JEAN-BAPTISTE DU HALDE (1674-1743)
Description Geographique Historique, Chronologique, Politique, et Physique de l'Empire de la Chine et de la Tartarie Chinoise. Paris: P. G. Lemercier, 1735. 3 (of 4) volumes, 2° (435 x 281mm). Titles printed in red and black with engraved vignettes by M. Baquoy after A. Humblot, 3 engraved head-pieces after Humblot, 40 engraved plates and maps, some folding, one handcoloured in outline, by Delahaye, Desbrulins, Fonbonne after Humblot, Lucas, Le Parmentier and others, engraved and woodcut initials, woodcut headpieces. (Very slight browning, a few plates cut to plate mark, occasional light spotting.) Contemporary calf gilt, spine tooled in eight compartments, upper and lower boards with gilt-stamped Admiralty motif (upper and lower boards scuffed, upper board of vol.II detached, extremities lightly worn, joints split). Provenance: John Clevland (c.1707-1763), (book label pasted inside upper covers; Admiralty motif on covers) -- by descent to the present owners.
FIRST EDITION of this 'ouvrage très important...le premier qui ait fait connaître la Chine d'une manière un peu exacte' (NBG). Du Halde joined the Jesuit order in 1708 and subsequently took on the task of compiling this encyclopaedic survey of China from the printed and unpublished works of 17 Jesuits. The maps, by d'Anville, are based on Jesuit surveys. Volume IV includes a 'Relation succincte du voyage du capitaine Beering dans la Sibérie' of Bering's 1728 voyage through the eponymous straits and a double-page map based on his manuscript (given to the King of Poland and in turn passed to Du Halde for reproduction here). Brunet 28274; Lust 12; Cordier p. 46. (3)