• The Wolfgang A. Herz Library:  auction at Christies

    Sale 2158

    The Wolfgang A. Herz Library: Important Voyages and Travels

    9 December 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 133

    GONZALES DE MENDOZA, Juan (1545-1618). The Historie of the great and mightie kingdome of China, and the situation thereof: Togither with the great riches, huge Citties, politike governement, and rare inventions in the same. Translated from Spanish into English by Robert Parke. London: Printed by I. Wolfe for Edward White, 1588.

    Price Realised  

    GONZALES DE MENDOZA, Juan (1545-1618). The Historie of the great and mightie kingdome of China, and the situation thereof: Togither with the great riches, huge Citties, politike governement, and rare inventions in the same. Translated from Spanish into English by Robert Parke. London: Printed by I. Wolfe for Edward White, 1588.

    8o (183 x 138 mm). (Upper margins trimmed closely, just touching the first line of title, a few closed tears, some crossing lines.) Blue morocco gilt, gilt edges, by Pratt. Provenance: Frederick W. Beinecke (bookplate).

    AN EXCEEDINGLY RARE HISTORY OF CHINA

    FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH of the revised and most complete edition, printed in Madrid in 1586. The original Spanish edition was published in Rome in 1585. The first major survey of China, it ran to some 33 editions between 1585 and 1613, though in fact Mendoza was never himself in China. In 1562 Mendoza sailed for Mexico where he amassed quantities of original reports from the Augustinian and Franciscan missionaries to the Philippines and China on the economics, politics and customs to 1583, and also had access to a collection of works in Chinese acquired by P. Martín de Rada in Fukien in 1575. The work includes details of Tordesillas' voyage from Manila to China, the first Franciscan mission to China in 1579, credit for which is given to Martin Ignacio Loyola, and the account of the Canary Islands, Santo Domingo, the Philippines, Japan, Malacca and Coromandel, along with Loyola's account of the discovery of New Mexico by Antonio d'Espejo which was never published separately. This English translation was made by Robert Parke at the suggestion of Richard Hakluyt. Alden & Landis 588/39; Church 134; Cordier Sinica I:13; Palau 105513; Sabin 27783 ("IT IS SO RARE THAT WE HAVE NEVER SEEN IT").


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