DU HALDE, Jean-Baptiste (1674-1743). A Description of the Empire of China and Chinese-Tartary, together with the Kingdoms of Korea and Tibet. Translated from the French by Richard Brookes. London: T. Gardner for Edward Cave, 1738-1741.
2 volumes, 2° (403 x 245mm). 64 engraved plates, plans and maps after J.B.B-d'Anville and others, by E. Bowen, J. Basire, G. Child, R.W. Seale and others, of these 42 folding or double-page, including the large 'General map' at front of vol.I, hand-colored in outline. (Vol. I: general map with short tear at margin, costume plate opp. p. 280 with closed tears slightly affecting title, plate 8 with closed marginal tears, vol. II: 3P-3Q slightly waterstained at upper margin, both vols. with occasional light spotting and soiling, some plates with old extensions to outer margin.) Contemporary calf (rebacked, preserving old gilt spines, some scuffing to covers). Provenance: titles inscribed 'No. 5, no. 6', contemporary marginal note (vol. I, p. 244).
SECOND AND BEST ENGLISH EDITION of Du Halde's encyclopaedic survey, based on the reports of 17 Jesuit missionaries. The first edition of 1736 contained only 20 maps and plates. This edition comprises 42 maps based on Jesuit surveys carried out between 1708 and 1718, and 22 other plates showing costume, smaller town plans, scenes from court life and other subjects. The large 'General map' incorporates Bowen's corrections of d'Anville's longitudinal markings. An unprecedented amount of knowledge is likewise conveyed in the one thousand text pages, fuelling the contemporary taste for chinoiserie. The work is also notable for including an account of Bering's 1728 voyage to Siberia through the eponymous straits (vol.II, pp.382-84). The double-page 'Map of Capt. Beering's Travels from Tobolsk to Kamtschatka' (opp. p.382) is based on the manuscript map which he gave to the king of Poland before it was passed to Du Halde. De Backer & Sommervogel IV, 37; Cordier Sinica I, 50; Cox I, 355; Lada-Mocarski 2; Lust Western Books on China 15. (2)