Descriptio regni Japoniae. Cum quibusdam affinis materiæ, Ex variis auctoribus collecta et in ordinem redacta - Tractatus In quo agitur. De Japoniorum religione. De Christinae religionis introductione in ea loca. De ejusdem exstirpatione. Adjuncta est de diversa diversarum gentium totius telluris Religione brevis informatio. - Bernhardus Varenius (Bernhard Varen), Jodocum Schoutenium (Joost Schouten) 1649 - Apud Ludovicum Elzevirium, Amsterdam - First Edition Two little volumes bound in one stunning contemporary vellum binding (11.9 x 6.5 cm), with additional engraved title page and folding out table.

Volume I contains the first comprehensive description of Japan from a European perspective, which Varenius based on a diversity of sources, without visiting Japan himself, together with a Latin translation of the first reliable work on Siam (Thailand, and provinces of Cambodia, Malaysia, and Burma) by Joost Schouten. Volume II contains a discourse on religion in Japan by Varenius, and his writings on diverse races and their religions (including Schouten on the religions of Siam), followed by short excerpts from
Leo Africanus on religion in Africa.
  Bernhard Varen (1622–50] - Dutch geographer and polymath. Studied to be a physician, but instead focused on geography. In this, his first work, Varenius effectively balanced "classical" sources (such as the accounts of Marco Polo) with more contemporary materials from Jesuit missionaries such as Maffei, Xavier, and Dutch agents of the Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie such as Hagenaer, Caron, and the appendices to their ‘Begin ende voortgangh’ account. . He is best known for his Geographia generalis (1650), standard for a century and translated into many languages. Varenius’ contributions to the new "science" of geography. influenced such figures as Isaac Newton (1643-1727), Peter the Great (1672-1727), Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859), and even Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), Varenius attempted to define the field of geography as a science and to classify, organise, and co-ordinate its branches. He died at the age of 28.

Joost Schouten (c1600-1644) - One of the most able and energetic servants of the Dutch East India Company during the 17th century. He first came to prominence when presenting a ceremonial gift from the Prince of Orange to the King of Siam in 1628. He subsequently spent some time on a trading mission to Japan, but returned to Siam in 1633 as Director of the re-established Dutch factory in Ayutthaya. Well-liked and respected by his colleagues, he was also highly esteemed by the volatile Siamese King, Prasat Thong, who granted trading concessions as a result, which greatly improved the fortunes of the Dutch factory. In 1636 Schouten prepared his report on the country, describing its geography, judicial system, religion and so on, and ‘Descriptio Regni Siam’ was first published in Dutch in 1638. He left Siam for the last time in 1636, returning to Holland for a while and then arriving in Batavia (now Jakarta), the regional headquarters of the Dutch East India Company, as a member of the council in 1640. From there he conducted two missions as an envoy. In 1642, he equipped Abel Tasman for his expedition to the Southwest Pacific, which was to circumnavigate Australia and lead to the European discovery of New Zealand. On that voyage, Tasman named Schouten Island for him. In 1644 Schouten was accused of Sodomy, strangled and then burnt at the stake (he was strangled first to be spared the pain of the fire, as recognition of his achievements).

Provenance: Justi. Henrici Jungmanni (Justus Heinrich Jungmann), 17th century Lutheran theologist and author of several works on religion and psychology in the 17th century.

References: Lach & Van Kley Asia in the Making of Europe 1873. Traister Elsevier Republics 3. Howgego 946. Tiele 980. Cordier Bibliotheca Japonica 367. Satow, A Bibliography of Siam 33. Cox I 326. Wing V105.

16mo (11.9 x 6.5 cm). pp. [12] 287 [1]; 320 [2]

Vol I. Illustrated Title plate - ‘
Descriptio Regni Japoniæ. Cum quibusdam affinis materiæ, Ex variis auctoribus collecta et in ordinem redact per Barnhardum Varenium Med.D. Amstelodami. Apud Ludovicum Elzevirium. Anno MDCXLIX. Then in handwriting - Sum Henrici Jungmanni
Title Page -
Tractatus - In quo agitur - De Japoniarum religione. De Christianae religionis introductione in ea loca. De ejusdem exstirpatione. Adjuncta est de diversa diversarum gentium totius tellarus Religione brevis informatio. Auctore - Bernhardo Varenio. Med. D. Amstelodami, Apud Ludovicum Elzevirium, MDCXLIX
Descriptio Regnie Japoniae [287 pps]
pp31 fold-out table showing the tree of reoigious development.
pp210 - Half Title -
Appendix. ad descriptionem Regnie Japoniae continent haec. 1. De Dairi Japonici ad Casarem adventu. 2. De Regno Siamensi. 3. Historiam quandam Persicam.
pp229. Half Title - Descriptio Regni Siam per Lodocum Schoutenium, qui suit in illo Director mercatura nomine Sociatatis Belgica India Orientalis, aliquot annis, & anno MDCXXXVI hac scripsit Belgico Sermone. Translata in Latinum Per Bernhardum Varenium [pp229-278]
Vol II. pp1.
Tractatus de Religione In Regnis Japoniae.
pp. 216 -
Appendix De Religione Siamensium. Ex Descriptione Belgica jodoci Schoutenii.
pp. 225 Half Title.
Brevis informatio de diversis gentium Religioni bvs.
pp. 309
Priscorum Afrorum fides at que religio - ex Leone Africano.
  In contemporary vellum binding, yap edges, title hand written to spine.   Condition: Near fine, toning to endpapers, and light rubbing to hand inscribed title on spine.   Ref: 103930   Price: HK$ 7,800