• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7548

    Valuable Manuscripts and Printed Books

    12 November 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 129

    PRAY, György (1723-1801), Benedictus CETTO (1731-1799) and August von HALLERSTEIN (1703-1774). Imposturae CCXVIII. in dissertatione R.P. Benedicti Cetto, clerici regularis e scholis piis de sinensium imposturis detectae et convulsae. Accedunt epistolae anecdotae R.P. Augustini e comitibus Hallerstein ex China scriptae. Buda: typis Regiae Universitatis, 1781.

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    PRAY, György (1723-1801), Benedictus CETTO (1731-1799) and August von HALLERSTEIN (1703-1774). Imposturae CCXVIII. in dissertatione R.P. Benedicti Cetto, clerici regularis e scholis piis de sinensium imposturis detectae et convulsae. Accedunt epistolae anecdotae R.P. Augustini e comitibus Hallerstein ex China scriptae. Buda: typis Regiae Universitatis, 1781.

    8° (195 x 125mm). Engraved plate depicting a schematic arrangement of Ying and Yang, woodcut title device, 2 headpieces and 1 tailpiece. (Occasional extremely light spotting and browning.) Original boards, Provenance: a Hungarian theological library (20th-century stamps to front endpaper and title).

    FIRST EDITION OF THIS COLLECTION OF SINOLOGICAL TREATISES edited by Pray, university librarian at Buda, and noted Hungarian historian. The first part is a series of dissertations by Cetto demolishing myths relating to the Chinese through a discussion of Chinese chronology, astronomy, agriculture, literature and Confucian philosophy; the second part prints eight letters sent by Hallerstein from China to Europe. Hallerstein, a Jesuit missionary in China, was an extremely accomplished mathematician and astronomer, whose abilities recommended him to the imperial court at Beijing, where he won the esteem of the Emperor Kiang-long. He held the post of Chief of the Department of Mathematics for many years, during which time he compiled a census of China for the 25th and 26th years of the reign of Kiang-long. EXTREMELY RARE; only 5 institutional copies can be traced: British Library; Bibliothèque interuniversitaire des langues orientales, Paris; University of San Francisco (two copies, Ricci Institute & Gleeson Library); and Maribor, Slovenia. Cordier II, 924.


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Special Notice

    No VAT on hammer price or buyer's premium.


    Saleroom Notice

    A sixth copy of this work has now been identified in the University Library of Szeged, Hungary.