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COCHIN, Charles Nicolas (1715-1790). [Suite de seize estampes représentant les conquêtes de l'Empereur de la Chine. Paris: 1775].
COCHIN, Charles Nicolas (1715-1790). [Suite de seize estampes représentant les conquêtes de l'Empereur de la Chine. Paris: 1775].

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COCHIN, Charles Nicolas (1715-1790). [Suite de seize estampes représentant les conquêtes de l'Empereur de la Chine. Paris: 1775].

Broadsheets (670 x 527mm). Mounted on guards throughout. 16 double-page plates (platemark size: 570 x 910mm) engraved under the direction of C.N. Cochin by J.P. le Bas, A. de Saint Aubin, P.P. Choffard and others after Denis Attiret, Ignatius Sichelbarth and others, each plate with tissue guard tipped on to right-hand margin. Modern yellow half morocco, incorporating early marbled boards and endpapers (some discolouration of leather, edges of boards rubbed). Provenance: John Waldie (1752-1832, of Egglescliffe, Yarm, Yorkshire, armorial bookplate).

This rare series of plates was commissioned by Emperor Qian Long (K'ien Lung) (1710-1798). In an imperial decree dated 13 July 1765 he commanded that designs depicting his victories during the campaigns of the 1750s against the 'Eleuths', i.e. Tartar Kalmucks, and certain rebels, be sent to Europe to be engraved by the best available artists. The original drawings for the plates were made by a number of missionaries: the discalced Augustinian John Damascene a Sanctissima Conceptione, an Italian by the name of Sallusti, who became Bishop of Peking in 1778; and the Jesuits Denis Attiret (1702-1768), Ignatius Sichelbarth (1708-1780) and Giuseppe Castiglione (1688-1766). The engraving was carried out under the direction of Cochin fils, by le Bas and his pupils between 1767 and 1776. Although the prints were commissioned by the Chinese emperor, it is clear that a number of pulls were taken from the plates before they were despatched to China; accounting for the number of sets that have remained in European collections.

One such set allowed the engraver Helman to produce his reduced copies, which were published in 1785, with the title as above and an engraved contents leaf. The plates are untitled and are bound as follows (Helman's title captions, are given in brackets):

1. [L'empereur Jien-Long, reçoit à Gé-Ho, les hommages des Eleuths... vers la fin de 1754] Joan. Dionys. Attiret... Delineavit C.N.Cochin direxit. L.J.Masquelier Sculpsit. (Light marginal spotting.)
2. [L'Empereur reçoit les hommages des peuples vaincus..] Cochin Filius Direxit Gravé par J.P. Le Bas... 1770. (Light marginal spotting, small old dampstain to lower margin.)
3. [Amout-Sana établi Roi des Eleuths... se révolte et après avoir assasiné Pan-Ti, assiegé la ville de Palikoun..] C.N.Cochin Filius, Direxit. Augustinus de St.Aubin Sculpsit... 1773. (Small old dampstain to lower margin).
4. [Tchao-Hoei recoit dans son camp sous les murs de Yerechim les hommages des habitants de la ville et de la province.. juillet 1759.] J.Joannes Damascenus... Delineavit et Fecit. C.N.Cochin Filius Direx. PP. Choffard Sculpsit... 1774. (Very light spotting and old small dampstains to lower margin.)
5. [Tchao-Hoei occupe les troupes à des exercices et à des jeux militaires... 1758] J.Joannes Damascenus... Delineavit et Fecit. C.N.Cochin Filius Direx. PP. Choffard Sculpsit... 1772. (Light vertical crease, small damaged area of image in lower right corner, old small light dampstains to lower margin).
6. [Amour-Sana... rencontre Tchao-Hoei à la tête de sa nouvelle armée... 1757] P.F.Joannes Damascenus... delineavit et fecit, Anno 1765. C.N.Cochin Direxit. Augustinus de St.Aubin Sculpsit... 1770. (Small crease to lower right blank corner, very light marginal spotting.)
7. [Après la retraite d'Amour-Sana chez les Russes L'Empereur donna aux Eleuths quatre Hans ou Khans...] C.N.Cochin Filius Direx. Gravé par J.P.Le Bas... 1770. With pencilled marks at lower left blank corner, possibly engraver/printer's proof marks? (light marginal spotting).
8. [L'Empereur charge Tchao-Hoei avec le titre de grand Général... Amour-Sana... étoit rentré avec ses troupes dans le pays des Eleuths... L'Empereur passe en revue l'armée...] F. Jnes. Damascenus... delineavit et fecit. C.N.Cocin filius direxit Francus. Dionus. Née Sculpsit... 1772. With ruled pencil line in lower blank margin.
9. [Pan-Ti envoyé par l'Empereur pour installer Amour-Sana... 1755] J.Joannes Damascenus... delineavit et fecit. C.N.Cochin Filius Direxit. J.Aliamet Sculp. (Very light spotting to lower margin.)
10. [Premier combat entre l'armée de l'Empire... et Fou-é et l'armée des deux Hot-Chom... 1759] P.J.Joes Damascenus... Delineavit Et Fecit. C.N.Cochin Filius Direxit. N. De Launay Sculp. 1772. (Small tears and slight creasing to lower left blank corner.)
11. [Combat du 1 septembre 1759 dans la montagne de Polok-Kol près des lacs...] Js. Dios. Attiret... del. 1765 J.Aliamet Sculp. Blank surround to the image unburnished and showing signs of the engraver testing the sharpness of his burin (neatly repaired 80mm tear running diagonally from lower edge, just affecting plate area).
12. [Bataille gagnée par Tchao-Hoei... contre le Han des Tcholos... 1758] C.N.Cochin Filius. Direxit. B.L.Prevost Sculpsit 1774. (Some light marginal spotting.)
13. [Fon-Té... poursuit Amour-Sana et recoit les hommages et les tributs de Ta-Ouan... Amour-Sana se sauve chez les Russes..] P. Ignatius Sichelbarth... delin.1765. C.N.Cochin direx. B.L.Prevost Sculpsit 1769. (Some light marginal spotting.)
14. [Tserend et Yu-Pao... s'étant laissé trompé par les Hsachs, les armées impériales sont très affoiblies... 1757.] Joseph. Castilhoni... delin 1765. C.N.Cochin direx. J.Ph. Le Bas Scul 1769. (Some light marginal spotting.)
15. [Combat du 1 septembre 1759 dans la montagne de Poulok-Kol près des lacs... L'armée chinoise y fit un butin considérable, c'est la fin de la conquête de la petite Buckarie..] joan dion Attiret... fecit... 1766. C.N.Cochin Filius. Direxit. Gravé J.P. Le Bas... 1774. With ruled pencil line at lower blank margin.
16. [Second combat entre Pan-Ti et Ta-Oua-Tsa sur les bords de la rivière d'Illy... 1755.] Joseph. Castilhoni... delin 1765. C.N.Cochin direxit. J.P. Le Bas 1771. (Some very light marginal spotting.)

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