Three Years Travels from Moscow over-land to China: thro' Great Ustiga, Siriania, Permia, Sibiria, Daour, Great Tartary, &c. to Peking. To which is annex'd an accurate Description of China, done originally by a Chinese author - E. Y. Ides 1706 - W. Freeman, London - First edition in English Superb copy of this profusely illustrated and important work in contemporary full calf binding.

Ides headed an embassy to Peking, which set out from Moscow in 1692 and returned in 1695. ‘He composed his journal for the information and satisfaction of Czar Peter the Great who was well pleased with the results and rewarded the author with the post of Privy Councillor. The Russian embassy had less trouble with the enormous self esteem of the Chinese than many earlier and later embassies. Under the emperor then ruling, Kang hsi, ministers were courteously received and enabled to transact their business as at any other court. The expedition added considerable geographical knowledge to the little that was known about Manchuria and China’ [Cox].

First published in Dutch in 1704, to which Nicolas Witsen, the translator, added 30 newly engraved plates (seven of which are double page folding plates, and one larger folding plate ‘
The Ambassador’s entry thro’ the famous wall’), in addition to the engraved title page, and the large and important map ‘Russorum Imperatori’ by Petro Alexewitz, considered ‘the best of all foreign maps which were based on the Russian original sources and which have exercised a great influence on the development of Russian cartography’ (Imago Mundi III 87).
  The 'Short description of the vast Empire of China, by Dionysius Kao, a native of that Country’ [113-207], gives a concise historical and geographical description of the empire province by province, followed by chapters on religion and customs [Walravens]. In addition to the information about China this trip report is the first ‘reliable patrimonial-ethnographic representations of Siberia’ (Griep Luber-655).

Provenance: Earl of Findlater, Cullen House (Cullen House, Banffshire, the ancestral home of the Earls of Findlater and Seafield), with his armourial bookplate, and pencil notation to front endpapers.

References: Cordier,
Bibliotheca Sinica 2468. Lust Western Books on China 519. Löwendahl, China Illustrata Nova 294. Cox I 330. Cat. Russica J 177. Adelung II 387. Henze, Enzyklopädie der Entdecker und Erforscher, II 683. for map see Bagrow-C. 76 ff. Morrison I, 372-73.
Quarto (25 x 19.5cm) pp. [14] 210 [2].
  In contemporary full speckled calf, spine in six compartments, raised bands, intricately tooled in gilt, burgundy title label lettered in gilt, speckled edges, minor restoration to corners, spine ends and hinges.   Condition: Near fine, short archival repair to tab of large folding map, 1 mm wormhole close to inner hinge of first 12 sheets not affecting text, in near fine binding, with barely visible minor restoration to corners, spine ends and hinges (inner and outer).   Ref: 108539   Price: HK$ 42,000