KOREAN MAP, Capital Province

JEONG CHEOK MAP OF KOREA’S CAPITAL PROVINCE

Map of the capital province, Joseon Korea.

Korea, first half of 18th century.

£2,750

Hand-drawn map, first half of the 18th century, depicting the capital (gyeonggi 京畿) province of Joseon Korea. It is fourth of the eight provinces of Joseon Korea (Joseon paldo 朝鮮八道, which were reorganised into the 13 modern provinces in 1896.) It states the administrative classification of each district or outpost, as well as how many days of overland travel are required to reach it from the capital. It was intended to aid scholar-officials holding government civil service positions in planning their journeys. This map was produced by an unknown Joseon Korean cartographer in the celebrated and highly distinctive “Jeong Cheok” style, and it is a superb example of this quintessential pre-19th century cartographical tradition.

Mounted within thin oriental wood, framed and glazed, on bamboo paper, measuring 45cm x 39.3cm, including fabric border of 6.1-6.7cm. The map itself is 32.2cm x 27.1cm. Text border on all sides, however all but the outer border have been cropped. The border that remains is 0.9-1.2cm deep, with a slither remaining along the top. The paper has occasional faint darker areas, however none diminish the legibility or artistry. The map was folded into twelve parts, leaving two horizontal and three vertical creases, with very slight wear, including a small hole in the lower centre of the map at the intersection of two creases. Small tear in the far lower left, however the area affected is only ocean. There is also a small black smudge in the ocean just off the tip of the north-western peninsula.

The map has been produced in the style of Jeong Cheok (정척/鄭陟, 1390– 1475), a successful 15th century cartographer, himself a scholar-retainer who served several Joseon kings. The modern concepts of latitude and longitude were not understood in Korea until the early 19th century, and the flatness and distortion of the land in Jeong Cheok-style representations reflect this. Nonetheless, the shape, layout, and topographical properties of the provinces are depicted with impressive accuracy, enabling an overland traveller to plan the most direct route avoiding natural barriers. “Jeong Cheok” maps bear a number of distinct stylistic characteristics. First, further information is added in a text border surrounding the map. Second, natural topographical features are highly simplified; mountains are indicated symbolically as a jagged row of uniform peaks, and coasts and waterways are low-detail. Third, districts – always with two-syllable names – and military bases are represented by uniformly sized bubbles. In this map, these bubbles are pink; the district name is written down the centre of the bubble; to the right is the number of days of overland travel required to reach it from the capital, and to the left is its administrative classification. The capital city (gyeong ) bubble is circled twice. The Joseon administrative classification system includes, from largest to smallest, the bu (provincial capital city), mok (mid-level city), gun or su (county or prefecture), and finally lyeong or gam (small town).

The lines and text of the map are drawn in black ink. Land is uncoloured, while water is depicted in a light blue wash. Strikingly, water is coloured darker blue where it meets land. Mountains are coloured brown and labelled. Islands, also named, are depicted as white ovals in the ocean. Land-based outposts (yeogdo 驛道) and offshore ocean settlements are marked in white boxes. There is a title box with “Capital – [province] four” (gyeonggi sa 京畿四) in the top right corner. Within the text border running along the top, left, and right sides, there are remarks about what lies beyond the map in these directions.

L1755

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MING CHINESE MAP

MING CHINA’S LAND, ISLANDS, AND RIVERS

L1756 Ming China

Overview of the Realm (Tianxia tu lüe 天下圖略).

China, between 1625-1650.

£12,500

Fascinating hand-drawn map depicting Ming明 dynasty (1368 – 1644) China and surrounding lands produced by an unknown Chinese cartographer between 1625 and 1650. The map aids long distance journeys by water. It makes prominent the inland waterway networks and oceans of Ming China and beyond. It also depicts those locations – cities, countries, and islands – that can be accessed by navigating expanses of water, including distant locations. Other unusual features include the notation of corresponding constellations for each province and the names of local tribes. Stylistically, the map is clear and minimal, using a simple palette of red, brown, and blue wash. Overall, with its culturally rich and eclectic content and its portable size, this map would have been a valued personal possession of an enthusiastic and well-travelled scholar, learned merchant, or even Jesuit. It is highly likely that the map was unique to its original owner.

Mounted within thin oriental dark wood, framed and glazed, measuring 39cm x 30.5cm, on bamboo paper. The paper is slightly yellowed and there are occasional darker marks, however none of this diminishes the legibility or artistry. Previously folded into six parts, the creases are dark and worn, so writing and imagery is occasionally partially obscured. Small tear on character “略” of the title. The map is bordered with a thin black line, set within a further black-lined border, 3.5cm deep at foot, 1-1.3cm at left, 0.3-0.6cm at right, and 5.3-5.5cm deep at head. The map measures 28.5cm (head) x 28.7cm (foot) x 29.7cm (left) x 29.4cm (right); it does not form a perfect square. In the top right hand corner is a box bearing the title “天下圖略” (and the final character is a variant.) Text and lines are in black ink. Land is not coloured, water is indicated with a pale blue wash, and mountains are dark brown. Province boundaries not obvious from natural topological barriers are lined red. Ringed in red are cities of political, cultural, and historical significance. Names of the provinces are ringed in black, and of towns and cities in black boxes.

Within the map, the fourteen administrative provinces of Ming China are disproportionately expanded relative to surrounding areas. They account for approximately 80% of the surface. The layout of the inland waterway network is the most prominent feature. Minor rivers are rendered as large as major ones, and named. Lakes and even the sources of some rivers are named. Also privileged are the relative positions of major waterside settlements. The map depicts them as similarly sized and spaced, illustrating at a glance the order in which one would arrive if travelling by boat. This depiction of the waterway network and its cities is distorted to fill the area of Ming China, and water-poor areas in the far west and north are dramatically shrunk or dispensed with entirely. Compensating for the distortion, the true distance between major Ming Chinese cities is stated in miles (li ) at several points.

Cities and districts of greatest political, cultural, and historical significance are ringed in red: the northern and southern capitals of Beijing 北京 and Nanjing 南京, the cultural centre and ancient capital of Luoyang 洛陽, and Xianyang 咸陽. Xianyang was important to the Western Zhou (1046 – 771 BC, remembered as a halcyon period of pre-imperial China) and as well as the capital of the first dynasty, the Qin (221 – 206 BC), and these dynasties are noted on the map. Also drawn and named are several mountain ranges, which would serve as markers for navigation by water. Interestingly, the name markers of many of the fourteen provinces and Joseon Korea (Chaoxian 朝鮮) are accompanied by the name of corresponding constellations from among the twenty-eight lunar lodges (ershiba su 二十八宿). The Great Wall (chang cheng 長城) is marked, but its shape is distorted. For example, Ming extensions of the Wall into the east, which reach to the modern border of North Korea, are depicted as a stub. Similarly, the western extremities of the Wall extending through modern Gansu and Xinjiang are shrunk and simplified.

Water features are also the focus in the depiction of territories beyond the border. Interestingly, foreign water features are rendered as large and as clearly as those within Ming China, even if unconnected. These include Lake Baikal (Hanhai 瀚海) and, in the southwest, what appears to be the Indus river. Mountains that are near to or form the source include the Khentii mountains (Langjushan 狼居山) and of greatest cultural importance, the Kunlun 崑崙 mountains in the west. One of the most intriguing features is the depiction of the mythical underground river linking the Yellow River back to its imagined source in the Kunluns, drawn in faint yellow and running below the Great Wall. Many non-Han tribes, settlements, and ethnic groups are indicated in their proper locales.

In addition to these natural features, also depicted are outlying foreign regions and nations, bordering China or accessible by water. These are rendered comparatively small in contrast to the provinces of Ming China itself. These include modern Tibet and Xinjiang (Xifan 西蕃), Joseon Korea, Japan (Ribenguo 日本国), what is now Vietnam (indicated both as Annan 安南 and Jiaozhi 交趾), Thailand (“Siam”, Xianluoguo 暹羅国), the Chenla kingdom (Zhenlaguo 真臘国), and modern-day Hainan (Qiongzhou 瓊州). (It is noteworthy that the character used for “country”, guo , is a pre-modern simplified form.) Also included is the Xiaoliuqiu 小琉球 island, just off the southern coast of Taiwan. However, Taiwan is not depicted, even though it was well-known to and settled by the Ming Chinese. This is also the case in other maps of the period.

Far off islands in the southern and eastern seas or circled regions in the west and north are marked in minimal detail. The Liuqiu kingdom (Liuqiuguo 琉球国), for example, refers to unspecified islands in the East China Sea, though the name is currently used for the Ryukyu Islands. The “Kingdom of pierced stomachs” (Chuanweiguo 穿胃国), “Kingdom of large men” (Darenguo 大人国), and “Kingdom of little men” (Xiaorenguo 小人国) belong to this category. Most interesting among these, perhaps, is the country is the far southeast, Nürenguo 女人国, “Kingdom of women”. Some scholars believe this refers to the uncharted but rumoured areas of Northern Australia, which many Ming Chinese presumed to operate a matriarchal society. Interestingly, in the territories to the west there are circled spaces that have been left blank, anticipating unknown lands there whose names might be added.

L1756

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KOREAN MAP, Jeolla Province

JEONG CHEOK MAP OF KOREAN PROVINCEL1755 Korean Map 1

Map of Jeolla province, Joseon Korea.

Korea, first half of 18th century.

£2,250

Hand-drawn map, first half of the 18th century, depicting Jeolla 全羅, sixth of the eight provinces of Joseon Korea (Joseon paldo 朝鮮八道, which were reorganised into the 13 modern provinces in 1896.) It states the administrative classification of each district or outpost, as well as how many days of overland travel are required to reach it from the capital. It was intended to aid scholar-officials holding government civil service positions in planning their journeys. This map was produced by an unknown Joseon Korean cartographer in the celebrated and highly distinctive “Jeong Cheok” style, and is a superb example of this quintessential pre-19th century cartographical tradition.

Mounted within thin oriental wood, framed and glazed, the map, on bamboo paper, is set within a fabric border 5.9cm deep, measuring 45cm x 39.3cm. The map itself is 33cm x 27.3cm. Text border on all sides, however the lower border has been cropped. The borders that remain are 1.4cm deep. The paper has occasional faint darker areas, however none diminish the legibility or artistry. The map was folded into twelve parts, leaving two horizontal and three vertical creases, with very slight wear. Small hole in the lower centre of the map at the intersection of two creases; tear at lower edge (6.5cm x 3cm at its worst) affecting the depiction of the southernmost peninsula.

The map has been produced in the style of Jeong Cheok (정척/鄭陟, 1390 – 1475), a successful 15th century cartographer, himself a scholar-retainer who served several Joseon kings. The modern concepts of latitude and longitude were not understood in Korea until the early 19th century, and the flatness and distortion of the land in Jeong Cheok-style representations reflect this. Nonetheless, the shape, layout, and topographical properties of the provinces are depicted with impressive accuracy, enabling an overland traveller to plan the most direct route avoiding natural barriers.

“Jeong Cheok” maps bear a number of distinct stylistic characteristics. First, further information is added in a text border surrounding the map. Second, natural topographical features are highly simplified; mountains are indicated symbolically as a jagged row of uniform peaks, and coasts and waterways are low-detail. Third, districts (always with two-syllable names) and military bases are represented by uniformly sized bubbles. In this map, these bubbles are pink; the district name is written down the centre of the bubble; to the right is the number of days of overland travel required to reach it from the capital, and to the left is its administrative classification. The Joseon administrative classification system includes, from largest to smallest, the bu (provincial capital city), mok (mid-level city), gun or su (county or prefecture), and finally lyeong or gam (small town).

The lines and text of the map are drawn in black ink. Land is uncoloured, while water is depicted in a light blue wash. Strikingly, water is coloured darker blue where it meets land. Mountains are coloured brown and labelled. Islands, also named, are depicted as white ovals in the ocean. There are one military base (byeongyeong 兵營) and two naval bases (suyeong 水營), left and right, in pink bubbles. Land-based outposts (yeogdo 驛道) and offshore ocean settlements are marked in white boxes. There is a title box with “Jeolla province – six” (Jeolla do lyuk 全羅道六) in the top right corner. Within the text border running along the top, left, and right sides, there are remarks about what lies beyond the map in these directions.

L1754

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CARDIM, António Francisco

THROUGH THE EYES OF MISSIONARIES: CAMBODIA, HAINAN, JAPAN, LAOS, MACAU, THAILAND, AND VIETNAM

Relatione della provincia del Giappone.

Rome, Andrea Fei, 1645.

£4,950

FIRST EDITION. 8vo., pp. (16), 160. Predominantly Roman letter, a little Italic; a couple of historiated initials and typographical tail-pieces, Jesuit device on title; pen line to title and tiny wormholes not affecting text, a few leaves a bit aged browned, occasional foxing, mainly marginal. A good copy in contemporary limp vellum, remains of original ties; on front pastedown, ex libris labels of Pietro Buoninsegni, dated Siena 1814, and of Frédéric and Anne Max; extensive purchase note on final verso by Bellisario Bulgarini the Younger, dated 9 March 1645.

First uncommon edition of an early account of the Jesuit mission in Japan, established by St. Francis Xavier in the mid-sixteenth century, and other Christian outposts in Southern Asia. The original Portuguese text was never printed, while this Italian translation was probably accomplished by the Jesuit Giacomo Diacetto. A rare and partial French version was published the following year.

António Francisco Cardim (1596-1659) was a leading Jesuit missionary in the Far East, spending many years converting locals and organising Christian communities in the ancient kingdoms of Ayutthaya, Lan Xang and Tonkin. Back in Rome and later in Portugal, he supervised the large ecclesiastical province of Japan, which included also Macau and the Siamese area, and wrote several works related to those regions; most famously, he thoroughly recorded the persecutions of the Japanese Christians from 1597 to 1640 and published one of the earliest detailed map of Japan. His Relatione, dedicated to Pope Innocent X, narrates the troubled life of the Jesuit Company in Japan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand, as well as Macau and the island of Hainan, dwelling from time to time on interesting linguistic problems in transposing Christian dogmas into the Oriental languages and cultures.

This copy was bought by Bellisario Bulgarini (died 1660), nephew of the renowned bibliophile and scholar of Siena Bellisario Bulgarini (1539-1620). Bellisario the Younger records in the inscription at the end of the book that he acquired the volume for one lira from the bookseller Filippo Succhielli. He contributed to the enlargement of the vast family library, on which see Cento anni di libri: la Biblioteca di Bellisario Bulgarini e della sua famiglia, circa 1560-1660 (esp. no. 257bis) and Dennis E. Rhodes, ‘Per la biblioteca di Belisario Bulgarini e per la storia del mercato librario in Siena lui vivente (1539-1620)’, in Studi bibliografici: atti del Convegno dedicato alla storia del libro italiano nel V centenario dell’introduzione dell’arte tipografica in Italia, Bolzano, 7-8 ottobre 1965, Florence 1967, pp. 159-168.

Rare. Only two copies recorded in the US (Harvard and Chicago).

Not in Brunet, Graesse or JFB. BM STC It. 17th, 456; Sommervogel, II, 739/2 and III, 36/2; Cordier, 359.

L1980

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TRIGAULT, Nicolas

JESUIT MISSIONARIES IN JAPAN UNDER TOKUGAWA SHOGUN

Rei Christianae apud Iaponios Commentarius ex litteris annuis Societatis Jesu annorum 1609. 1610. 1611. 1612

Augsburg, Christophorum Mangium, 1615.

£3,950

FIRST EDITION. pp. (xii) 296 (xii), two blanks lacking, two present. Roman letter, some Italic, woodcut initials, head and tail-pieces, large woodcut emblem of the Society of Jesus on verso of T6. Very slight marginal spotting in places, a very good, clean copy in contemporary vellum, recased.

First edition of Trigault’s account of events in Japan 1609-12 compiled from the annual letters, written in Portuguese, by Joao Rodrigues Girao. He was an extraordinary linguist, author of the “Arte da lingoa de Japan” and the Japanese-Portuguese dictionary published in 1603 at Nagasaki. Nicolas Trigault, who had just spent close to two years in China, returned to Europe in December 1614 to launch a (hugely successful) propaganda campaign for the China mission, and was in Rome to attend the general congregation of the Jesuits that met from November 5, 1615, to January 26, 1616. He brought these letters with him specifically for the advancement of this mission, in order to obtain new funding and new missionaries in Europe for both China and Japan. The work is dedicated to the Emperor Matthias.

The letters cover a pivotal moment in the Japanese history of the Jesuits, who were desperately trying to avert conflict with Japan’s new ruler, the Tokugawa shogun. The Jesuits were also looking for exclusivity in Japan, as the Franciscans were creating difficulties by preaching openly, something that antagonised the new Japanese regime, and would in part lead to the severe and violent persecutin of all Christians in Japan in 1614. The annual letters, apart from their political and religious information, also constitute the only up-to-date first-hand account of Japan, its cities, economy, industries, armed forces, geography, climate and people, that was then available in western Europe. They were of the most vital interest to all those considering embarking on the great gamble of the Far Eastern trade. Joao Rodrigues Girao, as a fluent Japanese speaker, was involved at the highest level of the interaction between the Japanese and Jesuits, and provides extraordinary insight into trade negotiations, the shifting political situation, and the delicate balancing act required to ensure the safety of the mission.

This edition is quite rare, with only one copy on ABPC in the last thirty years, and six in European libraries.

BM STC Ger. C17, T714. Cordier, BJ, col. 272. JFB T173, ‘undoubtedly published as part of the author’s purpose in returning from the East to promote the Jesuits’ missionary effort there.’

L742

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JESUIT LETTERS. VALIGNANI, Alessandro

THE JESUIT INTERPRETATION OF POLITICAL INSTABILITY IN JAPAN

Lettera del p. Alessandro Valignano. Visitatore della Compagnia di Giesu nel Giappone e nella Cina de’ 10 d’Ottobre del 1599. (with) Sopplimento dell’Annua 1600

Rome, Luigi Zannetti, 1603.

£3,950

FIRST EDITION. Two works in one, separate title page to each. 8vo. Pp. 102, (ii). A-E8, F12. (last blank). Roman letter, preface in Italic. Woodcut printer’s device on both titles, floriated woodcut initials and woodcut tailpiece. Light age yellowing, foxing, oil stain to a few leaves. A perfectly acceptable copy in old vellum, recased.

Rare first edition of these two hugely important letters from the Jesuit missions in Japan, sent in the crucial period after the death of Hideyoshi during the instability before the victory of Ieyasu at Sekigahara. This book comprises two letters, the first sent in 1599 by Valignano (pp. 3-40), the second in 1601 by Valentim Carvalho (pp. 41-102). The latter’s preface explains that the Annual Letter for 1600 had not arrived, so this Sopplimento had been appended instead to Valignanos’s letter for 1599. Both report on the changing political conditions in Japan following Hideyoshi’s death in 1598. In his letter Valignano expressed his hopes that the political impasse in Japan would continue despite the tension that marked the relations of the different governing bodies. He recognised that the church would prosper under a politically divided regime. He described the political factions that emerged and made predictions about the future political situation. The political instability was a boon for the Jesuit missions and Valignano also announces that the mission had achieved 40,000 baptisms since February of that year.

“Jesuit documentation is particularly useful for this turbulent period. The missionaries knew the country well enough to be able to express their personal opinions. Nevertheless, when explaining the evolution of the political situation in Japan to the outside world, they transmitted expectations that were very similar to those of the Japanese population in general. Thus, their accounts are particularly interesting and useful for our understanding of these decisive years that preceded the coming to power of the Tokugawa dynasty.” Joao Paulo Oliveira e Costa, ‘Tokugawa Ieyasu and the Christian Daimya During the Crisis of 1600.’

The annual letters, apart from their political and religious information, also constituted the only up-to-date first-hand account of Japan, its cities, economy, industries, armed forces, geography, climate and people, that was then available in western Europe. “Valentim Carvalho’s supplement to the Annual letter of 1600,… published in 1603, reports Ieyasu’s friendliness and favours towards the mission and judges that the mission is in as good a state as it was in 1586, before Hideyyoshi’s anti-Christian edict” Donald F. Lach ‘East Asia.’ Both Carvalho and particularly Valignano were involved at the highest level of the interaction between the Japanese authorities and Jesuits, and provide extraordinary insight into trade negotiations, the shifting political situation, and the delicate balancing act required to ensure the safety of the missions.

BM STC It. C17th. p. 453. Streit, V, pp. 372-373. Cordier, Japonica 235. Sommervogel, v. II, col. 791 (the Sopplimento only).

L1577

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JESUIT LETTERS. Compagnia di Giesu

THE SOCIETY OF JESUS IN 1500s JAPAN

Lettere del Giappone dell’anno 1577. Scritte dalli reuerendi padri della Compagnia di Giesu

Rome, Francesco Zanetti, 1579.

£4,350

FIRST EDITION. 8vo. pp. 72. A-D8, E4. Roman letter. Small woodcut Jesuit device on title page small floriated woodcut initials, c19th Jesuit library stamp on blank margin of title page over earlier illegible stamp. Age yellowing, some browning, the odd marginal mark or stain, some corners a little rounded. A perfectly acceptable copy in modern limp vellum.

Rare first edition of these four important letters from the early period of the Jesuit Mission in Japan, the first by Luis Frois, the second by Father Organtino, the third by Giovanni Francesco Stephanoni, and the last by Francisco Cabral. Practically from the time of the arrival of Father Francis Xavier in Japan, the Jesuits produced an uninterrupted flow of manuscripts that included letters and reports, regularly sent to India and Europe. The Society of Jesus, aiming to publicize its activities, with a view to obtaining material and human resources, soon began to print expurgated versions of these letters, in collections that proved an enormous editorial success. Europe discovered the remote land of the Japanese with amazement and wonder from these letters.

The first and longest in this collection was composed by Luis Frois who had arrived in Japan in 1563 and whose stay there lasted over thirty years. Frois’ value for posterity lay not just in his evangelical work, but in his observant eye and gift for writing. He described the major sights in all the places he visited, and discusses the spiritual and religious background of Japanese culture. He had a natural curiosity and was a keen observer. He studied Buddhism quite extensively to better understand the objections of the priests against Catholicism. He wrote a most important history of the Jesuit mission in Japan that was not published in full until the c20th.

“In addition to the work of teaching his catechumens [Frois was] also intent upon the work of intensifying the religious life of those who had already been baptized. Great importance was attached to the greatest possible solemnity in the Church’s ceremonial… In this matter Frois was a faithful disciple of Vilela, who went in for large-scale adaption to local ceremonies and customs. Father Organtino, who later succeeded Father Frois as a pastor of Kyoto, also allowed the same policy with the result that the missionaries of the Kyoto area stood out as advocates of a far-reaching adaptation policy while those in the Kyushu area were more conservative… Frois was wide-awake to his surroundings… His graphic descriptions give us an excellent and realistic picture of Kyoto of his day… His letters are an almost inexhaustible source, not only for the history of missions, but also for almost all branches of Japanology.” Hubert Cieslik “Early Missionaries in Japan.”

A rare and important collection of Letters, from a most important period in Japanese history. Worldcat records three copies only.

BM STC It. c17th. p. 349. Cordier, Japonica p. 71.

L1578

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JESUIT LETTERS

THE FIRST ACCOUNTS OF THE FAR EAST THAT REACHED EUROPE

Nuovi avisi dell’ Indie di Portogallo.

Venice, Michele Tramezzino, 1568.

£7,500

8vo., ff. (iv) 59 lacking final blank. Italic letter, printer’s sibyl device on title, woodcut initials. Couple of neat early annotations in blank portion of title, small worm trail at some inner margins not affecting text, a very good clean copy in modern vellum.

Second edition of this rare, early valuable collection of nine letters from the Jesuit missions in Asia written by Diaz, Froes and others between the years 1556 and 1559 and dedicated by the printer-publisher to Vittoria Farnese dalla Rovere, Duchess of Urbino. The letters include some of the earliest first-hand accounts of China and Japan to reach Western Europe. The first provides a description of Ceylon, the Moluccas and the East Indies, the third tells of events in Goa and Indo-China, the fourth deals with the Moslems, the fifth with Malabar and Cochin, the sixth with China and Japan and the seventh with Travancore. The second and last two comprise only brief extracts of longer works.

In almost every case the first reliable accounts of the Far East which reached Europe were letters from the Jesuit missionaries full of first hand information: social, cultural, political, ethnographic, commercial, geographical, economic and religious. It was the detail and apparent accuracy of their scholarly yet practical reports which prompted merchants, seamen and governments to follow them in opening up to European interests the farthest corners of the known world.

BM. STC. It. p. 349. Adams I 109 (1 copy only). JFB J 82 (1st ed.). Cordier (Jap) p.47. Not in Cordier Bibl. Sinica.

SN1166

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GONZALES DE MENDOZA, Juan

THE FIRST OCCURRENCE OF CHINESE CHARACTERS IN A EUROPEAN BOOK

Historia de las cosas mas notables, ritos y costumbres del gran Reyno de la China. Con un itinerario del Nuevo Mundo.

Medina del Campo, Santiago del Canto, los herederos de Benito Boyer, 1595.

£3,950

8vo. ff. (xii), 348, (x). Roman letter. Title in red and black, woodcut device on verso, white on black woodcut initials, woodcut Chinese characters. Light age yellowing, repair to lower blank corner of title, text parts restored to last 4 lines of dedication, in perfect pen facsimile, upper corner of ff. 198 and lower corner of ff. 211 similarly restored, worm trail in upper outer blank margin expertly restored in places, just touching a few letters, a few outer blank corners repaired. A good copy, bound by Emilio Brugalla in 1941 in blue crushed morocco for Isidoro Fernández (1878–1963), covers with his gilt supralibros, spine with five raised bands, gilt-lettered title and palce, inner dentelles and board edges gilt, all edges gilt.

Rare edition, the eighth published in ten years of the first major work on China and the first European book in which Chinese characters occur. All early editions in the original Spanish are now rare. It includes the celebrated ‘Itinerario del nuevo Mundo’, details of Tordesillas’ voyage from Manila to China, the first Franciscan mission to China in 1579 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. An English translation by Robert Parke was published in 1588. It was the first major survey of China and ran to some 33 editions between 1585 and 1613.

“This work, the first great book about China to be published in Europe, was a compilation of material Mendoca had obtained from a few Spanish missionaries, both Augustinians and Franciscans, living in the Philippines who had visited the southern coast of China for brief intervals. Mendoca’s principle source was the learned Martin de Rada. This wonderful book contains a four-page sketch of the history of China, from Emperor Yao to the Wan-li Emperor of the Ming dynasty. Mendoca probably got much of his information from the papers of de Rada, including Chinese books he had bought during a short visit to Fu-chien province, that he had had translated by Chinese people living in the Philippines. (…) Though brief, this summary gives a historical dimension to this first book about China to be presented to the European reader, a work that was printed in forty-six editions in seven languages in the first fifteen years after it came out.” Thomas H. C. Lee “China and Europe: Images and Influences in Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuries.”

BM STC Spain C16th. p 89. Palau VI, 105501. Cordier Sinica I:9. JFB G170. Alden 595/32. Not in Sabin or Church.

L1581

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TRIGAULT, Nicolas

RARE AND EXTRAORDINARILY ILLUSTRATED ACCOUNT OF CHRISTIAN PERSECUTIONS IN JAPAN

De Christianis apud Japonios triumphis sive de gravissima ibidem contra Christi fidem persecutione exorta anno MDCXII usq. ad annum MDCXX libri quinque.

Munich, Rader and Raphael Sadeler, 1623.

£6,950

FIRST EDITION. 4to. pp. (xvi), 518, (ii). Roman letter. Finely engraved title page depicting St. Francis Xavier and St. Ignatius Loyola, angels above, engraved printer’s device on verso of last, seventeen full page engraving depicting the execution of Christians in Japan (one with revised engraving superimposed), floriated woodcut initials, “Assistentia Germania Societatis Jessu” in contemporary hand at head of title. Light age browning, slight foxing, the occasional marginal thumb mark, small tear to lower blank corner of D1. A good, clean copy, with excellent impression of the engravings, in contemporary vellum over thin paste boards, remains of ties, fly leaves loose.

First edition of this rare, extraordinarily illustrated, and important account of the persecution of Christians in Japan from 1612 to 1620, a period in which Japan closed itself off from the rest of the world and suppressed Christianity entirely, effectively expelling all Europeans and executing Christians of all denominations. Nicolas Trigault was a distinguished member of the Jesuit mission to China, which he had joined in 1610. He returned to Europe in 1615, travelling on foot through Persia, Arabia and Egypt, to obtain a fresh supply of recruits for the mission.

In 1618 he departed for China and was followed by forty-four volunteer missionaries. He described his travels in the first detailed account of the empire published in Europe. Before his trip to China, Trigault completed a summary of the Japanese mission from 1609 to 1612, and four books concerning the triumphs of the Christians during recent persecutions in Japan, to which he added, whilst in Goa, a fifth book bringing the narrative up to 1616. The work was printed in 1623, with a small additional text continuing the missionary saga from 1617 to 1620, and a list of two hundred and sixty-eight Japanese martyrs.

There was also added a list of the thirty-eight houses and residences (including two colleges, at Arima and Nagasaki), which the Jesuits had been obliged to abandon, and of five Franciscan, four Dominican and two Augustinian convents from which the inmates had been driven. The work was rapidly translated into French and Spanish. Trigault’s work was almost entirely derived from the annual Jesuit letters sent from Japan, and from his conversations with survivors of the persecutions. It is the best contemporary account of the great persecutions of Japanese Christians in the early Tokugawa period, providing detailed and vivid accounts of the events.

The seventeen extraordinary engravings, depicting the torture and execution of the Japanese Christians, were most probably made by Raphael Sadeler, and are very finely executed and designed. Trigault wrote extensively on the Far East and his account of the persecution of Christians in Japan is a classic of its time. Illustrated editions of the early Jesuit accounts of Japan are extremely uncommon.

BM STC Ger. C17th T713. Cordier, BJ 295. Streit V, 1305. De Backer & Sommervogel, VIII, 242.8.

L1375

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