KIRCHER, Athanasius. (1602-1680). China monumentis, qua sacris qua profanis, nec non variis naturae & artis spectaculis. Amsterdam: Joannem Janssonium & Elizeum Weyerstraet, 1667. 2° (360 x 230mm). Frontispiece, vignette on title, portrait of the author, 2 folding maps, 23 plates and tables of which two folding, and 59 illustrations, all engraved. (Some tiny wormholes, occasional browning and spotting, folding plates with small tears, V4 with clean tear.) Contemporary blind-stamped pigskin, historiated center-pieces on covers within decorative boarders, red morocco label on spine, metal clasps and corner-pieces to bottom edge, red edges (some small wormholes and a light scuffing). Provenance: erased inscription on title.
FIRST EDITION IN FINE CONTEMPORARY BINDING of a richly illustrated account on China published in Latin in 1667, in German in 1668, and in French two years later. The text is based on descriptions by European explorers, many of them Jesuits as Kircher himself, in China, India, and other Asian countries. The engravings were based on explorers' sketches and original images imported from Asia. Some copies call for 2 engraved portraits and the number of engraved plates sometimes varies. Honeyman V, 1824 (one engraved portrait only); Caillet 5773; Brunet III, 666; Merrill 20 (one engraved plate only).