DU HALDE, Jean Baptiste (1674-1743). Description géographique, historique, chronologique, politique, et physique de l'Empire de la Chine et de la Tartarie chinoise. Paris: P.G. Le Mercier, 1735.
4 volumes, 2° (440 x 278mm). Half-titles, titles printed in red and black, engraved title-vignettes by M. Baquoy after A. Humblot. 12 engraved plates by Baquoy, Fonbonne, J. Haussard, and A. Maisonneuve after Honbleau and Humblot, 11 double-page, 53 engraved maps and plans, 40 double-page or folding, one hand-coloured in outline, woodcut illustrations, engraved headpieces by Guélard and Maisonneuve after Humblot, woodcut head- and tailpieces, engraved and woodcut initials. (Occasional light spotting and browning, some light offsetting.) Contemporary French crushed crimson morocco gilt, the covers with triple gilt fillet borders, roll-tooled gilt turn-ins, spines gilt in compartments, lettered in two, the others decorated with gilt fleurons enclosed by gilt floral and foliate tools, gilt edges (spines lightly faded, extremities lightly rubbed, a few scuff marks). Provenance: 'No 2350' (18th-century inscription on rear free endpaper of volume I) -- 'GM' (19th-century manuscript monogram on margin of volume I title) -- 'Large Paper. Fine copy' (early 19th-century booksellers inscription on front free endpaper of volume I).
A LARGE-PAPER COPY OF THE FIRST EDITION OF DU HALDE'S 'ENCYCLOPAEDIC SURVEY OF CHINA' (Lust). Du Halde became a Jesuit in 1708, and was entrusted by his superiors with editing the published and manuscript accounts of Jesuit travellers in China. The present work records the accounts of twenty-seven of these (who are listed on volume I, pp. li-lii), and is notable for the 'Relation succinte du voyage du capitaine Beering dans la Sibérie' (volume IV, pp.452-458), which details Bering's 1728 voyage through the eponymous straits; the double-page 'Carte des pays traversées par le Capne. Beering depuis la ville de Tobolsk jusqu'à Kamtschatka' bound between pp.452 and 453 is based on Bering's manuscript map, which was given to the King of Poland and in turn was passed to Du Halde to be reproduced here. This is 'the first printed map of part of present Alaska' (S.I. Schwarz and R.E. Ehrenberg, The Mapping of America (New York: 1980, p.151). Brunet II, 870; Cordier Bibliotheca sinica I, 45-48 (calling for only 4 rather than 5 plates in volume III); Lust, Western Books on China 12. (4)