JEAN-BAPTISTE DU HALDE (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° (40 x 25cm). 64 engraved plates, plans and maps.only after J.B.B-d'Anville and others, by E.Bowen, J.Basire, G.Child, R.W.Seale and others (42 folding or double-page, including the large general map at the front of vol.I, hand-coloured in outline). (Text pp.153-156 lacking from vol.II, occasional small marginal tears.) Contemporary blindstamped reversed calf, morocco lettering-pieces on spines (spines chipped at head and foot, joints slightly split, corners bumped).
FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH. Du Halde's encyclopaedic survey, based on the reports of 17 Jesuit missionaries, is probably the most celebrated of all the 18th-century accounts, and was a prime source for the new fashion of 'chinoiserie'. The engravings comprise 42 general and regional maps, and 22 other plates showing costume, smaller town plans, scenes from court life and other subjects. The maps were based on the Jesuit surveys carried out between 1708 and 1718. The large general map in vol. I incorporates Bowen's corrections of d'Anville's longitudinal markings and is tipped onto the inner blank margin of p.[ix], the first page of a 3pp. dissertation by Brookes on the imperfections of d'Anville's map. Sold not subject to return.