Nikolaus E. Kleemann: Tagebuch der Reisen. Mit einer zuverläßigen Karte von der Krimm , 3rd ed., Prag: von Schönfeldische Schriften 1783
Signature: Ff 160 3832 raro II
Figures: Frontispiece; „Das Serail in Bachtschiesaray“; „Caffa“; Map „Accurata Turcicarum et Tartaricum Provinciarum“
The third edition of Nikolaus Ernst Kleemann’s Tagebuch was published in Prague in 1783. This vivid travelog to and from Crimea offers a rare description of the everyday life of the Crimean Tatars around 1769 as well as systems of administration and justice, weights, and measurements. Received by the Khan of the Tatars at an audience and able to meet many simple people during the nine months of his stay in the Crimea, Kleemann shows the peninsula as a melting pot of customs and traditions of Tatars, Turks, and Armenians. In his Tagebuch, he attempted to use foreign words appropriately; but aware of his own limits, he hired an interpreter and did not decline the linguistic help of his fellow travelers.
Born in 1736 in Altdorf, Kleemann became a tobacco merchant in Prague soon after 1800 and went on to travel as a businessman, and not as a scientist. His curiosity allowed him to reveal his impressions more intimately when referring to political realities and city landscapes. Prints that illustrate his publication were made after his own drawings. The title page designed by him shows the two Black Sea inhabitants, one smoking tobacco and another pouring tea from a samovar boiled on the top of a rocaille cartouche. [DO]