12mo, pp. , 110; tiny inconsequential spots to title, small wormhole in the blank margin of last few pages, repaired; overall a beautiful copy bound in modern half calf over marbled boards, by Laurenchet, spine in compartments richly gilt; engraved bookplate of Bernard Hanotiau to front pastedown.
US $5835 €4988
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Voyages de l’empereur de la Chine dans la Tartarie, ausquels on a joint une nouvelle découverte au Mexique.
First edition, extremely rare, of two letters in which the Jesuit missionary Verbiest describes the travels made by the emperor Kang Xi to Manchuria in 1682 and Mongolia in 1683.
‘In two of these hunting excursions Verbiest was desired to accompany the train of the emperor, and, indeed, was frequently closely attendant upon his person. His two letters, in which these journeys are respectively described, were regarded with great interest on their arrival in Europe. The originals, in all probability, were written in Latin; for although Verbiest was a Fleming, and many of the Jesuit narratives were written in other languages than Latin, yet Dutch, we may conclude, would be less acceptable to those to whom the letters were sent than Latin, with which the writer was so perfectly conversant. They were translated into French, and published at Paris in 1685’ (R.H. Major, introduction to P.J. d’Orléans, History of the two Tartar conquerors of China, including the two journeys into Tartary of Father Ferdinand Verbiest, in the suite of the emperor Kang-Hi, Hakluyt Society, 1854, p.ix).
The book terminates with the first French translation of the first report of the failed attempt by amiral Isidoro de Atondo y Antillòn and the Jesuit missionary Eusebio Francisco Kino to establish a Spanish colony on the Baja California peninsula in 1683 (‘La Nouvelle descente des Espagnols… is a faithful translation of the rare “Relaciòn puntual de la entrada del almirante Isidro de Atondo y Antillòn a la grande Isla de la California, este ano de 1683”’, in The Hill Collection of Pacific Voyages at the University of California).
No copies recorded on OCLC. COPAC shows only one copy, at SOAS; we have been able to locate one other copy, at the Bibliothèque municipale de Lyon.
Backer-Sommervogel, VIII, col. 583 (the original of one of the letters is entered as: Epistola r.p. Ferdinandi Verbiest, 4 octobr. 1683. [‘Elle se trouve aux archives générales du royaume [de Belgique]’); Cordier, Sinica 635-636; Lust 189; Sabin 98928; Western Travellers in China 25.
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UNIFORMLY-BOUND SET OF THE FIRST DUTCH EDITIONS OF NIEBUHR’S TWO GREAT WORKS ON ARABIA NIEBUHR, Carsten.
Beschryving van Arabie, uit eigene waarnemingen en in ’t land zelf verzamelde narigten. Opgesteld door … Niebuhr. Uit het hoogduits vertaald, en vermeerderd met een volledig register van ’t geheele werk. Amsterdam and Utrecht: Johan Joseph Besseling for S.J. Baalde and J. van Schoonhoven & Comp., 1774. 4to (256 x 208mm), pp. [2 (blank l.)], [6 (half-title, verso blank, title, verso blank, dedication)], XXXXI, [1 (instructions to the binder)], 408, [12 (index)], [2 (errata, imprint)]; printed in Roman, Arabic, and Hebrew types; engraved title with allegorical vignette by N. van den Meer jr, 16 engraved plates by van den Meer, Carel Jacob de Huyser, et al., one folding, 7 engraved maps and plans by de Huyser, Th. Koning, et al., 5 folding and one hand-coloured in outline, 2 hand-coloured folding facsimiles, and one folding letterpress genealogical table, type-ornament headbands, woodcut tailpieces and initials; a few light spots and marks, one plate with small area of early colour, some creasing on folding plates and maps, one folding plate with short tear. First Dutch edition. Tiele 795.
2 works in 3 volumes, uniformly bound in contemporary Dutch mottled calf, spines gilt in compartments, one with traces of lettering-pieces, one in second work numbered directly in gilt. others with central gilt fleurons enclosed by floral sprays, all edges speckled red; endpapers of second work replaced, a little rubbed and bumped, shaken, causing one map to detach and some quires to loosen, old repairs at spine-ends, lacking lettering-pieces, nonetheless a very crisp copy; provenance: occasional early annotations or corrections throughout – early reading notes in Dutch and Arabic on rear flyleaves, endpapers, and ll. tipped onto stubs of excised final [?blank] ll. in the first work and first vol. of the second work.
‘ATMOSPHERIC AND FAITHFUL’ MENDES PINTO, Fernão (Bernard FIGUIER, translator).
Les voyages advantureux de Fernand Mendez Pinto. Fidelement traduicts de portugais en françois par le Sieur Bernard Figuier gentil-homme portugais. Et dediez à Monseigneur le Cardinal de Richelieu.
First edition in French of Mendes Pinto’s celebrated travel account; rare. The original Portuguese edition was published in 1614, although the first draft of the book had been completed by 1569. The present ‘atmospheric and faithful French translation’ (Lach, Asia in the Making of Europe, III, p. 401) is by Bernard Figuier (probably Bernardo Figueiro) and was reprinted in 1645 and 1663. Figuier seems to have made use of both Portuguese and Spanish versions for his translation.