1 Early life 2 First journey 3 Second journey 4 Later voyages 5 Writings 6 Later years 7 Legacy 8 Works 9 See also 10 References 11 Further reading 12 External links
The conversations he heard in his father's house inspired Tavernier
with an early desire to travel, and by his sixteenth year he had
already visited England, the
An illustration of Tavernier's of Indians performing
Church and castle with its minaret-style tower, built in 1680 for Tavernier, at Aubonne, Switzerland
The second journey was followed by four others. In these later
voyages, Tavernier traveled as a merchant of the highest rank, trading
in costly jewels and other precious wares, and finding his chief
customers among the greatest princes of the East.
On his third journey (1643–49) he went as far as Java, and returned
by the Cape. His relations with the Dutch proved not wholly
satisfactory, and a long lawsuit on his return yielded but imperfect
A fourth voyage (1651–55) took Tavernier to Alexandretta, Aleppo,
Bandar Abbas, Masulipatam, Gandikot, Golkonda, Surat, Ahmedabad, Pegu,
Dagon, Ava, Mogok, back to Bandar Abbas, and to Isfahan, thence back
During his last two voyages, his fifth and sixth (1657–1662,
1664–1668), he did not proceed beyond India. The details of these
voyages are often obscure; but they added to an extraordinary
knowledge of overland Eastern trade routes and brought the now famous
merchant into close and friendly communication with the greatest
These last voyages also secured for him a large fortune and great
reputation at home. He was presented to Louis XIV, in whose service he
had travelled sixty thousand leagues by land. In 1662, Tavernier
married Madeleine Goisse, daughter of a Parisian jeweller. He received
patents of nobility on 16 February 1669, and in the following year
purchased, for 60,000 livres, the Seigneury of Aubonne, located in the
Duchy of Savoy, near Geneva.
Thus settled in ease and affluence, Tavernier occupied himself, it
would seem at the desire of the king, in publishing an account of his
journeys. He had neither the equipment nor the tastes of a scientific
traveller, but in all that referred to commerce his knowledge was vast
and could not fail to be of much public service. He set to work
therefore with the aid of Samuel Chappuzeau, a French Protestant
littérateur, and produced Nouvelle Relation de l'Intérieur du
Sérail du Grand Seigneur (4to, Paris, 1675), based on the two visits
This work is much prized by historians and geographers for its detailed accounts of the places visited by Tavernier, from 1631 to 1668, and his dealings with politically important persons at a time when reliable reports from the Near East and the Orient were scanty or lacking altogether. Doubt has been cast on Tavernier's accuracy, but ...insofar as gemological information is concerned, Tavernier's observations have also withstood the test of time and are considered reliable.
An Italian map (1682) gives credit to Tavernier's accounts among its sources
The closing years of Tavernier's life are not well documented; the
times were not favorable for a Protestant in France. In 1684,
Tavernier traveled to Brandenburg at the request of Frederick William
I, Elector of Brandenburg, to discuss the elector's scheme to charter
his own East India Company. The elector wished Tavernier to become
his ambassador to India. He awarded Tavernier the honorary posts of
Chamberlain and Counselor of Marine. The scheme, unfortunately,
came to nothing.
In 1679, Louis XIV began to seriously undermine his Protestant
subjects. He established the Bureau of Conversion to reward Catholic
converts. In January 1685, Tavernier managed to sell his Château
Tavernier died in Moscow in 1689, at the age of eighty-four. Tavernier was the model of the inveterate traveler, as well as the most consequential diamond dealer of his age. His remarkable three-hundred-year-old book (Le Six Voyages...1677) tells the stories of many significant gems that remain in the public mind today.
Tavernier's biographer Charles Joret, produced a fragment of an article published in a Danish journal by Frederick Rostgaard, who states that he interviewed the aging adventurer and was told of his intention to travel to Persia via Moscow. Tavernier was not, however, able to complete this last journey. Legacy
Tavernier's original sketch of "Tavernier Blue"
Tavernier's travels, though often reprinted and translated, have a
defect for his biographer: the chronology is much confused by his plan
of combining notes from various journeys about certain routes, for he
sought mainly to furnish a guide to other merchants. A careful attempt
to disentangle the thread of a life still in many parts obscure has
been made by Charles Joret,
Nouvelle Relation De l’intéreur Du Sérail Du Grand Seigneur
Contenant Plusieurs Singularitex Qui Jusqu’icy N’ont Point esté
mises En Lumiere. Chez Gervais Clouzier, 1st ed. Paris, 7 February
Les Six Voyages de Jean Baptiste Tavernier, Ecuyer, Baron d’Aubonne,
en Turquie, en Perse, et aux Indes. Chez Olivier de.Varennes, 1st ed.
A New Relation Of The Inner-Part of The Grand Seignor’s Seraglio,
Containing Several Remarkable Particulars, Never Before Expos’d To
Public View bound with (p.99) A Short Description of all the Kingdoms
Which Encompas the Euxine and Caspian Seas, Delivered by the author
after Twenty Years Travel Together with a Preface Containing Several
Remarkable Observations concerning divers of the forementioned
countries. 1st English Edition, R. L. and Moses Pitt, 1677.
The Six Voyages of John Baptista Tavernier: Baron of Aubonne, by
Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, tr. John Phillips. William Godbid, for Robert
Littlebury at the King's Arms in Little Britain, and Moses Pitt at the
Angel in St Paul's Church-yard., 1677. This early edition is at the
United States Geological Survey Library, and was formerly owned by
George Frederick Kunz
Florentine Diamond Hope Diamond Tavernier's law
^ a b c Wise, Richard W. (2010). "Historical Time Line, The French Blue / Part I". The French Blue. Retrieved 8 May 2015. ^ a b c Wise, Richard W. (2010). "Historical Time Line, The French Blue / Part III". The French Blue. Retrieved 9 May 2015. ^ St. John, James Augustus (1831). "Jean-Baptiste Tavernier". The Lives of Celebrated Travellers, (Volume 1). H. Colburn and R. Bently. pp. 167–191. Retrieved 7 May 2015. ^ Alam, Muzaffar; Subrahmanyam, Sanjay (2007). Indo-Persian travels in the age of discoveries, 1400–1800. Cambridge University Press. p. 352. ISBN 0-521-78041-1. Retrieved 7 May 2015. ^ Ruben, Walter. Neue Indienkunde. New indology: Festschrift Walter Ruben zum 70. Geburtstag (in German). Akademie Verlag. p. 67. ^ Buncombe, Andrew (11 February 2005). "'Cursed' Hope diamond was cut from French stone, tests show". The Independent. Archived from the original on 31 March 2009. Retrieved 7 May 2015. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Chisholm 1911. ^ a b c Wise, Richard W. (2010). "Historical Time Line, The French Blue / Part II". The French Blue. Retrieved 9 May 2015. ^ Sinkankas, John (1993). Gemology: An Annotated Bibliography. II. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press. p. 1020. ISBN 9780810826526. Retrieved 8 May 2015. ^ Tavernier, Jean Baptiste (1899) . Ball, Valentine, ed. Les Six Voyages [Travels in India]. 1. London: Macmillan & Co. p. xxvii. ^ Wise, Richard W. (2010). "Tavernier, Later Travels & Peter The Great". The French Blue. Retrieved 8 May 2015. ^ Harlow, George E. (2012). "The Buyer's Guide to India, Circa 1678". In Baione, Tom. Natural histories: extraordinary rare book selections from the American Museum of Natural History Library. New York, NY: Sterling Signature. p. 22. ISBN 978-1-402-79149-9. ^ Longino, Michele (2015). French Travel Writing in the Ottoman Empire: Marseilles to Constantinople, 1650-1700. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-317-58596-1. Retrieved 25 April 2016. ^ The Diamond Queen on IMDb ^ "The six voyages of John Baptista Tavernier / - Biodiversity Heritage Library". biodiversitylibrary.org.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Tavernier, Jean Baptiste". Encyclopædia Britannica. 26 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
Wise, Richard W., The French Blue: A Novel of the 17th Century. Brunswick House Press, 2010. ISBN 0-9728223-6-4. Harlow, George E. 2012. "The Buyer's Guide to India, Circa 1678." In: Baione, Tom. 2012. Natural histories: extraordinary rare book selections from the American Museum of Natural History Library. New York, NY: Sterling Signature. ISBN 9781402791499; 1402791496. Malecka, Anna, "The Great Mughal and the Orlov: One and the Same Diamond ?" The Journal of Gemmology, vol. 35 (2016) Malecka, Anna, "Daryā-ye Nur: History and Myth of a Crown Jewel of Iran", Iranian Studies vol. 51 (2018), https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00210862.2017.1362952
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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 100214631 LCCN: n84203900 ISNI: 0000 0001 2145 1888 GND: 117248339 SELIBR: 305924 SUDOC: 034174478 BNF: cb12495929d (data) BIBSYS: 90851757 HDS: 15875 NLA: 35770823 NKC: mzk2008458839 BN