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Du Royaume de Siam. Amsterdam, Abraham Wolfgang, 1691. 2 volumes bound as 1. 12mo. With the same woodcut printer's device on both title-pages, 2 folding engraved maps, 17 double-page engraved plates with printed music, Siamese alphabets, inhabitants etc., 21 full-page engraved plates, engraved headpiece and several woodcut illustrations in text. Contemporary vellum.
STCN (6 copies); Walravens 92; cf. Lach & Van Kley III, pp. 1194-1196; Wyatt, "Introduction" in: A new historical relation of the Kingdom of Siam (1966). Second edition, published in the same years as the first, of a comprehensive work on the history of the kingdom of Siam, "Universally regarded as the finest work on seventeenth-century Thailand" (Wyatt). The French diplomat Simon de La Loubère (1642-1729) was appointed as Louis XIV's envoy extraordinary to the court of Siam, and while he stayed in Siam for only three months he diligently and systemically asked questions, "probably stimulated by the Jesuit scientists who accompanied the mission to take more than a passing interest in Siamese cosmology, astronomy, and mathematics" (Lach & Van Kley). Loubère compensated his short stay with a thorough study of earlier writers, referring to twenty-three European authors from Pinto to Gervaise in the first volume and collecting French translations of native works in the second. Besides presenting information on Siam itself, Loubère also incorporates information on India and China and their influence on Siam's past.With the armorial bookplate of Anton Ernst Burckhard van Birckenstein (active 1686-1744) on paste-down. Very good copy.
      [Bookseller: ASHER Rare Books (Since 1830)]
Last Found On: 2017-06-22           Check availability:      NVvA    

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