DU HALDE, Jean Baptiste
Geographical, historical, chronological, political, and physical description of the Empire of China and the Chinese Tartary Empire
4 volumes in-folio, beautiful intaglio engraved illustration including 4 title vignettes, 5 head vignettes, 15 plates, several of which are double-page (costumes, scenes of customs, animals, plants, city maps, full-length portrait of Confucius, a music board, etc.) and 50 maps, including a very large one of the Chinese Tartary with the outline of the borders and ribs in colour. Among the maps are also a map of the kingdom of Korea, a map of Tibet and Bhutan, and a folding map of the countries crossed in the first half of the 18th century by Captain Vitus Bering from Tobolsk to Kamchatka. The first volume contains, among other things, the Fastidities of the Chinese Monarchy, or Short History, in chronological order of the most remarkable events that took place under each emperor. Slight marginal wetness. Bound in contemporary marbled calf leather, spine decorated, fawn and green tomaison headpieces, red edges. Hinges partly split, em. corners, burnished leg. Good condition
First edition of the 'Bible of European sinophilia'. The most important and comprehensive work on China published up to that time. The first French folio edition is the most desirable and significant. Ref Cordier, Sinica, col. 46-48 , Lust 16 , De Backer-Sommervogel, vol. IV, col. 35, no. 11. Original edition of one of the best works on China and the surrounding areas, composed by the Jesuit John Baptist du Halde (1674-1743) from the stories and letters of missionaries and translations of Chinese texts.
P.G. Le Mercier
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