JUAN GONZALEZ DE MENDOZA (1540-1617)
Historia de las cosas mas notables, ritmos y costumbres, Del gran Reyno de la China. Con un Itinerario del Nuevo mundo. Rome: Vincentio Accolti for Bartolome Grassi, 1585. 8° (160 x 105mm). Woodcut arms to title-page, woodcut initials and tail-pieces, with blank leaf at ((8. (Two gatherings slightly browned or spotted). Contemporary vellum, spine lettered in manuscript (lacking ties, some stains, insect damage to upper edge rear cover), modern morocco-backed box.
A VERY RARE FIRST EDITION of one of the surveys of China, the first book printed in Europe to use Chinese characters and the first description of Manila published in Europe, as commissioned by Gregory XIII. In 1562 Mendoza sailed for Mexico where he amassed quantities of original reports from the Augustinian and Franciscan missionaries to the Philippines and China on the economics, politics and customs to 1583, and also had access to a collection of works in Chinese acquired by P. Martín de Rada in Fukien, 1575. The work includes details of Tordesillas' voyage from Manila to China, the first Franciscan mission to China in 1579, credit for which is given to Martin Ignacio Loyola, and the account of the Canary Islands, Santo Domingo, the Philippines, Japan, Malacca and Coromandel, along with Loyola's account of the discovery of New Mexico by Antonio d'Espejo which was never published separately. Palau 105495; Sabin 27775; Brunet II, 1662; Cordier, Sinica 8; Lust 26; Howgego M109.