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2020-11-10 08:15:02
DU HALDE, Jean Baptiste.
Description géographique, historique, chronologique, politique, et physique de l'empire de la Chine et de la Tartarie chinoise.
Paris, P.G. Le Mercier, 1735.4 volumes. Folio. Contemporary mottled calf (small parts of hinges cracked but firmly holding; extremities of spines sl. damaged), spines ribbed and gilt with red and green morocco labels. With 4 title-pages printed in red and black with title-vignettes, 5 engraved vignettes, 23 engraved plates (10 folding) and 42 double-page or folding engraved maps.First edition of the 'Bible of European sinophilia'. - The most important and comprehensive work on China published up to that time. Du Halde, a Parisian Jesuit, collected and edited the letters of the Jesuit missionaries for this work. The fine plates depict all aspects of China and Chinese life including flora and fauna, engineering, astronomy, etc. The folio edition includes many important maps not previously published before, the maps are the most accurate of China available in Europe at the time. They are by Jean Baptiste Bourguignon d'Anville (1697-1782), the 'finest cartographer of his time'. - 'Historically, this work must be regarded as monumental. Its strenght lies in the vast amount and variety of interesting details, which must have given its readers an impression of the magnificence of the Chinese empire and the wide range of achievements of the Chinese people in literature, science, philosophy and art' (Löwendahl, Sino-Western relations, 394). The first French folio edition is the most desirable and significant. - Some marginal waterstaining and age-browning otherwise a very good copy of a cornerstone of any collection of books on China.Cordier, B.S.,col. 46-48; Lust 16.
Bookseller: Gert Jan BESTEBREURTJE Rare Books [Netherlands]
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