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La Montre Chinois. Relations de l’Horologie Suisse avec la China - Alfred Chapuis, Gustave Loup

1919 - Attinger Frères, Neuchatel - First Edition
A superb and fine copy, text in French, illustrated with 33 colour and black & white plates, and 245 half-tone illustrations. Included is an introduction on ‘L’Horométrie et le Système cosmologique des Chinois’ by Léopold de Saussure.

A survey of European cosmological instruments and mechanical amusements introduced to the Chinese Imperial Court from the 14th century, and the elaborate Swiss timepieces made for that market in Europe and in China, the first seeming to be by Francois-Louis Stadlin, a Swiss Jesuit in China from 1707-1740. The whole is referenced with texts from the contemporary writings of ambassadors, merchant traders and churchmen; preceded by de Saussure’s essay on ancient Chinese cosmology.

Prominent Swiss makers included Charles de Constant in the 18th century and the Bovet family in the 19th century, and many examples of their timekeepers could be found in the imperial palaces.

Formerly owned by Le Comte Alain de Suzannet.
 
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Price HK$ 8,000