DU HALDE, Jean-Baptiste.
A Description of the Empire of China and Chinese-Tartary, together with the Kingdoms of Korea, and Tibet,...
London, T. Gardner for Edward Cave, 1738 [– 1741].
The first complete English translation of Jean-Baptiste Du Halde’s Description géographique … de l’Empire de la Chine (1735), the ‘Bible of European sinophilia’ (Löwenstein).
De rebus coelestibus.
Naples, ‘ex officina Sigismundi Mayr Germani : summo ingenio artificis Ioannetto Salodio : Antonio Vuerengrundt : Evangelista Papiensi :...
First editions of three works on cosmology, ethics, and astrology by the Neapolitan humanist, poet, and polymath Giovanni Pontano (1426–1503), an important sammelband from the celebrated library of Ulisse Aldrovandi (1522–1605), professor of natural philosophy and natural history at the University...
RICCI, Matteo, and Nicolas TRIGAULT.
De Christiana expeditione apud Sinas suscepta ab Societate Jesu. Ex P. Matthaei Ricii eiusdem...
Augsburg, Christoph Mang, 1615.
First edition. The ‘most influential description of China to appear during the first half of the seventeenth century. Trigault, the procurator of the Jesuits’ China mission, translated and augmented the pioneer missionary Matteo Ricci’s journal, aiming to elicit support for the mission....
TARTAGLIA, Niccolò Fontana.
Quesiti, et inventioni diverse.
Venice, Venturino Ruffinelli ‘ad instantia et requisitione, & a proprie spese de Nicolo Tartalea Brisciano Autire’, July 1546.
First edition, annotated throughout by a contemporary reader, of Tartaglia’s highly influential work on ballistics and algebra, containing his polemical rule for solving cubic equations.
MÜLLER, Gerhard Friedrich.
Voyages from Asia to America, for completing the discoveries of the north west coast of America. ...
London, T. Jefferys, 1764.
Second edition (first 1761) of this key work devoted to discoveries in northeastern Asia and northwestern America, including the Bering Strait, published by Thomas Jefferys, geographer to George III, ‘remembered in particular for some of the most important eighteenth-century maps of the Americas’...
SENECA, Lucius Annaeus.
L. Annei Senecae opera, et ad dicendi facultatem, et ad bene vivendu[m] utilissima, per Des. Erasmum...
Basel, ‘in officina Frobeniana’, 1529 [(colophon:) Basel, Johann Herwagen, March 1537].
Second Erasmus edition of the moral essays and letters of Seneca, owned and annotated by Ludovicus Carinus (d. 1569), friend and later foe of Erasmus himself.
Faits mémorables des empereurs de la Chine, tirés des annales Chinoises, dédiés à Madame,...
Paris, chez l’auteur … et chez M. Ponce, .
Two handsome engraved works by the French engraver and printseller Helman (1743–1806/9), here on uncut sheets, the first depicting scenes from Chinese history, the second episodes in the life of Confucius (Kong Fuzi).
Noctium Atticarum commentaria per Bonfinem Asculanum summa nuper diligentia et studio recognita.
Venice, Giovanni Tacuino, 1517.
Second edition of Gellius’s opus with the commentary of philologist Matteo Bonfini (1441–1517), annotated throughout by a contemporary reader whose corrections and comments include references to the lectures of Paolo Bombasi as cited by Erasmus in the 1508 edition of the Adagia.
NIEUHOF, Jan, and Georg HORN (translator).
Legatio Batavica ad magnum Tartariae chamum Sungteium, modernum Sinae...
Amsterdam, Jacob van Meurs, 1668.
First edition in Latin, beautifully illustrated, of Nieuhof’s account of his travels in China between 1655 and 1657, one of the most important early modern non-Jesuit studies.
Notes from medical lectures.
London, February – April 1798.
A most interesting medical manuscript by one Charles Bucknill recording lectures given in 1798 by the Scottish anatomist Matthew Baillie (1761–1823) and the English obstetrician John Clarke (1758–1815). Bucknill – likely a forebear of the psychiatrist and mental health reformer Sir John...
SOLVYNS, François Baltazard.
The Costume of Hindostan, elucidated by sixty coloured engravings; with descriptions in English...
London, W. Bulmer and Co. for Edward Orme, 1804 [–1805].
First edition in book form (originally issued in parts) of this superb record of the people of Bengal by the Flemish painter and ethnographer Solvyns (1760–1824), issued by the engraver and publisher Edward Orme (1775–1848).
BURCKHARDT, Johann Ludwig (John Lewis).
Travels in Arabia, comprehending an account of those territories in Hedjaz which the...
London, Henry Colburn, 1829.
First edition, in one volume, recounting Johann Ludwig Burckhardt’s journey to Mecca on behalf of the Association for Promoting the Discovery of the Interior of Africa in 1814.
APIANUS, Peter, and Gemma FRISIUS.
Cosmographia, sive Descriptio universi Orbis, Petri Apiani & Gemmae Frisij, Mathematicorum...
Antwerp, ‘Ex officina Ioannis Withagij’, 1584.
The expanded 1584 edition of Apianus’s highly important Cosmographia, printed by the most prolific printer of the work in Antwerp, with volvelles utilising waste from his press.
PHILIP II, King of Spain.
Document signed ‘Yo el Rey’, nominating the viceroy of Peru, Don García Hurtado de Mendoza,...
San Lorenzo de El Escorial, 30 July 1588, and Lima, Peru, 2 and 4 December 1589.
An important document in which Philip II of Spain appoints the viceroy of Peru, Don García Hurtado de Mendoza, to the post of ‘Capitan general’. As recorded on the verso, the terms of the document were publicly proclaimed in Lima to the accompaniment of music and percussion instruments.
Wanderings of a pilgrim, in search of the picturesque, during four-and-twenty years in the east; with revelations...
London, Pelham Richardson, 1850.
First edition, with many handsome tinted and coloured illustrations, of the lively journals of Fanny Parkes (1794–1875) documenting her time in India from 1822 to 1845, with an interval in England and Cape Town.
Journal de voyage ...
France, June-September 1866.
A handsome manuscript on mining engineering, apparently unpublished, recording visits undertaken by the engineer F. Humblot to coal mines and iron works in eastern and southern France in 1866, containing well over one hundred beautifully executed technical drawings.
Francisci Baconi, Baronis de Verulamio, Vice-Comitis Sancti Albani, operum moralium et civilium tomus … cura...
London, Edward Griffin [and John Haviland] for Richard Whitaker [and John Norton], 1638.
First edition, first issue, a copy from the celebrated Albani library: tangible witness to the early and fecund reception of Bacon’s thought in the circles of Galilean science in Italy.
HAYLEY, William, and William BLAKE (illustrator).
Ballads … founded on Anecdotes relating to Animals, with Prints...
Chichester, J. Seagrave, for London, Richard Phillips, 1805.
First edition of William Hayley’s sixteen Ballads illustrated by William Blake, with a fine provenance, plates I–III in the first state.
[DENNIS, John, and George DUCKETT?]
Pope Alexander’s Supremacy and Infallibility examin’d, and the Errors of Scriblerus...
London, J. Roberts, 1729.
First edition, very scarce in commerce, of an exhilaratingly spiteful attack on Pope in the wake of the publication of the Dunciad variorum, comprising seven different satirical texts, three in verse, issued in quarto to match ‘the least pompous Edition of the Dunciad’.
Elogia veris clarorum virorum imaginibus apposita. Quae in musaeo Ioviano Comi spectantur. Addita in calce...
Venice, Michele Tramezzino, 1546.
First edition of Giovio’s biographies of illustrious men, with several marginal corrections, remarks, and comments by a contemporary reader, whose knowledge of biographies of the past encompassed several authors, including Erasmus.