoine Paillet, both official artists by royal appointment (Faucheux, pp. 87-89). His account is noted for its recording of precise distances in Persia and its clear descriptions of the principal cities, enhanced by the engravings. With Daulier’s consent the unconnected narrative of the adventures of a pilot on the king’s galleys was added to the edition (pp. 83-135). During his years in Paris Daulier often encountered Tavernier and other travelers who had visited the east (Galland, p. 503). His private papers are now kept in the manuscript division of the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris; they include a manuscript of the narrative of an adventurous Armenian merchant, Philippe de Zagly (Gulbenkian).
A. Daulier Deslandes, Les Beautez de la Perse ou la description de ce qu’il y a des plus curieux dans ce royaume, Paris, 1673.
L. E. Faucheux, Catalogue raisonné de toutes les estampes d’Israël Silvestre, Paris, 1857.
A. Galland, Journal parisien d’Antoine Galland, 1708-1715, Paris, 1919.
R. Gulbenkian, “Philippe de Zagly, marchand arménien de Julfa, et l’établissement du commerce persan en Courlande en 1696,” REA, N.S. 7, 1970, pp. 361-99.
C. Joret, Jean Baptiste Tavernier, écuyer, baron d’Aubonne, chambellan du Gran Électeur, d’après des documents nouveaux et inédits, Paris, 1886.
A. Kroell, Nouvelles d’Ispahan, 1665-1695, Paris, 1979. R. du Mans, Estat de la Perse en 1660, ed. C. Schefer, Paris, 1890.
J. B. Tavernier, Les six voyages …, 6 vols., Paris, 1713.
U. Thieme and F. Becker, Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart XXVI, Leipzig, 1932, pp. 146-47.
P. della Valle, I viaggi di Pietro della Valle. Lettere dalla Persia, ed. F. Gaeta and L. Lockhart, Il nuovo Ramusio 6, Rome, 1972.
Originally Published: December 15, 1994
Last Updated: November 18, 2011
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Vol. VII, Fasc. 2, pp. 127-128