LEIBNIZ, Gottfried Wilhelm, Freiherr von (1646-1716). Novissima Sinica historiam nostri temporis illustratura in quibus de Christianismo publica nunc primum autoritate propagato missa in Europam relatio exhibetur, deque favore scientiarum Europæarum ac moribus gentis & ipsius præfertim monarchæ, tum & de bello Sinensium cum Moscis ac pace constituta, multa hactenus ignota explicantur. Edente G.G. L[eibnitio]. [Hanover?], 1699 –BOUVET, Joachim (1656-1730). Icon regia monarchæ Sinarum nunc regnantis. Ex Gallico versa. [Hanover: Förster], 1699.
2 works in one, 8° (155 x 94 mm). (Some minor spotting and browning.) Engraved royal monogram on first leaf recto, 2 engraved frontispiece portraits of the Emperor K'ang-hsi. Contemporary vellum over stiff boards. Provenance: author’s name added in neat manuscript after initials on title and early notations on front free endpaper; second part’s author written on second title in an early hand; G. M and J. H. Farrell (bookplate); Sydney Ross (bookplate).
“I consider it a singular plan of the fates that human cultivation and refinement should today be concentrated, as it were, in the two extremes of our continent, in Europe and in Tshina (as they call it), which adorns the Orient as Europe does the opposite edge of the earth” (Leibniz’s dedication).
Second edition of Leibniz's collection of texts relating to the Jesuit mission to China, the recent treaty between China and Russia, and the remarkable flowering of scientific culture at Peking under the Manchu emperor K'ang-hsi (d. 1721). Lebniz had become interested in China after a meeting with the Jesuit missionary Claudio Filippo Grimaldi, who had been appointed mathematician to the court of Peking. Grimaldi and Lebniz corresponded, and a letter from Grimaldi, addressed from Goa, is reproduced in the work. Leibniz also includes an extract in Latin from Ferdinand Verbiest's Astronomia Europea sub Imperatore Tartaro Sinico Cam Hy. Verbiest had been entirely responsible for the reintroduction of Western astronomy to China... First published in 1697, this second edition has an additional appreciation for the emperor by the Jesuit Joachim Bouvet appended. EXTREMELY RARE: according to online databases no copy of the Lyons first edition has appeared on the market, and this second edition only once. Cordier Sinica, 835, 634; Streit V: 2779.