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A Description of the Empire of China - Jean-Baptiste Du Halde

1738-1741 - Printed by T. Gardner...for Edward Cave, London - First folio edition in English.
Two large folio volumes in contemporary bindings, housed in separate cloth slipcases.

One of the most celebrated of all 18th century works on China, illustrated with 64 engraved plates, including D’Anville’s exceptional maps (42 large maps most engraved by Bowen), 9 city and temple plans, and 13 full-page plates depicting dress, customs and ceremonies. With exquisitely engraved headpieces and initial letters.

The completest [sic] and most valuable history of the Chinese Empire which had appeared up to the time of its publication.’ [Cox,
Literature of Travel]

The maps by Jean Baptiste Bourguignon d’Anville are based on the extensive Jesuit surveys carried out for the Emperor Kangxi between 1708 and 1718. These maps ‘remained the principal cartographical authority on China during the rest of the 18th century’. [Tooley]
 
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Price HK$ 245,000