HELMAN, Isidore Stanislas Henri. Faits Memorables des Empereurs de la Chine, tirés des Annals Chinoises. Paris: chez l'auteur et chez M. Ponce, 15 April 1788.
4° (271 x 199 mm). Engraved throughout, including title, dedication with armorial head-piece, 24 leaves of text and engraved plates numbered 1-24 (some occasional mostly marginal foxing). Contemporary French mottled calf gilt (joints starting, some wear at corners and edges).
FIRST EDITION. “The memorable acts of the emperors of China, taken from the Chinese annals. Engraved by Helman from original Chinese drawings in the cabinet of Bertin (now in Cabinet des Estampes, Bibl. Nat.)” (Lust). The plates are actually engraved mostly, if not wholly, from the designs of Jean Denis Attiret (1702-1768), a Jesuit painter who lived in China from 1737 to 1768, when he died in Peking. He was a favorite of the emperor, who honored him with the title Painter to the Emperor and made him a mandarin. “It all ended in Attiret becoming altogether Chinese in his tastes and his methods, so that he no longer painted like a European” (Thomas Campbell. “Jean Denis Attiret,” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 2. New York, 2009). The plates are by Isidore Helman, who also illustrated Suite des seize estampes representant les Conquetes de l'empereur de la Chine and Abrégé historique des principaux traits de la vie de Confucius (see lots 234 and 235).
Brunet, III, 90; Cohen-De Ricci, p. 479; Cordier Sinica I, 587-588; Grässe, III, 237; Lust 1133; Morrison II, 116.